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What Settings to Use When Shooting Video with a 5D MK III?

Published: 11/01/2018
By: larry

Quentin in Virginia says:

Recently I upgraded to a 5D Mark III from a 1D Mark II. Quite a leap. I’ve invested in a Ronin M and have shot several video tours. I am having a lot of trouble with consistency though. I’ve had to reshoot a couple jobs because they came out too soft or completely out of focus. Is there a good resource or person you know of that shoots tours with a Canon DSLR? I’d love to get some info specific to shooting real estate and the ideal settings.

A great place to start is to go to YouTube.com and search for "Canon 5D MK III video focus." You'll find a lot of good tutorials on shooting video with the 5D MK III. One of those videos is the one above.

A good class on shooting real estate video is Grant Johnston's Learn to Shoot Real Estate Video class.

Another alternative would be if there is someone who is willing to coach Quentin one on one with his real estate video shooting. If you leave your contact information in a comment, I'll make sure Quentin gets it.

5 comments on “What Settings to Use When Shooting Video with a 5D MK III?”

  1. You didn't mention wha lens you were using.

    The wider the lens the deeper (more area) depth of field you will have. I have shot with a 14mm and 17mm at f4 with perfectly acceptable results. In fact I hate shooting anything narrower than 5.6 becuase sensor dust is impossible to see in the field and is minimized when shooting wider apertures. Just focus 6-8 feet in front of the camera or at 2/3rds the depth of the room if its a larger space and everything should be well within acceptable range. If you are using a 24-50mm+ lens you will need to manually focus every single take precisely there is much less room for error as longer focal lengths on Full Frame cameras have very narrow depth of fields.

    Another tip is to shoot at a faster frame rate. A lot of people are going to tell you to shoot at 24fps at 1/50th of a second for a "true film look". This is a pandoras box of opinions but there is zero argument, a faster frame rate will produce sharper frames when "motion" is introduced, like a walk through gimbal.

    Also if its really cheap lens you can actual add some sharpening in post in Premier and (probaby i dont know for sure) Final Cut.

  2. Practice, practice, practice. It is amazing the different views you can generate of your own home as you apply what you learned on YouTube. Same with the Ronin-M and other accessories as you progress from footage looking like the village drunk on payday Friday, to mildly intoxicated, to actually sober. (HINT - wear good socks and shoot without shoes and a shuffle/gentle step (YouTube demo) to eliminate the bounce with each step.)

  3. I have shot 5dmkIII video for a few years now. Recently switched to GH5, but am going back to Canon. If you can stand an extra 15ish minutes of post processing, you can shoot Magic Lantern RAW video. You will have more control over the files, and I almost always shoot 1/25th at 24fps.

    We are making real estate videos here that will most likely be viewed on a mobile device (or potentially terrible screen), not full cinematic feature films. If you are going for the top of the 1% of homes, maybe a bit of rolling shutter makes a difference here or there, but I have shot 150k - 15M dollar homes with the same settings and haven't heard the first complaint.

    To Michael's point above, I usually shoot on a slider, not a gimbal. You might want to get a faster frame rate for that, but when I use a gimbal, I am generally at the same settings.

    As Larry says, practice, practice, practice. It makes a difference.

    Good luck

    Jed

  4. Michael and Jed - thanks so much for sharing your specific settings. A couple more questions for you both - Do you shoot in shutter/aperture priority or manual? Do you try to avoid going above a certain ISO? Jed, you are correct about most videos being viewed on mobile, and I think what I've delivered to my clients will look fine on mobile devices, but still hoping to improve.

    Larry - I like the socks idea, I don't think I've heard that one before. Good thing I'm usually by myself in the house!

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