DSLR Cameras & 45 Sound - A Great Combination!

Right now we're working hard finishing our first 45 Sound Uploader apps for iPhone and Android. These will make it easy for fans to shoot their  live music videos and upload them directly to the correct show from their smartphones. However while video quality improves with each new generation of phones, their small sensors can't yet match the video quality of the increasingly popular DSLR cameras.

The first DSLR camera to shoot great quality 1080p high definition video was the Canon 5D MkII, released in 2008. Since then Canon have added the cheaper 7D, 550D/T2i, 60D, 600D/T3i and recently launched the new 5D MkIII to replace their MkII. Other DSLR cameras which shoot great video include the Panasonic GH1 & GH2 and the Nikon D800.


These cameras are small and light enough to take to a show and film the action from the thick of the crowd, and with a little practise they can shoot excellent video footage even in low-light conditions. 

Here's a good example of a DSLR fan video of playing at the Vantastival festival just outside Dundalk, Ireland a few weeks ago. 

And another good one from 's Camden Crawl Dublin set in the Button Factory last weekend.


Here are some tips for shooting great DSLR videos of a 45 Sound show:

- Start a new video for each song. Many DSLR cameras can only film continuously for 12-13 minutes, so if you don't stop you could run out mid-song.

- Use a 16GB or 32GB memory card. 1080p HD DSLR video files get very large very quickly. The Canons take up around 1GB of storage for every 3 minutes of video.for example.

- Keep it simple! If you try to move too much when shooting with a DSLR, the resulting video can be very shaky and difficult to watch. Instead just frame-up the artist(s) correctly and hold your camera steady for the full song. Any camera movements should be smooth and steady (doing this well takes practice though!!).


Finally let's talk about uploading your DSLR video files to 45 Sound after the show. Unless you have a very fast Internet connection, we recommend you run your files through MPEG Streamclip to make them smaller before uploading. The videos will lose some of their image quality when they are pushed up to YouTube anyway, so you can save some uploading time by reducing the file sizes beforehand. We also have a file size limit of 2GB on 45 Sound, and the video file size of a longer song can easily exceed this.

MPEG Streamclip for both Mac & Windows can be downloaded for free from  http://www.squared5.com/

Reducing the video file sizes with MPEG Streamclip can take some time, but you can select multiple videos and it will work it's way through your list. Have a look at this video for the steps you need to follow:

And here are the recommended settings for converting Canon DSLR .MOV files for faster uploading to 45 Sound:


- Export to Quicktime

- h264 Compression

- Limit Data Rate to 8000 Kbps (NB this is the key setting which reduces your file sizes)

- MPEG-4 AAC Sound, Stereo @ 256kbps

- Make sure the frame rate is the same as your camera setting and that 'Interlaced Scaling' is NOT selected

- When you have your settings right, click on 'Presets...' to save them for next time.


I think that's enough DSLR video information for now. We'll have more blog posts on what lenses, camera settings and filming techniques to use over the next while.  

If you have any questions, observations or other topics that you'd like to see covered in future 45 Sound blogs, please let us know in the comments below!


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