DSLR video making: the professional workflow and methods
4.3 (25 ratings)
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DSLR video making: the professional workflow and methods

A basic course to get the most out of your equipment (DSLR or other cameras), with professional results!
4.3 (25 ratings)
Instead of using a simple lifetime average, Udemy calculates a course's star rating by considering a number of different factors such as the number of ratings, the age of ratings, and the likelihood of fraudulent ratings.
840 students enrolled
Created by Andrea Conigli
Last updated 11/2015
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Current price: $10 Original price: $20 Discount: 50% off
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  • 3 hours on-demand video
  • Full lifetime access
  • Access on mobile and TV
  • Certificate of Completion
What Will I Learn?
  • Master a professional workflow for DSLR-based video productions
  • Confidently light a scene for the most common scenarios
  • Proficiently handle a DSLR with a solid understanding of the effect of the several parameters, both for video and for photos.
  • Confidently choose the shots, capture great video and audio on the set
  • Edit the contents with a knowledge of the video grammar rules and best practices
  • Apply adjustments and fixes to video and audio in post-production
View Curriculum
  • A video-enabled DSLR (Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera), or a video-capable Digital camera, or a camcorder. DSLR users will benefit the most, being able to apply 100% of what it is taught in the course. Other cameras may have limitations due to a smaller set of features that they expose. A small amount of time is devoted particularly to Canon DSLR and the optional Magic Lantern software.
  • Optionally, a video editing software (for the video editing part only). A more professional piece of software is strongly advised (for example Final Cut Pro). Imovie or Windows Movie maker are not really fully applicable to the section about Editing and post-production

Learn how to professionally shoot, edit, and process DSLR video footage. Starting from the basic concepts, and applying effective and recognized techniques to real-life examples, you will eventually master the key aspects of professional filmmaking.

Become familiar with a solid production workflow (for DSLR, but also other cameras) in order to get better results, quicker.

  • Planning the shots and lighting the scene
  • Framing the shots and setting the camera
  • Capturing top notch audio
  • A structured approach in your editing software (Final Cut Pro is used as an example)
  • Advanced techniques for fixing problems in audio and video
  • Exporting to most accepted formats

Real-life examples show you how to behave with confidence in the most typical situations.

Step-to-step guides on how to handle situations like: 1-a video message; 2-an interview; showing conceptual diagrams and outcome of the actual footage. Specific hints on what hardware to use, for a whole range of budget availability. But also universal principles and techniques, to be applied to any scenario you can encounter.

Discover the best practices of all tasks of the filmmaking business from an experienced professional.

  • controlling the depth of field
  • the rule of thirds
  • the 30 degree rule
  • three-point lighting
  • basics of the video narration grammar
  • coping with the limitations of given shooting environments
  • elegant use of post production tools
  • special tools for Canon users (Magic Lantern)

Contents and Overview

This course is suitable for both beginner and amateur shooters. You will go through the basic principles of photography, become fully familiar with the concepts of exposure, focus, and depth of field, understanding how these are all intimately correlated.

The course will then teach you how to capture crisp and clean audio, showing the do's and don't's, how to optimize the use of your equipment, therefore maximizing your investment.

Then you will learn how to achieve a real professional lighting, especially for situations like video messages and interviews, but with the same concepts also applicable to all situations. Then the most common techniques for framing, planning the shots will be presented, as well as the most used types of hardware to handle your camera.

Then the post-production: editing, adjusting audio and video problems, building a solid narration with meaningful cuts, transitions and effects, according to the standard of the professional filmmaking guidelines.

Each section contains theoretical explanation, as well as practical applications of the concepts, and real-life scenarios. Even the techniques adopted for producing this course itself are eventually shown and explained.

Special attention is given to Canon DSLRs users, and Final Cut Pro is used as an example of editing software, but all the concepts exposed are applicable and made general for all users and equipment.

Who is the target audience?
  • This course is best suited to beginners or amateur shooters who want to quickly get on the right track and boost the value of their video product to professional levels.
  • The course does not provide in depth training on a specific software or piece of equipment. The concepts are generalized to all cameras and all editing softwares. Anyway Canon DSLR and Final Cut Pro are used as example platforms, so students with this equipment will find it particularly suited to their case.
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Curriculum For This Course
38 Lectures
5 Lectures 13:55

This course does not require particular skills, just an open mind and willingness to learn concepts that are not only useful when shooting video, but also photography in general. Your photography skills will also benefit a lot from this!

Preview 02:00

Using DSLR to shoot video opens up a world of possibilities and very rewarding results. On the other hand, it does require you to understand a bit deeper what you are doing in order to deliver the best.

Why DSLR for video?

The course is tailored for DSLR users, but the concepts really apply to any camera or camcorder. With DSLR, the effects of the described techniques will be probably more evident and more accessible. But the concepts are general and not bound to a specific device.

Other cameras and camcorders

If you intend to shoot your videos using a smartphone, you can definitely still benefit from this course, even though not in all aspects. Smartphones don't allow you full control on your image, but in most condition they would still give you usable footage.


Magic Lantern is a great addition for all Canon users: a free firmware upgrade (not endorsed by Canon, though) that widens the range of possibilities for even more professional and advanced use of your DSLR.

Canon DSLRs and Magic Lantern
Video: Basic concepts
7 Lectures 27:27

Let's tackle the concept of video from its foundations. Understanding exactly how video is made, starting from a sequence of still images, will immensely help when setting your camera for getting exactly the results you are after.

What is video?

Different cameras deliver different results, mainly because of sensor size differences. Let's see how this important parameter affects your image and how this can be a decisional criteria when choosing your equipment.

Sensor sizes (and camera sizes)

Here we start discussing some of the most important technical aspects of getting the right image, learning how to master these concepts in order to achieve the professional results we are after.

Focus and Depth of field

How do different lenses and focal lengths perform on different cameras? What is the difference between a fixed focal length and a zoom lens? Isn't it better to have a lens that covers a big range of focals?

Lens and focal length

Getting the right exposure: one of the most critical aspects of a good image. Here we learn how to evaluate a good exposure, and what are the three parameters (ISO, Aperture, Shutter speed) that have an impact on the exposure, and what other effects they have on our image.


The specific case of a Canon DSLR: how you operate the exposure parameters in real time.

Preview 02:20

The concept of white balance and light colour temperature. We always want our whites to be white. Unless we are looking for some creative solutions...

White balance
Audio: Basic concepts
6 Lectures 15:35

Some background information on the basic concepts of audio, in order to better understand the tips and tricks of being able to achieve a professional sounding audio recording.

What is audio?

Audio is the field where Canon users can find some really concrete benefit from using Magic Lantern. Let's see why in this lecture.

Canon DSLR - Magic Lantern a must!

Audio is always captured by a microphone. But which should we use? And how to use it? let's go through the basic principles of use of microphones in order to get the best audio recording possible.

Microphones and their use

It is really a shame when a good recording is plagued by audio noise problems. Let's see here how to avoid these inconveniences and what can be done to repair it.

Background noise and reverb

Advanced users may want to use wireless microphones. But what are the pros and gotchas of these devices? And are they really for everybody and all situations?

Wireless mics

Let's see here an example showing that, even using the same equipment, resulting audio recording can be substantially different in quality, just applying all the suggestions and techniques described in this section of the course.

Preview 02:08
7 Lectures 30:07

Let's have a look at the most popular lights available on the market, also seeing what the cheaper options could be. We'll learn the basic differences and concepts.

Types of lights

We first explain and show what 'hard' and 'soft' light means, and which light deliver which type of light. Depending on the situation, we may want a 'harder' or 'softer' light source. Even a hard light unit can be 'converted' in a soft one, using modifiers.

Modifying the light: Hard and soft

Every light source has a colour temperature and we need to be aware of it in order to have a good white balance of our image. In some cases we need to modify the colour temperature of our light sources for practical or creative reasons.

Modifying the light: color temperature and gels

A practical demonstration on how coloured gels can be used to compensate and match for an environmental light source that you can't change.

Preview 02:42

In this lecture we analyze in a very detailed way how to build up a professional lighting set for two very common and useful situations: the video message and the interview. Following these basic principles is the starting point to be able to light up any scene and make it look very good.

Lighting principles: video message and interview

Here we implement and show the result of an interview setup following the principles described above. Comparing with the same shot, but without dedicated lighting, we understand the need of good lighting techniques in order to produce professional looking products.
Sample case: lighting for an interview

The lighting principles described above still appy, with some modifications, to other situations. Here we see a couple of real-world scenarios where these principles where applied and we explain how and why.

LIghting principles: other situations
4 Lectures 17:23

Framing a good shot is about a feeling for image balance and experience. The 'rule of the thirds' helps us in this task. There are also other 'rules' that have no value whatsoever. This lecture gives an overview on the topic.

Framing your shot

Before starting to shoot, it is important to have clear what the shooting points of view will be and what the impact will be on the edited product. One very important rule is called the '30 degree rule' and helps defining how to place your camera angles on a set. Theory and application are shown in this lecture.

Choosing the shots - the 30 deg. rule

An overview on several ways on how to hold a camera: handheld, tripods, sticks, shoulder mounts

Tripods and stabilizers

A quick overview on some extra production tools that would raise your production values, but also would require a higher level of commitment and resources: tele-prompters, sliders, cranes, and drones.

Fancy gear
7 Lectures 58:12

After going through the available softwares on the market, we show how, using Final Cut Pro as a sample editing platform, you should set up your projects for a successful post production phase of your video projects.

Choosing the software and setting up your project

Putting together a video edit should always take into consideration some basic rules, called the 'grammar' of video editing, that eventually will give the idea or a more professional production.

The basic principles of video editing

Your shots did not come out perfect out of the camera? Let's see what can be done in post production to save the day!

Preview 12:13

The final adjustments you can perform on your audio in post production to maximize the value of what you shot on the set/location. Let's see how to adjust volume, and to reduce a frequency-limited noise and white noise. What can and what can't be done.

Fixing and adjusting Audio

Some basic overview on the video effects and how to apply them to your videos. A step-by-step procedure illustrates how to achieve a great green screen chroma key.

Effects and green screen chroma key

How to add titles, some basic animation principles and some basic concepts on which transitions to use and when.

Titles, motion and transitions

The publishing step is the last one in a video production workflow, but it is very important, because it is where you create your deliverable, that eventually will be your presentation to the outer world. See how to optimize the time and do the best choices.

Exporting formats
2 Lectures 05:41

A big THANKS for attending this course and a hope to keep in touch with you guys!

A final word

After all this it is fair that you know exactly how I technically put this course together, and maybe you already guessed what kind of equipment and workflow it takes. Anybody can do this!

How this course was made
About the Instructor
Andrea Conigli
4.3 Average rating
25 Reviews
840 Students
1 Course
Filmmaker and video trainer

A Filmmaker with a technical background, who produces and directs documentary products, educational and promotional videos. An extensive experience in all stages of professional video production, with a number of different cameras, technologies, lighting equipment, editing platforms, and productions contexts. Besides making videos, he's now also involved in training people on basic and advanced concepts of professional video production workflows, camera operations, lighting and editing.