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3 Simple Tips for Recording Long-Form in DSLR Productions

DSLR cameras are aces in video making technology, yet they are not truly meant for recording long-form videos. Generally, for most of the long-form records, you need to either cut-rate camcorders or higher-end options.

However, if you want to use your trusty prosumers (such as Canon 5D or similar production) to record long-form video, then here are 3 basic tricks you can try in DSLR that makes your job done.

  1. Get The Best Out of Recording Aptitude

If you are acquainted with typical DSLRs, you might be aware of the fact that maximum recording ability for the camera is 30 minutes (or 25 minutes and 59 seconds) as mentioned in the respective manual.

But, it is not true actually in a couple of cases. Even though there is a specified max time limit built into the camera, you can do some fine-tuning. Yes, as you turn on the camera and hit the record button, you may notice that the camera can do things differently. Surprisingly, it maxes out the recording around 12 (or less) minutes.

There are few factors like card speed, battery life etc. responsible for this. So, how to maximize the camera recording capabilities then?

Well, to push your camera recording aptitude as much as probable, you can do few things. Basic thing is to reduce the recording quality as much as possible since the video quality plays a major role. This saves a lot in terms of card writing pace, memory, and battery lifetime.

You can also use external add-ons like battery packs, or you can try power the camera directly via an AC adapter. And, no need to mention that you should use the fastest card, along with all these tweaks.

  1. Muddle Through with External Add-Ons

Once the camera capability is maximized with above things (revision in inbuilt software), you can try to enhance it further through external add-on programs. There are various popular paid as well open-source third-party firmware that you can load into the camera’s firmware to gain more capability and control.

Probably, it would be the best way to get higher recording capability and quality in your DSLRs for creating RAW footages.

Caution: Usage of third-party firmware may void warranties in certain cameras. So, cross verify once before using them.

  1. One Camera is Not Enough! Get More

Even after extending the camera’s capabilities with built-in features and external firmware, you may fail to meet the full (expected) and uninterrupted shooting capabilities. If you are seeking ways to shoot a number of hours of continuous footage with DSLR quality, then the best and last option would be to go for more than one camera.

With two solid cameras, you can boost the camera’s capability and shoot extra minutes. While one camera is recording footage, let the other camera to warm up and swap batteries, cards.

Note: Camera cards are the most sensitive piece of storage and you need to handle them carefully. Accessing healthy card on corrupted camera (with broken/damaged firmware) leads to inaccessibility of the card. As a result, you may lose your precious videos stored on the affected card. So, pay heed to the usage of the card in different cameras. Else, you will have to recover videos from SD card, camera card, etc. after encountering unexpected data loss crisis.

Last but not least, the biggest trick while using more than one DSLR for shooting long-form footages is to make a setup where the associated cameras should be enough close to match the footage. It would be even better if you can use two cameras of exact lenses. And, maintain consistency in sensor size, lens length, ISO, and white balance.

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