Stuff You Need to Know

Best smartphone cameras for video — 2022

Smartphones have become truly powerful tools for capturing high-quality video in a moment’s notice. But, some are more capable than others.
DIY Computer Diagnosis: Solve your PC problems like a pro

DIY Computer Diagnosis: Solve your PC Problems Like a Pro

Before you rush off to an expert that will charge you an arm and a leg to solve your computer issues, here are a...
Understanding Lenses: How They Work

This is how your camera’s lens produces a usable image

In its most basic form, a lens is a piece of glass or plastic with curved surfaces. Lenses are used to bend rays of...
5 Tips for Capturing Exceptional Color with Any Camera

5 Tips for Capturing Exceptional Color with Any Camera

Recently, I was excited to discover that one of my favorite TV miniseries from the 80’s was coming out on DVD. But when I...
Digital ISO standard is measured by how sensitive your camera sensor is to light combined with how good your camera’s firmware is at interpreting the signal from the sensor

ISO: What it is and how to control it

Put simply, ISO is how sensitive to light film stock is. The higher the ISO, the more sensitive your film and the less time...
In the real world around us, there are three hundred and sixty degrees of information, and it’s the directors job, along with the cinematographer, to figure out which very few degrees of that vista best help tell the story to the viewer.

Choosing the right focal length

We’ve got this picture in our minds of a director holding her fingers up in twin L shapes, one inverted, and peering through the...
Make shooting RAW your default plan; you can always change it.

When to shoot RAW (and when to skip it)

A RAW image frame is like a film negative — different processing can give you different results.
Person flying a drone.

Take Flight with These 8 Must-have Drone Shots

Camera-equipped drones are capable of capturing brilliant, awe-inspiring shots, and chances are you’ll want to learn the essentials of beautiful aerial cinematography yourself.
How to Compose Your Shot When Your Camera Can See Everything

How to Compose Your Shot When Your Camera Can See Everything

Something to remember when shooting spherical video is that everything is visible in the shot.  Even if you think you are being clever by...
Get the Most from Your Editing Machine

How to optimize your editing machine for best performance

Unless you work for a restoration house or film archive, the days of having to edit video on a $10,000-dollar room-sized flatbed editor are...

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Twitch bitrate

What is the best bitrate for a Twitch stream?

Knowing what bitrate you need to set your Twitch stream to is not only essential for your stream's quality but also for your viewers.
What is H.264? featured image

Why H.264 is the most popular video compression standard

H.264 has been around for quite a while, but it's still the most widely used video compression standard used today.
HEVC (H.265) is today's standard feature art

Why HEVC (H.265) is today’s compression standard

HEVC has become the industry's compression standard. H.265 offers some clear advantages over H.264 in many situations.

What is shutter angle and why is it important?

To understand what a shutter angle is, you must first understand film-based camera mechanics. Here's what you need to know.
Freeze frame featured image

The freeze frame: Why filmmakers stop time

Throughout the history of cinema, filmmakers, big and small, have used the freeze frames in their projects, but why?
Over the shoulder shot

Over the shoulder shot: its uses in cinema

The over the shoulder shot is an important and essential element of cinematic vocabulary. Here's why it's so vital.

What is mise-en-scène? An essential filmmaking concept

Mise-en-scène means “placing on stage” and refers to props, lighting, wardrobe and blocking.
Rule of odds featured image

The rule of odds and what it means for your film

The rule of odds is a very useful method for creating visually-pleasing frames and conveying story in film.
MOV vs. MP4 featured image

MOV vs. MP4: Which video format should you use?

It's time to pit two popular video formations against each other: MOV vs. MP4. We will help you decide which format is right for your videos.
Dolly shot featured image

A beginner’s guide to the dolly shot

The dolly shot is a powerful, unique tracking shot that allows filmmakers to engage their audience with silky smooth camera zooms.
Leading lines

What are leading lines?

Leading lines are a core element of film composition. They are critical tools filmmakers use to direct where viewers should look.
Close-up shot featured image

The close-up shot: Why it’s so important in cinema

The close-up shot is a power tool in cinema. In various ways, it helps the audience emotionally connect with what they're watching on-screen.
Establishing shot

What is an establishing shot in film?

Establish shots are more than just opening shots. They help films communicate the underlying context of a scene.
What does a cinematographer do?

What does a cinematographer do?

The role cinematographers fill is vital, as they are directly responsible for the visual look and feel of the films they work on.