DSLR Filmmaking: Video Basics By Mia McCormick

23 min

In this class you will learn about the key camera settings needed for video, how to choose the right lens for capturing motion, the important role your memory card can play, how the pros keep their subjects in focus, and so much more. If you’ve been neglecting the video functions on your DSLR because you haven’t been satisfied with the quality of your footage then this class is for you!

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

Mia introduces the class, discusses what material will be covered, and jumps right into the first topic, resolution.
The frame rate you choose can affect the feel of your video, so it is helpful to understand the different frame rate options.
Choosing the correct shutter speed is based on the frame rate of your video.
There are a variety of factors to consider when choosing a lens for DSLR video.
Like sunglasses for your camera, a neutral density filter is a valuable accessory for letting you shoot with a wide aperture in bright light.
When it comes to video you are going to get better results using manual focus.
Memory card speed and overall capacity are critical for shooting video.
The camera's LCD screen is difficult to see in bright daylight, so having an attachment that shades the sun is incredibly helpful.
The fluid head tripod is a videographers best friend.
A video monopod is different than a monopod is different than a still photography monopod.
Upgrading your microphone is the best thing you can do for improving your audio. Understanding the different types of microphones will help you choose the right one for the situation you are recording.
Profile photo of Mia McCormick

Meet your instructor

Mia McCormick


Mia McCormick works as a resident video technology expert for KelbyOne and B&H Photo. She's a KelbyOne Instructor with courses ranging from basic camera operation to capturing outstanding video on your DSLR. Mia also conducts a series of business and inspirational interviews providing insights from some of the world's leading photog...

Mia's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of James James

    Just watched this Video Basics Course and as a photographer that rarely uses video it was a great intro. The video sparked my interest to learn more. Mia as always was great in front of the camera and should be encouraged to get up out of her chair more often and expand her role as an instructor. Keep up the great work Mia and Kelbyone.

  2. Profile photo of david@davidkpowell.com david@davidkpowell.com

    Will you be conducting an advance class in DSLR Film Making in the future?

    1. Profile photo of Mia McCormick Mia McCormick

      Hi David. We are currently in production for an entire series of classes specifically on DSLR filmmaking. Included will be an advanced class, lighting, post production, stabilization, and much more so stay tuned!

      1. Profile photo of Joe Teceno Joe Teceno

        Great intro video Mia. Is that series ready?

  3. Profile photo of Catherine Martin Catherine Martin

    I loved this course Mia and learned a lot. What lavaliere microphone do you recommend? I have a Nikon D800E and also a D7000. Thanks so much.
    Catherine Martin

    1. Profile photo of Mia McCormick Mia McCormick

      Hi Catherine, if you are plugging in directly to the camera and not looking for something professional then the Polsen OLM-10 is an affordable, easy to use option. It clips right on to your “talent’s” shirt. If you are looking to capture something more professional try a lavalier plugged into an external recorder. Here’s a relatively affordable pair to try : Audio-Technica AT899 and Zoom H4n.

  4. Profile photo of Katie Katie

    Excellent starter course. Love the basics on shutter speeds and frame rates. Super helpful! Mia, you’re the best! Pair this with RC’s course on working with video in Photoshop and you’re good to go!

  5. Profile photo of Doc Chevalier Doc Chevalier

    This class is precisely as advertised. It is for folks new to DSLR video. Having written and taught this topic for a couple of years, kudos to the Kelby One team and to Instructor Mia McCormick for the right amount of information, presented clearly and concisely without the techno babble that can scare off budding videographers. Since we know that over 90% of DSLR owners have NEVER tried the built in video capability of their camera, this is a highly recommended class and should be part of any Getting Started with your DSLR curriculum.

  6. Profile photo of lburke12 lburke12

    great class, only thing I would have liked to have seen was the lavalier mic set up. We heard it but I didn’t see anything connected to the camera or is it picked up separately on some type of audio mixer?

  7. Profile photo of lburke12 lburke12

    or does it work by one receiver connected to camera and as many “mics” transmitters that would be allowed?

    1. Profile photo of Mia McCormick Mia McCormick

      We used a wireless lavalier microphone set up. So Charles was wearing the lav connected to a transmitter in his pocket. The wire was run under his shirt to hide it. That sends a wireless signal to the receiver. The receiver is mounted on the 5D with an accessory shoe and it comes with a cable that plugs into the camera’s mic port.

  8. Profile photo of pmsswim pmsswim

    really a wonderful introduction to DSLR video. Ms. McCormick has excellent presenter skills.
    hopefully, she will continue this course in the future — a more advanced DSLR video course?

  9. Profile photo of SergeAMH SergeAMH

    Well, what can I say? First off, the class was short, concise and absolutely wonderful. Now, why did I watch it? I just finished watching The Grid episode where Scott and RC explained how to do the 5-minute video editing on Photoshop and they mentioned your class, Mia. Thanks to courses taken here at KelbyOne, I now have a great, fun and budding career in photography! Now, video’s next. Thanks for a great course, Mia!

  10. Profile photo of Jack Jack

    Mia: What a wonderful intro to expanding the world of our DSLR’s to include video. I have been reticent to make the plunge until i recently watched Scott on The Grid extolling the virtues of editing within Photoshop. By combining your suggestions for capture and Scott’s for post production I am now preparing to take the plunge. Perhaps with the advanced class you are working on the two of you could combine your talents for the planned lessons?
    By the way, I was most appreciative to your no nonsense style of presentation. You are a true pro. Thank you.

  11. Profile photo of willythezen willythezen

    HI Mia! Very grateful for this video. But i have a question : i have a camera Canon 700D and wish to buy in next days a canon T4i Eos Rebel, wich type of lens do you recommend me? I notice that i wish to capture something very professional. thanks be blessed!

  12. Profile photo of kenshi2008 kenshi2008

    Good introduction. Diffidently watch more video courses.

  13. Profile photo of stephan.oschmann stephan.oschmann

    Hi Mia,

    great class and and very nicely done. I have a couple of questions though.
    I’d like to know, why exactly you’d prefer an STM powered lense and didn’t mention ultrasonic motors.

    And also very important: You mentioned the 7d and its nice auto focus, I think the 7d Mark II has some great focusing options, so it might be worth a lesson to discuss this as this is Canon’s newest and highest priced crop camera with some great new features (especially for shooting videos). Is that something that might be included in future?

    Greetings from Germany,


  14. Profile photo of Dave Trendler Dave Trendler

    Perfect level of detail for beginners. Very helpful. Thank you!

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