There are a lot of people out here exploiting the video capabilities of their HDSLR/HDSLR-type camera; from people getting their first DSLR/HDSLR to the enthusiasts, to the working photographers, to film and television cameramen. One thing is true no matter which group you fall into: If you are going to go Beyond Stills, you must go beyond the camera.
Yes, the camera is important and it should include the video features that will make your life easier, deliver the image quality you want or need; as well as be within your budget. For some people that means manual mode where they can make the shutter, aperture and ISO decisions; for others it’s continuous autofocus during video capture; for others, it may be a fully automatic mode where they have no creative decisions to make; for still others, the availability of lenses may be a factor. A parent shooting peewee sports is likely to have different view of features which are important than an independent filmmaker.
But truth be told, where video is concerned, it is your technique, your storytelling/theme choice, your purpose, your editing choices, your music selection, your audio quality and your lighting choices, that you really need to consider to successfully go Beyond Stills. You can make compelling video with a $500 HDSLR/Interchangeable Lens— Mirror-less camera or one costing several times that, as long as you remember that your success is tied to a lot more than your camera choice. I do caution people that HDSLR video capture is not as easy or seamless as some camera advertisements might lead one to conclude. If you don’t believe me, try shooting good video footage, hand-held, in low light with a kit lens while partying on the dance floor; or shooting running children and pets on a beach without using some type of stabilizer yourself. But it also does not have to be as equipment-intensive as some users and Web-sites suggest.
Additionally, sometimes the success of a video or movie project may be dependent on other people with specific expertise; video productions— even a small scale one— are often collaborative. If you are coming from a still photography background and are used to controlling every aspect of your shoot, post processing and delivery and doing much of this as a one-person band, you are likely to quickly bump up against the limits of what one person can do when engaging in video production or movie making. You may have to pick the role or roles you want to play and assign the rest to others.
When audiences look at a video or movie, they respond to the story, how well it is put together, the mood, and the audio quality. I suspect few, but very hardcore “camera” persons, walk away asking or wondering what camera was used to shoot the movie or even what editing software was used.
Yes the camera and knowing how to get the best out of it is important; but as discussed, there are several components that you need to consider and address beyond your camera in order to successfully go Beyond Stills.

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