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Research Guides@Tufts

Video Recording Kit

Recording Videos


1. Point lens at subject and adjust your framing.  Looking through the viewfinder activates an internal level for checking if your camera isn't on an angle.

2. Focus on your subject.  Touch your subject on the display to set your focus and then depress the shutter button slightly. To switch from auto focus to manual focus, depress the button near AF/MF and adjust the focus ring on the lens.

3. Adjust settings to get desired exposure.  If possible, set custom white balance using white cards provided.

4. Listen to audio coming through the camera on headphones provided.

5. Depress the red record button to start and stop recording.

6. Press the play button and use the scroll wheel to select and playback your files.  

Recording Strategies

Paying attention to your surroundings, monitoring the volume of your recording and framing are all important factors in recording quality video regardless of device.  Below are some strategies to consider when recording.


Planning your video

Depending on the type of video you are making you may wish to plan out your shots ahead of time.  The template above can be used as a guide for thinking about how the camera will move, what is in the frame and what sounds you need to record.


Types of shots

Consider how far or close your camera will be from the subject and how that impacts your story.   Having a variety of shots will orient your audience to their location in the space.  

Establishing shot                       Wide shot                                 Medium shot                          Close-up

Example of wide shot.  Sky, full exterior of building, and front lawn are visible. Example of a wide shot.  Foreground has flowers and a path. Trees are cropped so only bottom half is visible. Example of medium shot. 3 foot flowers are visible in bloom. Example of close-up.  Flower in bloom.



About Focus

Your camera will come to you set in Auto Focus (AF-C) and your Focus Area will be set to "Flexible Spot: M" meaning you and touch the screen to indicate what area of the frame you want to be in focus. You have the option to use Manual Focus by switching the knob on the side of your lens from AF > MF. 

When in MF mode, one technique you can try to achieve is rack focus. Rack focus is when the focus in the frame switches from one subject to another subject usually from the foreground to the background or vise versa. 


You can utilize the focus ring on the lens (the one located in front of the zoom ring) to adjust your focus area to achieve this effect!

Things to experiment with

  • Allow subjects to walk in or out of focus. This may create a satisfying effect when clarity is restored. Think of it as the filmic equivalent of a minor chord resolving back into the major key.
  • Be strategic with depth of field. Shallow focus is pretty, but it might not fit the tone of your piece. For instance, a two-shot with two characters speaking might not be ideal for this since it might be difficult for both of them to fit within the focus area
  • Use focus as a narrative device. Especially in point of view (POV) shots, something either being in or out of focus might tell us something about the character. For instance, your character might drop their glasses, so you cut to a POV shot looking around out of focus