There’s more about the difference between working with still photo lenses and cinema lenses, and what range of prime lenses may suit your needs for your project. I personally learned a great deal from this information, coming from a still photo background and videography. I never had the opportunity to work with film movie cameras, so this was very useful.

Book Review: "The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques" 13

Zeiss lenses modified for cinema use

Of course, no DSLR film-making book wouldn’t be complete without a thorough coverage of the support gear that makes it useable in several situations. Everything from a simple Redrock Micro run-n-gun rig to steadycams, jibs, dollies and sliders are explored in this book.

Book Review: "The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques" 14

Redrock Micro DSLR gear is explored

What Got My Attention Most

Besides the obvious points of contention that someone like myself coming from video and still photography for over 25 years, is that this new genre of film-making with DSLRs utilizes some very familiar production techniques but the flexibility in shooting and exploring the mix of light & lens can truly give you some creative challenges and opportunities alike.

I found the chapter on audio especially enlightening as I have seen this come up time and time again on discussion boards and with colleagues. Though this just barely scratches the surface in professional audio, you will be better informed as to the correct methods in capture good quality audio, even on a budget.

Book Review: "The DSLR Filmmaker's Handbook: Real-World Production Techniques" 15

Audio mixing and recording demystified

In addition to covering the gear-driven production side of shooting with a DSLR, the authors cover some much needed tips on file management, compression, color grading and “fixes” in post. They even cover troubleshooting issues and proper setup and calibration – critical when shooting with multiple cameras. A major emphasis on avoiding common “gotchas” and often overlooked or misunderstood mistakes that amateurs fall prey to.

Overall, The DSLR Filmmaker’s Handbook covers a lot of material in short order and does give you a good starting point into filmmaking with today’s technology, but don’t expect it to give you ALL you need to know about shooting your first film. No one book could possibly do that – you would need an entire book just on each topic for proper shooting, lighting, audio and post-production techniques to start with. But you WILL be better equipped to make the right purchase/rental decisions for your next film project, and that is invaluable.

The Authors

Barry Andersson is an award-winning independent filmmaker. His career started with live television video production and now includes several acclaimed short films, a television pilot, commercials, and a DSLR feature-length film. Follow him on Twitter: @mopho_barry.

Janie L. Geyen has a law degree with an emphasis on entertainment and contract law. She has produced several award-winning short films, a television pilot, and a recently completed feature-length DSLR film. She is currently producing another DSLR feature. Follow her on Twitter: @deodand.

Jeff Foster is a published author of several how-to books and training videos in the motion graphics, animation and video production industries and is an award-winning video producer and artist. Visit his web site to learn more about his training methods, tips & tricks at

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