What to Know about Your Video Camera for an Indie Film

There are many types of video cameras for indie filmmakers. The choices range from consumer level to professional units that can even rival film. To be able to best practice your craft, you have to know your tools through and through. Whichever type of camera you decide to use for your indie film, there are some basic settings and functions that you have to be familiar with.

Light Sensitivity

Even the most basic consumer type of video cameras will have a set of options for different lighting conditions. Go through the modes and find out what is available to you. Some consumer cameras allow for shooting by candlelight, even if you will have to sacrifice your shutter speed. There might also be available modes for high noon sunlight, cloudy conditions and more.

For more professional set-ups, familiarize yourself with the iris settings. You will be able to manipulate the aperture opening to control how much light will register on your image. You might even have the option to change the ISO setting.

White Balance

Most consumer video cameras don’t have manual controls for white balance, but they may offer some options. Some cameras contain presets for tungsten lighting, sunlight source and more. The more professional cameras have manual controls for white balance, which is something you learn to control. This will help you capture colors and light in the most natural way.

Audio Input

This is one of the most important options your camera has to possess, unless you’re planning to shoot a silent film. Some cameras do away with built-in mics and have a microphone output jack instead. Use this to effectively capture audio. You can opt for a lapel mic or a shotgun boom mic. For best results, opt for a camera with a headphone jack. This will help you in monitoring the audio best.