The DSLR Cinematography Guide (Free PDF download) by Ryan Koo gives you an overview what you need to know to make beautiful, inexpensive movies using a DSLR. Digital cinematography is changing so rapidly these days that a printed book on the subject will likely be outdated by the time it reaches store shelves; this is especially true when it comes to the rapid release cycle of DSLRs. Up-to-date information can be found on online forums, but forums lack the organizing principles of a book, and as a result it can take a ludicrously long time to piece together reliable information.
Koo explains, that “DSLRs (often called HDSLRs or VDSLRs now) are a great enabler on the no film school front, as they are priced to own and allow aspiring filmmakers to follow the “buy a camera and learn” lesson plan. But as with any creative tool, a DSLR is only as good as the person using it — because, while these cameras offer a world of advantages, they also come with a considerable set of drawbacks. However, these drawbacks are worth dealing with in order to get the kind of amazing images possible with an imaging sensor that has twenty to thirty times more surface area than that of a similarly priced, dedicated video camera. To emphasize: these cameras are not designed to shoot movies. Their primary function remains to shoot still photos, but it just so happens that they shoot amazing video very inexpensively, and for that they are worth tinkering with, hacking, and jumping through a number of hoops to use. And make no mistake: to modify these still cameras to behave like real movie cameras, there are a lot of hoops to jump through (thus the length of this guide), but you will be rewarded by using a camera that many of us could only dream of a few years ago, for cheaper than any of us imagined.” ❚