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Videography Tips with the EOS R5

Harry Pope is a travel photographer and videographer based in Melbourne. Here he shares five tips for shooting professional video with the Canon EOS R5. From camera stabilisation hacks to advice on composition and storage, this is everything you need to know to level up your videography skills.

1. Use a Variety of Different Camera Angles

Once you've planned your shoot locations and the narrative of your video, the next step is to think about the different camera angles you’d like to use. Experiment with as many different types of shots and perspectives as possible to create more emotion in your story. Transition from wide shots to medium shoots and tight shots, and don't forget to include some extreme close up shots to focus on the finer details. Using different perspectives will keep your audience engaged and help your story flow. It will also help you once you get to the editing stage, as you’ll have a multitude of different camera angles to choose from.

2. Stabilise Your Video Footage (Without a Gimbal)

If you're just starting out in videography, you may not have the budget for a gimbal. However, you can still get very smooth video footage using a few simple tricks. Start by making sure you always have a firm grip on both your camera body and lens, and also lock your elbows into the side of your body as you move and pan your camera.

For even more stability, use the good old fashioned "three points of contact" method. Put your camera strap around your neck as your first point of contact and gently pull the camera away from you to increase tension and stability. Your second point of contact is your hands on the camera itself, then lock your elbows into your body as your third point of contact. This method will give you enough stabilisation to keep your video footage smooth and clean.

In addition to these tips, be sure to use a lens with optical image stabilisation (OIS). The Canon EOS R5 has impressive 5 axis in-body-stabilisation, which offers incredibly smooth footage. When paired with a lens that also has stabilisation, your footage will be so smooth that you’d think it was shot on a gimbal.

3. Use the Rule of Thirds

Used by photographers and videographers alike, the “rule of thirds” is a simple but highly effective way to compose professional looking shots. To put it into action, simply position your subject on one of the grid lines on the back of your camera screen or through the viewfinder (you’ll see two vertical and two horizontal lines), or on one of the four intersecting points where the lines cross. Using this method will help you compose your shots more quickly and make your work more aesthetically pleasing.

4. Get Familiar with the EOS R5’s Powerful Video Settings

The Canon EOS R5 is equipped with powerful settings and functionality designed especially for shooting cinematic video footage. For the best footage possible it’s recommended to shoot in full Manual mode, so that you can control all of your camera’s settings. Keep in mind that your shutter speed should be fixed at double your framerate. For example, if you’re shooting in 30 frames per second, your shutter speed should be fixed at 1/60. If you’re shooting in 60 fps, your shutter speed should be fixed at 1/120. This will give your footage the most natural-looking motion and motion blur.

Your aperture (or f-stop) can be used to control the amount of light that enters your camera, but can also be used to alter the depth-of-field in your shots. If you'd like to achieve a shallow depth of field with a nice blurry background, try shooting with an aperture somewhere between f/2.8 and f/4. This will help ensure your subject stays in focus. If you’re shooting at night or in low-light conditions, open up your aperture as wide as possible to allow as much light through to your sensor as possible.

5. Prepare Your Memory Cards and Hard Drives

The Canon EOS R5 shoots ultra high quality video footage up to 8K, which means you'll need quality memory cards and plenty of storage space to back up your footage. The EOS R5 accepts CFexpress cards as well as SD cards, allowing you to record to both card slots at the same time and always ensure you have a backup. This is even more important when shooting commercial video projects, events and weddings.

Before you start filming, be sure that you’ve formatted your cards so that you have the most available space possible. The last thing you want to be worrying about on a shoot is running out of storage. Also double check that you have enough space on two external hard drives to make double backups of your video footage. There’s nothing worse than losing all of your footage because you’ve only backed it up on a single hard drive that crashes.

Find out more about the EOS R5 here and learn about video editing here.

See more of Harry's work here.