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Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎06-22-2021

Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps

The Canon M50 is my 1st camera ever. I want to record a video. I want to first record a person talking about their art (head and torso) and then I want to zoom in on that person's hands making their art so their art and their hands are then the focus of that video. I then want to zoom back out from their hands to their face and torso. I have the camera set to Movie record mode.

 

How can I make this zoom in and out and avoid making the video look awkward?

 

Do I first rotate the lens with my left hand to focuis on trhe artis hands and then press the shutter button all the way down hearing that zooming in and out and then press the Record (red) button?

 

This is not covered in the M50 instructional DVD nor YouTube videos which just talk about Settings, they never show you the step-by-step of zooming in and then out in movie mode.

 

Thank you.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎05-30-2021

Re: Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps

Hi, and welcome to the wonderful world of flmmaking!

 

First off, I don't know the M50 specifically, but maybe I can give you some general advice -- I don't think the camera makes much difference here.

 

What you're trying to do makes perfect sense. I guess you've seen a million interviews of someone talking about something they do, illustrated with nice smooth interspersed shots of them doing it. It's a great goal to try to pull off the same look.

 

However, the way you're looking to do it is probably going to be an issue. I don't know what you mean by "press the shutter button all the way down"?  Your camera's zoom is worked by the zoom ring on the lens, only.  Maybe you're thinking of focus.

 

But pulling off a shot like that would be really hard, particularly if you want it to look smooth. Tilting the camera, and zooming, and focussing, all at once, and making it look smooth and natural, would be just about impossible.  Even with autofocus, it would be hard to make it look nice.

 

So generally, zooming while the camera is recording is possible, but usually not going to produce good results -- unless you're really going for a live-action news shooting kind of look.  If you're on a tripod -- which I would be for this kind of subject -- mostly you don't want to touch the camera while it's recording, unless you need to rack focus.

 

What most filmmakers would do in practice is shoot the entire interview in one shot, then re-set the camera and shoot the hands/work/etc. Then in the edit, cut the two together. I guess that's more work than you were thinking of, but if you want that smooth professional look, that's how it's done.

 

And maybe you weren't planning on editing. I completely sympathise -- editing is an abominable time-sink. But if you want smooth pro-looking results, it's definitely the way to go. Even a little bit of editing will improve the result massively.

 

To go completely pro, you would shoot a lot more shots than that -- multiple interview setups, multiple work setups, and LOTS of B-roll. But you can work up to that.

 

OK, maybe all that splurge is more than you were looking for -- but I hope it gives you some ideas.

 

Good luck!

 

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎06-22-2021

Re: Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps

The camera will be on a tripod and I have tight myself DaVincii.

 

Is the only wayt to zoom in on the hands is to rotate the 50mm lens in?

 

That doesn't get a tight shot.

 

Is it better to use the Zoom Lens (long lens) which came with the camera?

 

Thank you.

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 737
Registered: ‎02-23-2020

Re: Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps

Are you using a prime 50mm lens?  If so, there is no zoom; it's a fixed focal length.  To "zoom" in, you'd have to physically move the camera closer to the subject.

--
Ricky

EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L, 600EX-RT (x6), ST-E3-RT
EOS C70, RF 24-70 f/2.8L IS
Reputable Contributor
Posts: 988
Registered: ‎12-24-2013

Re: Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps

[ Edited ]

@newbie2021 wrote:

The camera will be on a tripod and I have tight myself DaVincii.

 

Is the only wayt to zoom in on the hands is to rotate the 50mm lens in?

 

That doesn't get a tight shot.

 

Is it better to use the Zoom Lens (long lens) which came with the camera?

 

Thank you.


You can not optical zoom with a fixed focal length, 50mm lens. Unlike cell phone cameras,  there is no digital zoom available while shooting video. 

Yes, your best bet is to use a zoom len like an 18-55 or 55-250.

Mike Sowsun
80D, 5D Mk III
Respected Contributor
Posts: 1,539
Registered: ‎01-25-2018

Re: Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps

I believe the M50 has 4K video capability so if you are planning for the final output to be in HD then you can do a bit of "zooming" by cropping a HD window from the 4k video during post for what you want but it likely won't be as much of a zoom/crop as you want. 

 

Also realize that editing 4K video is very computer intensive.  i have a high performance HP Z series workstation with dual very fast Xeon multicore processors, a huge amount of memory, fast solid state drives plugged into the CPU high speed bus, and dual Nvidia workstation video cards and 4K work is still noticeably slower than working with a data stream originally captured in HD.  It could be painfully slow on a minimally equipped computer.

 

Rodger

EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video
Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎06-22-2021

Re: Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps

Thanks all!

 

I'll probably do the 2 shots - one  from afar and then move the camra on the tripod close for the "hands" shot.

 

I'm not sure if I used the other zoom lens what that might look like from a father away torsos shot.?

 

I'm tryingg to keep editing in DR to a minimum as we're not making a feature film but a short 15 minute video.

 

Thank you again.

Frequent Contributor
Posts: 25
Registered: ‎05-30-2021

Re: Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps

The lens that usually comes with that camera is a 15-45 mm zoom, which is what I was assuming you would be using.  And it should be a good choice for what you're doing; at the 45mm end, it should work well for a head and shoulders shot.  If you also have a 50mm prime, that would be good too, for the tight shots at least.

 

For shooting the person, having the camera about 6-10 feet (2-3 metres) away from them will generally give you a natural look.  Getting very close will make them look goofy.

 

As for what kind of view the lenses will give you, the only way is to try it.  The 15-45 will give you a good idea; just go and shoot people, things, etc., from various distances, at various zooms, to get a feel for what it can do.

Reputable Contributor
Posts: 723
Registered: ‎02-13-2016

Re: Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps


@newbie2021 wrote:

 

I'm tryingg to keep editing in DR to a minimum as we're not making a feature film but a short 15 minute video.

 

Thank you again.


For doing this with a single camera, I think I'd try shooting the interview in it's entirety first. After that, go back and shoot a tighter sequence or two of the "hands on" part of the work. Shoot only from a tripod and avoid touching the camera or making any mid-stream adjustments.

 

In editing, start with your interview video. Then, where appropriate, overlay a segment or two (or more) of the hands-on video. Use a dissolve effect or a fade-in & fade-out effect at the beginning and end of each of the overlaid video clips. You'll probably want to mute the audio of the overlays as well, or at least reduce the audio level and/or fade the the audio in and out.

Occasional Contributor
Posts: 7
Registered: ‎06-22-2021

Re: Video Recording by zooming in on a subject - How to steps

Excellent ideas! Thnak you so much!!

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