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5 tips for better DSLR Video on a Mac

5 tips for better DSLR Video on a Mac

High Definition video has now made its way from the high end cameras to many domestic digital SLR cameras. Having recently upgrade my loyal Canon 450D to the new 500D to gain the video features I have made five mini discoveries for getting the most from digital SLR video.

1. Remember to use it
It seems like a silly tip but it is strangely valid. Given that video was the reason for upgrading it is amazing the number of times I have forgotten my camera actually has this feature. The last couple of times I have been shooting stills it was only when someone asked about the specification of the camera that I remembered it offered video. Video on a digital  means photographers no longer have to carry two cameras but it can perhaps feel unnatural to think of an SLR recording video.

2. Consider storage
High Definition video is going to fill up your SD card very quickly. If you are out on an all day shoot and plan to use both RAW and video then a large (or multiple) memory cards is essential. You can now pick up a 16GB SD Card for less than ?25 (full list).

3. Don’t use the still photos
Despite being a feature that some manufactures promote I have found that taking a still photo during recording a video results in a either a freeze or gap in video recording. Take stills in manual mode and video in video. If you really need to a reasonably quality still can be taken from your HD footage.


4. Use iPhoto to manage video
Most professional photo management applications don’t (yet) offer the ability to library video. One of the best ways to manage your video footage from your DSLR is Apple’s iPhoto application. iPhoto names, dates and tags your video footage. You can even play the clips direct from iPhoto and better still the media library is accessible by iMovie and iWork’s Keynote application.

5. Edit in iMovie
For a really quick video workflow iMovie 09 is definitely worth considering. iMovie 09 indexes can directly use video footage from your iPhoto library and supports full HD. iMovie allows users to easily add titles, transformations, edits and visual tweaks in seconds. Once you have edited your footage it can be easily exported or even shared directly from iMovie to YouTube.

This is an amazing example of a video produced with the Canon 5D MKII but it gives you an idea of who digital SLR cameras are capable of when it comes to video.


For most users the idea of shooting a planned mini epic is probably not on the horizon but the video option will be used to capture short video clips. To that end, although high end applications such as Premier or Final Cut will edit your footage iMovie is the perfect simple editing partner.

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