Basic video production with the Sony 6500

  1. Sony 6500 body
  2. Rokinon 50mm cine prime lens
  3. Sony OSS 16–50 mm lens
  4. A Rode VideoMic Pro shotgun mic
  5. A Rode Go wireless lavalier kit
  6. Blackmagic Design monitor

Attaching the Monitor

This kit comes with a Blackmagic Design Video Assist Monitor. Attaching it is pretty straightforward: 1) Attach the monitor to the coldshoe on the handle. Make sure you tighten down the nut to the coldshoe and that the monitor is secure. 2) Attach the micro HDMI end of the cable into the port on the side of the camera. Make sure you are putting it in the middle port; it doesn’t fit in to the top one. 3) Attach the the HDMI cable to the “HDMI In” port on the side of the monitor.

Attaching the Shotgun Mic

Next you are going to want to attach the Rode Videomic Pro that comes with the kit. It is a solid shotgun mic, good for picking up natural sound and the occasional actuality-style interview. [ed. note: if you are doing an interview, it is generally better to use the wireless lavalier mic, described below]

Attaching the Rode Go Wireless Lavalier Mic

The wireless mic kit has two parts: the transmitter on the left and the receiver on the right. The transmitter attaches to the subject. The receiver attaches to the camera. You attach the receiver in the same manner in which you attached the shotgun mic. You also adjust the audio levels using the same controls.

Basic Camera Functioning

  • P — this is program mode or automatic. The camera will adjust everything for you to make a relatively good looking image. Important note! If you are using the 50 mm Rokinon lens, you can’t use the automatic mode. The Rokinon is a manual lens, so you need to use one of the modes below.
  • A — this mode is called aperture priority and it means that the user picks the aperture and the camera picks the shutter speed and ISO to match. In case you don’t know, the aperture controls how open or closed the lens is and affects depth of field (see the example below or read more here).
  • S — This mode is the opposite of the A mode and is called shutter priority. In the S mode, you pick the shutter speed (or how long the shutter is open for) and the camera picks the aperture. You adjust the shutter speed with the wheel next to the one where you picked the filmstrip icon to go into video mode.
  • M — This is the fully manual mode. In this mode, you pick everything…well sort of…I’ll explain more below, but you select both the shutter speed and aperture.
  • Standard shooting mode — XAVC S 4k at 30 frames per seconds and 60 mbs
  • S&Q shooting mode — XAVC S HD, shooting at 120 frames per second and recording at 30 frames per second at 16 mbs. This means in the S&Q mode, you will be shooting a 4x slow motion.

Other camera settings

Though the function menu, you have a few other things you might want to mess with. Here is a brief description of each:

Changing the lens

The only other thing you might need to do is change the lens. To do that, push in the lens release button on the left side of the lens (when looking at the front of the lens) and turn the lens counterclockwise a quarter turn. Remove the lens and then put on the new lens, lining up the red or white dot on the lens with the white dot on the camera body. Then give the lens a quarter turn until it clicks into place.

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Nick Geidner

Nick Geidner

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Associate Professor of Journalism and Director of Land Grant Films (@LandGrantFilms) at the University of Tennessee.