Canon PowerShot G12, Shooting Video

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To get started, turn the Mode dial to the Movie shooting position. Much like shooting still photos in Auto mode, the camera attempts to make adjustments automatically before starting to record video. Some aspects, such as manual focus, Macro mode, and to a limited extent, exposure, can be adjusted before you start recording. Just don’t expect to wield the same degree of control over video that you enjoy over still photos.

Capturing Video

The G12 takes a no-frills approach when actually recording video.
Figure 11.1 The G12 takes a no-frills approach when actually recording video.
  1. To focus on something, position it in the middle of the frame and press the shutter button halfway
  2. Once your subject is in focus, fully press the shutter button to begin recording. A red  Rec indicator appears to let you know you’re recording live, along with a count of the time elapsed (Figure 11.1).
  3. To stop the video recording, press the shutter button a second time.

The default shooting mode is Standard; you can also choose Miniature Effect (which not only blurs the edges of the frame, but also speeds up playback), Color Accent, or Color Swap mode by turning the Control dial. I prefer to keep the original video and make any color changes later in computer software such as iMovie (Mac) or Windows Movie Maker (Windows).

Video quality

Here’s some easy advice: Leave the video quality set to the default 1280 x 720. That HD resolution is also known as 720p, and is a major improvement over previous G-series PowerShot cameras. It also records at 24 frames per second (fps), the same projection rate as movies in theaters.

The camera is also capable of shooting video with the dimensions of 640 x 480 or 320 x 240; both sizes record at 30 fps (in NTSC format, used in the Americas and many Asian countries) or 25 fps (in PAL format, used mostly in Europe). However, I can think of only two reasons to do that: If a standard-definition TV is the only device on which you’ll view the footage, or if you want to double the amount of video you can save to the memory card. Cards are getting cheaper every month, so I prefer to buy a new higher-capacity card than give up that much resolution. If you want to see the difference between the two, follow these steps to change the quality.

Setting the Movie Quality

  1. Turn the Mode dial to the Movie shooting position if it’s not already set.
  2. Press the Function/Set button to bring up the shooting options.
  3. Press the Up or Down button to highlight the video quality setting at the bottom of the column.
  4. Use the Control dial to select the desired movie resolution (1280, 640, or 320) and press the Set button again to return to Movie mode.

Memory Cards for Shooting Video

For the best performance when capturing video, buy SDHC cards that are rated Class 4 or higher. They can transfer data faster and come in larger capacities (which is good for shooting stills, too). According to Canon, a 4 GB card will hold approximately 25 minutes of HD video, whereas a 16 GB card will hold about 1 hour 43 minutes’ worth. The 4 GB capacity is important to remember, because the G12 will stop recording automatically once the clip nears that limit; you’d need to start recording a new clip to continue.

Audio

Audio
Audio

The audio captured while shooting video is recorded in stereo using two microphones to the right and left of the hot shoe. And that’s about it. There’s no option to connect an external, directional microphone to the G12 to record better-quality sound. As a result, expect to hear more of what’s closest to the camera (you, and the camera’s controls) instead of the action happening in front of the lens.

The G12 does offer one audio-specific setting: Wind Filter. When it’s enabled, the camera dampens background noise. Press the Menu button and enable or disable the option in the Shooting menu.