Canon PowerShot G12, Video Shooting Tips

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From a technical standpoint, shooting video with the G12 isn’t that much different from capturing stills. The Video mode supports adjustments like white balance settings, the ND (neutral density) filter, and even the Self-Timer feature. Instead, shooting video requires a slightly different mind-set.

Shooting Smooth, not Jerky

My best advice is to take your time and be calm while shooting, as much as possible. If you whip the camera around like a caffeinated toddler, you’ll end up with blurry, nausea-inducing footage. Be deliberate about holding the camera steady and panning slowly and smoothly. Your viewers will thank you.

If possible, set the camera on something when you need to move as you shoot. It’s possible to buy or make rail systems for making smooth dolly moves (a Web search will reveal lots of solutions), but don’t discount anything on wheels you may have at hand (Figure 11.2).

To pan across a scene, I pressed into service one of my daughter’s toy cars.
Figure 11.2 To pan across a scene, I pressed into service one of my daughter’s toy cars.

A Tripod Becomes More Important

In the same spirit as shooting smooth footage, it’s often more important to capture video while the G12 is mounted on a tripod. With video, the motion of the camera is as noticeable as what’s in the frame. A tripod also gives you the opportunity to make sure the camera is level with the horizon. If a tripod isn’t available, I highly recommend bringing up the G12’s Electronic Level on the LCD (press the Display button to view the level, which also makes the grid visible).

Shooting Extra Footage

I’m assuming that you plan to edit your footage later, so here’s another essential tip: Shoot lots of video. Not just of the event happening in front of you, but of what’s going on around it. When my wife and daughter were painting leaves last autumn, I made a point to capture footage of visually appealing things nearby (Figure 11.3). A shot of a lone leaf against the blue sky became a nice place to put a title, for example, and an overhead clip of the leaves and paints provided an establishing shot when segueing between gathering the leaves and painting them. These types of supplemental clips add flavor and texture to your movie.

Shoot plenty of extra video to add visual interest to your movie when editing it.
Figure 11.3 Shoot plenty of extra video to add visual interest to your movie when editing it.