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Better Video, Less Equipment

You don’t always need more equipment to capture better video.

For example, this video shows several clips where I used just a video camera and a slider.

A very basic setup… No light controls, no heavy stands and sandbags.

Not even a tripod for this one.

Sometimes you can take a simple approach to shooting video and end up with good results.

Edit: Because several people have asked, here’s the slider I use.

15 thoughts on “Better Video, Less Equipment

  1. Dear Izzy,

    Thanks for you ‘simple video’. I loved it. Good tips and suggestions.
    I have a simple and maybe a little strange question. What is the slider you used. Can you send me a picture. Because you say that for this film you didn’t use a tripod. I only know sliders that are under your tripod.

    Thanks for sharing,


    1. Marc, thanks for the kind words.

      Here’s the dolly I use.

      It can be mounted on tripod legs, but I tend to use it more frequently with the short legs it comes with. That gets it closer to the ground, which I like.

  2. No video panel is shown in the “Better Video, Less Equipment” url I just received.

    1. It’s an embedded YouTube video. Perhaps try a different browser?

  3. Thanks for this Izzy. In almost all of my videos I am camera man, sound engineer and, where appropriate, talking head and usually I’m shooting somewhere I have to walk a long way to get to and am limited in the equipment I can carry. These hints will definitely come in handy.


    1. Les, well I’m glad that it helps.

      And I think many people these days are “one man band” operations. :)

  4. Got it this time. I’m also interested to know the type of slider you use.

  5. Bob, you’ll find a link to the slider in my response to Marc’s comment above. :)

  6. Hi Izzy what kind of slider where you using and was this shot with a video camera or SLR camera to give you the depth of field.
    Great video as always. Harry in Spain

    1. Harry –

      Thanks for the kind words. :)

      I shot the clips with my Panasonic AF100 video camera. Also, I posted a link to the slider in my previous comment responding to Marc. :)

  7. Nice instructional video! What slider are you using and can you recommend a few sliders for the budget filmmaker?

    1. Emanuel, please see my response to Marc above. I provided a link to the slider I use. :)

  8. I so agree Izzy. I use a window when I can, bounce sunlight off a white car or sign or even white building when it’s there, dappled shade from a tree. There are so many “natural” lighting features in place if you just look.

  9. How do you get the person in focus and everything else out of focus – apologies in advance, shows my ignorance (I recently bought a video camera with the ability to do manual settings of aperture, shutter speed, etc – before that I only had an auto camcorder). I have been reading about aperture and that a wide aperture produces a shallow depth of focus but that it also lets in more light. Does that mean you had to shoot at a higher shutter speed?

    1. Peter, it’s a pretty simple process to create a shallow depth of field:

      1) Open the aperture all the way up.
      2) Zoom in as far as your camera will zoom (to increase the focal length)

      Then you will have a blurred background. :)

      When you open the aperture all the way, you’ll need to turn on ND filters (neutral density filters) to compensate for extra light. If you don’t have ND filters, then you’ll probably need to increase the shutter speed, but the motion will look strange because of the increased shutter speed.

      If you’re a member, look them up in the member library: Depth of Field, Shutter Speed, Neutral Density filters, etc. I have videos on all these subjects.

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