Help! What Kind of Camera and Lighting Set up Could Produce This HQ Youtube Vid?

Discussion in 'Digital Video' started by VideoNewbie, Aug 1, 2012.

  1. VideoNewbie macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2009
  2. Surfin10 macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2012
    United States
    Uh, it doesn't look like any special...
    If you're talking about how the background is blurred - That's a matter of the Depth of Field (DoF). His camera has manual settings so he can focus only on his face. This can be achieved by any 'nicer' quality camera that you can change the settings on - A camera phone or pocket camera won't do this.
    As for the lightning, I feel as though he has a couple lights that are throwing the white balance off (he has a yellowish tint on his right shoulder). It was most likely just a house lamp. The sound seems like its coming directly from the cam.

    You can achieve very professional looking footage with pretty cheap equipment, but you would have to know how to produce it first. Buying expensive equipment without knowing the basics will get you the same quality as your phone.

    As for the specific equipment he's using... it could be anywhere from a $200 HD cam to the $8000 Canon XF305.
  3. VideoNewbie thread starter macrumors 6502

    Feb 6, 2009

    so ur saying a video like this can be done just with a nice hd cam and simple lighting?

    what "Basics" would u need to know to make a vid like this
  4. Surfin10 macrumors member

    Jul 13, 2012
    United States
    Yes, that's what I'm saying. Give this article a read...

    It does a good job explaining what does what in video and how to reproduce it. If you want examples, try a YouTube search on how to produce professional looking videos.
    If this is something you are truly interested in, I would recommended taking some classes online or at a university - As there is no magic "make it look like a professional" button, unless you count instagram. :rolleyes:

    Sorry if this wasn't the answer you were looking for... But it's pretty much the same as asking how a car engine works - Gas goes in, explodes, and produces energy to roll your car. But in reality, it's much, much more complicated than that.
  5. d4rkc4sm macrumors 6502


    Apr 23, 2011
    ugh, lighting makes a big difference, but he's probably using a canon 5d mk2 and a 35mm or 50mm f1.4 lense. its the lens thats making it so shallow looking. plus some color grading to crush the blacks and sharpen the footage.
  6. ppc_michael Guest


    Apr 26, 2005
    Los Angeles, CA
    I think the lighting is actually pretty terrible. The weird yellow doesn't mesh well with his weirdly pink face, the wall behind him is blown out and the shadows are crushed. If he toned down that backlight and flagged it off so it wasn't hitting the wall, I think that would already be a huge improvement.

    For a really solid starting point, Google "three point lighting." It will give you a nice look that you can play around with from there.
  7. LethalWolfe macrumors G3


    Jan 11, 2002
    Los Angeles
    Lowel, a company that makes lighting equipment, has a good "education" section that covers basic lighting setups and gear.

    Even if you can't afford to buy all the 'proper' parts this will give you an idea of what is used and why it's used so pulling off a DIY knock-off should be doable.

  8. heyimandy macrumors member

    Jun 12, 2012
    Toronto, ON
    There's definitely a hot light source coming from his right our left. Looks a little to hot. This is a pretty basic setup though. Great advice from the posters above, but I'd also like to mention watch your white balance. He looks like big bird (yellowy).
  9. zombiecakes, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

    zombiecakes macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2012
    I would bet its just a DSLR with a cheap 50mm 1.8 and then some regular lamp. Theres no way hes using a normal video camera, its got to be DSLR as thats the cheapest way to get a good lens for video and his setup isnt high-budget.

    You could do that with a $475 Canon T3 and a $100 50mm 1.8 lens. Since he uploaded his video in 720p it might be the low end since the T2 and T3 only do 720p, if he had a better camera I imagine he would have uploaded 1080.

    DSLRs are probably the most popular choice for videos like these, due to the lens selection they blow away pretty much every camcorder on the market in that price range, but they just arent ideal for moving around because they have poor image stabilization and autofocus (they make things like this for smooth manual focus and stabilization Also anyone serious about their production needs to take pictures, so a DSLR is dual purpose which saves them money. Youd be surprised how many shows and even movies are shot entirely with DSLRs, the Olympic motorized cameras are Nikon DSLRs as well.
  10. rick3000 macrumors 6502a


    May 6, 2008
    West Coast
    It's so yellow! The trademark of non-pro lights. I agree with what has been said, eye light from right to left, some fill left to right, and a sunny window behind him. And he is stopped down below f2. You could light this on a sunny day with good windows and a few table lamps.

    This is a good example of how you can make something look good (to most people) with minimal equipment if you know what you are doing. I don't find it that impressive, but it's certainly better than most YouTube videos.
  11. refison, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

    refison macrumors newbie

    Aug 2, 2012
    There is basically no light kits used in that video.

    He's sitting right in front of a window. Depending on time of day and/or curtain type used, you can get the best soft lighting by just opening your window curtains/blinds, and the camera is white balanced to the daylight at around 5600K-6500k. The camera used is a DSLR, lens used is probably a typical zoom kit lens included with the DSLR and shot at around 50mm as some have pointed out. The nasty yellow tint on his right face is a desk lamp right up on the wall behind him, hence the nasty blown out corner on the left screen. The camera is balanced at probably 5600K therefore making typical household lamps (balanced between 2900K-3200K) look extra fugly in yellow.

    There you go, he's got no light kit and a DSLR + kit lens. If you're still interested in light kits there are options depending on who/where you ask, and prices can go around $3K-$4k for a professional kit offered by Kino Flo or Arri.

    Also, most DSLRs have amazing sensors nowadays that you don't have to get F1.2 or 1.4 lenses, 2.8-4.0 will work just as well for what you're doing and save a ton of money. Since the sensitivity is great you're also saving money on requiring less light needed for a shoot. Hell, you can make a professional looking Video Blog for about $800.

    I know most people will say Canon 5D Mark II/III, but it's like buying a Porsche to go to the 99c market for what you're doing...

    Here you go:

    Camera: Canon EOS T3i with kit lens = $650-$700 (probably have rebates too)
    Light kit: Three of these chinese made LED knock offs of the LightPanels brand @ $34 each X 3 = $102

    You can skip the stands, they're light enough to clip or tape to something and they're LED so they don't produce noticeable heat. They output daylight balanced light (your mileage may vary with the color temp shifting over extended use in a year's time or so, but they are knock-offs and $34 after all), they also come with CTO filters so you can match the "ugly yellow" lights in your home if that's what you have. It won't look "ugly yellow" if you've balanced all your lights to as close of a temperature as possible with the camera.

    So now you've got a cinema style camera with that shallow depth of field and a three point light kit with filters to match your surrounding as best as a $34 light can offer.

    You may also want to skip any poor man's light kit that plug into the wall when doing video such as the compact flourescent lamp varieties. You'll experience nasty hums and various other frequencies in your audio recording. All DSLR on board audio is pathetic to begin with, don't add problems to the equation. And lastly, composition is key. Millions of dollars on lights and cameras won't do any good if your composition stinks.
  12. zombiecakes, Aug 2, 2012
    Last edited: Aug 2, 2012

    zombiecakes macrumors regular

    Jul 11, 2012
    It looks too sharp for a kit lens and at that focal length it would be limited to f5.6 which wouldnt create that much blur at that range. 50mm 1.8's are cheap and the most popular extra lens so I would bet its that, they are also extremely sharp compared to the kit lens. And if you look at his shoulders they are out of focus, so it is probably wide open at 1.8 to get only a few inches worth of focus.
  13. ctyhntr macrumors 6502


    Jul 21, 2010
    I'm new at this, so what are the telltale signs that it was filmed using 35mm (Canon 5D), and not APS (Canon t3i), since both cameras take the same lenses.
  14. JasonA macrumors member

    Feb 18, 2009
    35mm will give you a wider field of view than a crop-sensor APS camera. You can't really tell from watching the video which was used, but the difference between the two when shooting is that you would have to get the camera further away from the subject when using APS sensor, since it would have a crop factor of 1.5-1.6. In other words, using a 50mm lens, for example, really gives the same field of view as ~80m lens (50 x 1.6).

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