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How to Film High-Quality Outdoor Videos

Recording clean audio and video outdoors can be a challenge. Here we cover how to get the best audio possible when filming outside, tips for lighting, equipment, ND filters, battery power, and more!

Overview Page


When you wanna record high quality video and audio outdoors, there are several challenges to consider- background noise and wind make it difficult to capture clean audio. The moving sun clouds and tree shade will create uneven lighting conditions. Plus, everything has to be battery powered in most outdoor environments. So here are some tips to make sure you have everything you need to record outside. Speaking of which, let's go outside for this. Well, we're outside. So let's talk about audio. The first thing you need to do is make sure you have good audio, even outside. And the number one thing you need for that is a windscreen.

If you're using a shotgun microphone, you need to use one of these. This is called a dead cat. We'll put Amazon links in the video description. But this is gonna help the wind not go across the mic, even on a lapel mic. Like the road wireless go to that I'm using right here comes with a little wind screen. So if I take this off and you'll see, this is what it sounds like without a windscreen, anytime, any air or wind passes over the microphone, you're gonna get some of that who sound so to make sure we get better oil, I'm gonna put the wind screen back on. Plus when you're recording outside, you're gonna have to deal with a lot of other noises that might be animal noises like birds.


I hear crickets in the background, planes flying overhead or cars driving. All of those sounds, you're either gonna have to stop recording and wait till the sound goes by or try to cut it out in your post production process. We'll have a whole video on postproduction. You can check out the link above, but some of those sounds are gonna be difficult to cut out. So you want as cleaner recording as possible. The best way to make sure you have a clean recording is to monitor your audio. And while I'm not monitoring my audio right now, myself, if I had a second person, they should be wearing headphones, listening to the audio coming out of the camera, what's being recorded in their headphones, and they can warn me of any noises, background noises, animals, or planes, again, to make sure that I get the cleanest recording possible.

So mic options to use outside the DD V mic is about $50. You can connect it to the. And it comes with a little windscreen, which is nice. The road wireless go-to is what I'm using right now. It's about $300 to get two mics, but comes with a windscreen, it’s wireless and the batteries last a long time. Plus this records locally to the device, as well as the camera, which is really useful. If you wanna step up, you can use the road, video mic pro, which comes with a windscreen, but you still wanna get a dead cat. But those will be battery powered, probably nine volt battery powered. And so you wanna make sure you have plenty of batteries when you're shooting and test the microphone first to make sure that battery is not dead.


The great thing about all those options is that they connect directly to the camera. So you don't need an external audio interface, but if you want the best audio possible, you might wanna use a shotgun mic. Again, you'll wanna put a dead cat on the shotgun microphone, but this will require an XLR audio. And you'll have to record the audio separately on that other device, again, complicated setup, but if you're doing something really professional, you can use an XLR shotgun microphone with a dead cat and an audio interface. If you need some help with audio interfaces, check out the video link above. Now, here we're in a completely shaded area which will help even out the lighting on your subject.

Of course you deal with other things like flies flying around and other challenges, but at least in a completely shaded area. You'll be able to have that even lighting you also don't get the harsh lines of light, like from the sun coming through trees, as long as it's completely shaded. And there's another challenge right there- Thunder and lightning. Now one positive aspect of shooting outdoors is if you can film during golden hour, this is the hour to hour and a half right before sunset. Where it's really golden lighting. You see a lot of cinematic shots like this, a lot of dramatic movie scenes shot at golden hour. A lot of wedding photography is done at golden hour, so that could really have some beautiful lighting.


You can't get in a studio setting. So if you film around that time, that would be really nice. Some other accessories you might need when filming outside. This is called an ND filter. An ND filter is something that will actually shade the camera lens from the sunlight. And if you really wanna be able to have a good Boca meaning a blurred background, which means your aperture has to be wide, which means it's trying to let a lot of light in. You need an ND filter, actually have one on right now, and I'm gonna show you what it looks like to take the ND filter off. So you can see without the ND filter, you're gonna get a very blown outlook. Even if I crank the ISO all the way down and the shutter speed way up, it's still not gonna look great.

And that's why you need one of these. You can also get indie filters that are variable, meaning you can adjust the shade that it provides the lens just by turning the ind [00:04:00] filter. So I'm actually just turning the indie filter here on the actual camera lens. And I could find just the right amount of filtering to make sure I get that nice Bo behind me, but I'm still well lit. We'll put a link to some variable indie filters in the video description. And again, you have to give one for your size lens on your lens. You'll see a millimeter measurement that might be 67 lower or. And the ND filter has to match that millimeter measurement. So it fits on your lens. Of course, filming outdoors. You're gonna want a durable tripod that can go in many different terrains, that's dirt, sand, gravel, or pavement. And so again, we'll put some links to some man front or tripods you can use. And if you're gonna be previewing your video on a monitor, either the built in monitor or an external five to seven inch monitor, you attach to your.


You're gonna want a monitor hood or a shade in very bright conditions. It will be difficult to see the preview monitor because it will be washed out. Those displays are not typically very bright. So being able to shade that live preview monitor will give you a better idea of what you're filming. Finally, you need to consider batteries if you're filming outdoors. Most often you're not gonna be near an outlet to charge your devices. You're gonna wanna bring multiple batteries for your camera, for any audio interfaces and maybe ways to charge those batteries. As you go from location to location. If you have a multi-location shoot, you might wanna get a cigarette lighter to outlet adapter for your cars, or you can charge some of the batteries in there and bring at least two, if not more batteries for all your devices. ome audio interfaces and microphones like these can be charged by USBC.

So bringing a power bank that's 20 million amp hours or more, we'll put a link in the video description of something like. We'll allow you to charge things on the go or even keep them charging as you film, which is really useful. But as you think about battery power, think about your setup time, your actual filming time and after previewing and viewing the footage that you're actually filming, not just recording, you're gonna wanna view the footage that you're taking. And sometimes during setup, you're gonna have to use the camera to adjust settings. Keep all of that in mind as you plan for battery power. So those are some tips for filming outside.

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