How to leverage your camera equipment and film patient testimonials
When I’m filming on one of Wired’s orthodontic courses, delegates will more than often ask me about my equipment. What I think of 4k, is Canon or Nikon better?
The answer is: it really doesn’t matter. The power to create a video is. Cameras are just tools and something dentists can leverage right now in their practice. The chances are you have some equipment to get started already and with video you connect to people in way that words cannot.
A customer testimonial, a tour of the practice, a practice update and educating are all viable ways to reach new patients and build relationships. Video reviews will build trust around the work you are doing and will serve you well as part of your marketing strategy.
Lights. Camera. Action!
Unfamiliar with videos? The best way to get started is setting up for testimonials. Interviewing your staff is a great way to practice.
I believe we are still in an age where shooting on a 1080p DSLR for web distribution is acceptable, with that in mind I’ll put together a bare bones list of equipment I use which can help get you started, a bonus if you already have newer equipment:
- DSLR Canon 7D Camera
- EF lenses (50mm prime & EFS 15-85mm)
- Manfrotto Tripod
- Sennheiser EW G3 (OR) Rode NG2 shotgun mic
You’ll need batteries and either a CF/SD card depending on your camera model.
If you use the 50mm lens, you’ll be in safe hands as it produces a very nice focal aesthetic, very similar to how we view people with our eyes. The trick is to leave some distance behind the subject. If you’re tight for space you can zoom as needed with the 15-85mm lens.
2. Camera Setting
Set your camera to manual so you have control of the shutter (motion), aperture (depth-of-field) and ISO (noise).
Frame rate and shutter:
As we are filming your shutter speed should be double the frame rate. I like shooting 24fps, and therefore set my shutter speed to 50 as it’s the closest available setting.
Ensure your ISO is no higher than 800, filming indoors can make this very difficult. I fluctuate my settings on the situation and ISO 400 provides satisfactory results. If the subject is too dark at 800, more light must be created.
Additional tip: I recommend custom white balancing. You can do this by taking a picture of a white piece of paper in the environment, selecting WB from the menu and then selecting the photo.
Mount the Sennheiser EW receiver to the hot-shoe and connect the 3.5mm jack into the mic input on the camera. The transmitter clips on to your subject. Your camera sound should be set to manual and dialled to zero – then set ONE click up. This is so the EW receiver does all the sound work, not the camera. The transmitter sensitivity should be set to -12dB for most people, but -18dB for louder speakers.
Check the peaking on the camera audio is maxing out around the -12 dB to ensure you are getting clean audio. Adjust as needed.
Mount the NG2 Shotgun mic to the camera and set the sound level mid-way, and sound check until the levels hit -12dB
That’s a Wrap.
These 3 steps are the basic foundations for a camera setup. Next, you’ll need to organise a good backdrop and your list of questions.
Video really is just one part of helping your practice. It’s fun, engaging, creative and over time will become a big part of growing your business.
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