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The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques [Paperback]

by Barry Andersson, Janie L. Geyen
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)

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Book Description

January 3, 2012 0470876603 978-0470876602 1
A how-to guide for getting professional-quality video from your DSLR

Shooting HD Video with a video-enabled DSLR has many benefits and some tricky drawbacks that digital filmmakers and videographers can overcome to get professional results. The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook helps filmmakers harness the HD video capabilities of their DSLRs to create professional-level video. Packed with professionally-tested techniques, this indispensible book serves as a training guide for the complex steps that must be taken before, during, and after filming.

  • Teaches you the key tools and techniques for using your DSLR to shoot high-quality, professional-level video
  • Distills dense information about filmmaking and filters it down to easily understood granules
  • Shows you what to expect and what to avoid with your DSLR and how to maximize the visual look of your film
  • Shares tools and techniques that have been used in real-world, independent movie-making environments

The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook shows you how to overcome any tricky drawbacks that you may face while shooting HD video with your DSLR.

Frequently Bought Together

The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques + How to Shoot Video That Doesn't Suck: Advice to Make Any Amateur Look Like a Pro + The Filmmaker's Eye: Learning (and Breaking) the Rules of Cinematic Composition
Price for all three: $57.50

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Editorial Reviews


'This indispensable book explains what you need to do before, during and after filming.' (Photo Plus, May 2012) 'This tome is packed with useful information and an impressive introduction to shooting video with your DSLR' . (Advanced Photographer, June 2012)

From the Back Cover

Get expert results with your DSLR— before, during, and after the shoot

They look like standard digital cameras for taking still photos, but the video and filmmaking capabilities of today's DSLR cameras can take you to Hollywood. If you want to create independent films and full-length HD videos with your DSLR camera, this detailed guide is where you need to start. Packed with professional movie-making secrets, solid technical advice, and practical timesavers, this unique book offers real-world solutions for all aspects of DSLR filmmaking, including:

  • Choosing the best camera, lenses, and accessories for your shoot

  • Working with still lenses vs. cinema lenses

  • Using your gear in the field

  • Lighting your scene with studio or available light

  • Setting up your camera to achieve the visual look you desire

  • Evaluating color on set, color grade in post, and creating a "look" for your final project

  • Deciding whether it's better to record sound on your own or hire a pro

  • Rigging and moving your camera for car chases or action shots

  • Shooting under water

Understand outdoor lighting conditions before you shoot

Choose and use the best equipment for your film's needs

Choose the optimal settings for everything from web video to theater presentation

Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Sybex; 1 edition (January 3, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0470876603
  • ISBN-13: 978-0470876602
  • Product Dimensions: 9.9 x 7.9 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (41 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #40,123 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than other similar books April 25, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I've read several books on filmmaking (with a dSLR emphasis), and I think this is the best of the bunch. Very thorough, it's a fairly dense book, but there's a lot in there. It covers pretty much everything except writing the script (okay, and working with actors, etc; this book is about the shooting). It covers gear quite well, including audio and related equipment. Lighting, color correction, data management, lenses, postprocessing: all get more than adequate coverage. This would make a pretty good "all-in-one" book for someone new to shooting video with a dSLR, regardless of the size of the project (though if you just want home movies, and don't need a "professional" look, this book is probably overkill, just shoot it and be happy).

Comparison with other books:

DSLR Cinema: Crafting the Film Look with Video. While I don't have the second edition, the first edition I have is very similar to Andersson and Geyen's book. But A&G's has more to it. More thorough overall in what's in there. There are a few things in Lancaster's that aren't covered in this one, but not much.

Photocine: Digital Filmmaking with DSLRs tries to be similar, but does a pretty lousy job. It's not terrible, but it's small and weak. Covers much less than either of the two already mentioned. Skip it.

Video Shooter, Second Edition: Storytelling with HD Cameras is different. It focuses on the story, not the technical details of the shooting. Would be a decent companion to this one.
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Finally a good DSLR book. March 9, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
This is a more straightforward and less concept-driven book than many similar titles (e.g. The DV Rebel's Handbook), while being vastly superior to the first crop of DSLR "handbooks" that hit the shelves over the past 18-24 mos. While it centers on DSLR workflows and technology, it also covers a lot of the usual beginners information on basic lighting, sound, and camerawork that can be found elsewhere. This material is of good quality, with a lot of links to Websites, ideas for lenses, etc. Just take it with a grain of salt; these guys are gearheads and do homework on your own (say, before even thinking about throwing down for Zeiss or Leica Primes which are WAY beyond the needs of someone who would be reading a guide such as this).

I think the book earns its keep in that it includes just enough technology-specific information to justify its publication and usage as yet another introductory filmmaking text. However, the equipment is changing very rapidly and as such it can't help but be a little less than a "handbook"; obviously the new Nikon D800 is not covered nor are many of the changing software suites. You'll have to constantly supplement with a lot of online material. But all in all, a good book that will give you a solid foundation on how to proceed with your DSLR project.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pro-Am Photographer/Videographer October 26, 2012
By mark
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
- The book is well written
- Easy to understand
- Covers most of the issues concerning videography with a DSLR as well as other Cameras
- Pricey, but if you want quality work, this is a great reference book
- Probably goes into a lot more detail than the average person wants, but true film makers are highly detailed people
- This book is definitely NOT for the person who just want to shoot home videos of the family
- I believe this book is better suited for someone who actually plans to make serious videos/films or who plans to make money such as with weddings, corporate clients, parties, ect.

Note: I have multiple books on photography and videography. Authors of these books have camera preferences. No one starting out usually has the money to buy the top of the line Canon and the top of the line Nikon, ect. I shoot with a Canon Rebel 650D T4i and I can learn (and have learned) from and author that shoots with a Nikon D300. I get no impression from this book that this is a Canon Ad. This book would be 2000 pages if every major camera was addressed.

Note 2: Yes...This book is for semi-pros (person who is trying to get into the business) and pros. This is not geared towards the novice. The book is 416 pages. Usually books this size are serious books. That alone should send up a Red Flag that this might be a little intense. I hope this helps you make a more informed decision alone with these other informing reviews. Good Luck!
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Perfect Book! March 5, 2012
Format:Paperback|Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
I have been in production on a documentary for the past four months and I wish I had seen this book before I started. It is a perfect overview on how to use a DSLR camera as a filmmaking tool. From lenses to audio to lighting to camera support, the authors cover the basics with discussions of gear choices, technical options, aesthetic considerations and more. Reading this book is like having a conversation with a really knowledgable filmmaker and having all of your questions (no matter how dumb) answered. Before I started buying gear and making technical and aesthetic choices I did an ton of research on the internet - I spent several months literally working fulltime trying to get up-to-speed on everything I needed to know regarding all of the technological changes that have occurred in the last few years and how those changes would affect my filmmaking process. This book covered almost everything I studied - if I had had this book I could have shaved my research time down from months to weeks.

If you are at all interested in DSLR filmmaking you should definitely consider keeping this book within arms reach!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Terrific book for novice or semi-pro
Very thorough, well written. I use a Canon 5D Mark III and have been shooting video a long time as a semi-pro. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Torry Norling
5.0 out of 5 stars DSLR Filmaker Handbook
This book will help me understand the Canon EOS Rebel T3i camera. i sure it will be very helpful to me, as I walk out of the age of DV tapes into a new world of Memory Cards.
Published 2 months ago by Arthur Coleman
5.0 out of 5 stars Great DSLR book
Everything that I have been looking for in DSLR world, lens, sensors etc... is clearly explained in detail in this book.
Published 2 months ago by Rohan Scarr
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredibly useful book for newbies.
Not sure if it's outdated by now. But the essentials and more are all in here. I'm still referring to this book once in a while.
Published 3 months ago by Noel Rodrigues
5.0 out of 5 stars Useful
I began to study film at school and was pretty clueless on basically everything about DSLRs. A class required this as a textbook/reference guide and it has helped me through a... Read more
Published 4 months ago by Custard Dumpling
4.0 out of 5 stars Informative
This book is very informative and will give a starting filmmaker a good starting point of the technical know how of how things work.
Published 5 months ago by Mika
3.0 out of 5 stars University film production professor disappointed!
I am a university professor who has 30+ years experience teaching film production. For three semesters now, I have been teaching an introductory film production course with DSLR... Read more
Published 6 months ago by R William Rowley
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as it should be
The main weakness I have noticed is very poor technical photographic notes. It seems to be an combination of lack of knowledge and poor technical proofreading. Read more
Published 7 months ago by S. Schrecker
5.0 out of 5 stars really delivers on the promise
This is a keeper, it's thorough without being boring. Chapters are clearly separated tematically and can be tackled independently, which makes reading it easier.
Published 8 months ago by Gabriel Lopez
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book!
Although this book is geared to Canon users, I found the info very informative! I shoot with a Nikon D5100, and most of it made sense. I would recommend this book!
Published 11 months ago by Robert P. Walsh
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