If you are planning to shoot a wedding video, and your only prior experience with using a video camera is the footage you shot at your three year old’s birthday party, then here’s a chance to quickly and easily learn the most important camera functions and their optimal settings.

1. The on/off function

If you don’t know how to turn your camera on, then you’re out of luck. Different cameras place their on/off power buttons in different locations. You know your camera’s power is on if you see an image in the viewfinder or flip-out screen. Note: Don’t forget to remove the lens cap.

2. Menu functions

There are some settings in your camera that need to be adjusted/set before you videotape the wedding. They are accessed through the Menu button on your camera. These functions and their optimal settings include:

Time/date – Off

No matter how professionally you shoot the wedding, if you leave the time/date function on you will look like an amateur.

Focus – Auto

Exposure – Auto

White Balance – Auto

The only time you need to change these settings to” Manual” is when lighting conditions or picture composition are out of the norm.

(e.g. adjust for exposure: heavily back-lit subjects making them look like they’re in a Witness Protection program; adjust for focus: competing objects in foreground that make your camera continually roll focus back and forth with nauseating results…like looking through your grandfather’s bifocals.

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