Photography and videography are very popular hobbies and careers, and millions of people enjoy practicing them. Even though these two hobbies might have a lot in common, there are also some key differences that photographers who wish to dive into videography should understand.


Less space for post-processing

A majority of passionate photography hobbyists, but professionals as well, love taking RAW photos.

But, this is a luxury in the videography world, literally. Only the most expensive cameras can record RAW videos, and 99% of videographers are stuck with already compressed video formats. Therefore, the next time you are working with a videographer, take that he or she will need more time to get set up into consideration, as they cannot really do too much processing in post.

Most photographers know a bit about the larger space RAW photos can take on a hard drive compared to compressed formats like JPEG. The same thing can be said about video formats, but most photographers are using DSLR’s and have limited choices when it comes to the video codecs they can capture.

Most DLSR cameras that shoot video capture in a highly compressed format such as AVCHD, H.264, and MP4.  This is because cameras can overheat capturing 24 frames per second of something like RAW. Check your cameras codecs and compare them to see which ones have less space and require less performance from your computer. Most of the time videos are destined for the web, meaning the loss in quality is small.

Manual focus is more challenging

Most photographers use autofocus for taking stills and rarely use manual focus unless a scene calls for it. Most cameras that shoot video have very poor autofocus, especially on a moving subject.

This is something that videographers struggle with greatly. As the video is rolling, there is not a lot of help with manual focus, and a videographer has to make all the necessary adjustments before he or she starts shooting.

Therefore, if you are trying the video features on your camera, there is a high chance that you will need a lot more time to get the focus right before the video is shot. Like with images, there’s no editing that can refocus a picture or video.

Make sure and use the tools such as peaking and focus zoom to make sure your subject is in focus. Remember each camera behaves very different and the focus tools can be deceiving. One of the main parts of a good video is crisp focus. AS with most things, practice makes perfect. Start with a still subject and move on to moving subjects. The same rules apply in video when it comes to aperture. The more open the lense, the more shallow your focus is. Try stpping down and add a greater depth of field.

Audio is half the quality of the video

Photographers are not worried about audio. They simply capture a single frame, telling a compelling and breath-taking story.

In videography, audio is as important as video. Both of these elements need to be of high quality in order to offer a well-told story. This is why you see a lot of videographers investing in different types of microphones, as the stereo one on the DSLR is simply not good enough. If you ever plan to switch to videography, consider getting a separate microphone and audio recording. This adds additional steps to your workflow, but capturing great audio is key.

There are some great alternatives such as the RODE video mic that attaches to your camera and gets much better sound. This is perfect for situations where you are working alone or need to keep a small footprint.

Videography is more focused on telling a story

Photography sure does tell a story, but the elements of the story greatly depend on our imagination. It is more about capturing that perfect moment.

In the video world, things are quite different. Even though the same photography composition principles apply, the storytelling functions differently. Videographers have much more space to take a lot of footage to tell the story completely.

This is why you are going to see a videographer take much more footage because he or she needs a lot more elements in order to tell the story precisely. Once the footage is captured, he can move on to tell a story in his own way through various video editing services on platforms.

Keep in mind how shoots link together. Doing a short storyboard or even writing down some basic ideas will help your story flow much better.

A tripod becomes much more important

Shooting photos without a video is not challenging, as long as you stand above a 120-shutter speed. In the video, which the frame rate is 24 frames per second, the shutter speed is usually double (40 or 50). This creates a pleasing motion blur when capturing moving subjects, but also introduces more shake.

However, when shooting a video, handshaking becomes a very big problem, making the video look completely unprofessional. This is why peripherals like a tripod and gimbals become essential to shoot high-quality videos. Therefore, if you are thinking about making a shift towards videography, plan on getting different types of peripherals that will help you stabilize your shots. A solid tripod, monopod and a gimbal make videos feel more cinematic.

Some cameras have built-in image stabilization that works to different degrees. If your camera has this option, make sure and give it a shot if you are really in need of filming handheld. Usually using a wider lens also helps video look more smooth.

Lastly, most cameras using a rolling shutter and some of them, such as the Sony A&s ii are horrible. The rolling shutter creates a jello effect and makes quick panning impossible. Check your camera by doing a test or looking up on Youtube to see how your camera fares. Knowing the limitations of your camera makes creating great videos much easier.

These five things are very important for understanding videographers better from a photographer’s point of view. Therefore, the next time you are working with one, you will understand why they practice several habits that greatly differ from yours.

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Owner of 4th Kind Entertainment where he painstakingly writes, shoots, edits and uploads until death.

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