Excellent new DSLR training video for single operators from Dan Chung

I have known Dan Chung for many years. We both covered news in London at the same time so we were often stuck on the same doorsteps, for a snapper he was actually a nice fellow! Generally  the video boys and the snappers kept themselves to themselves but occasionally we crossed the floor to speak to each other 😉 But normally our dialogue would be kept to us pushing them out of them of the way and grunting and them screaming at us “Oie TV, out of the way!”

For 17 years I covered news, although in the latter years I spent most of my time covering foreign stories and doing the long form and documentary work. There was one occasion about a year ago where I found myself in a media circus situation and one of the snappers recognised me from my DSLR work and quizzed me on what to get. I needed to get a shot not long after but the photographers were all in the way. He shouted out “Oie boys, TV needs to get the shot, get out of the way”. That made me chuckle!

Anyway back to Dan Chung…he works for The Guardian newspaper and website in China these days and he was one of the very early photographers to cross over to shooting video too at the request of his company. He shot on video cameras like the EX1 but now does pretty much all on his Canon 1 man band DSLR set up. He also runs the website DSLR News shooter and is a huge asset to the DSLR community, very active of twitter, always there with advice for people. He also speaks at many events, in fact we are both speaking at the Canon pro photo solution show at the end of October.

His training video, although aimed at one man bands in very useful as it covers so much more ground than just operating on your own. He knows his stuff and some of the info in there is invaluable. I myself picked up some really useful tips myself from watching it. It’s nice and in depth. Is 2 hours long and takes you out with Dan as he covers a video assignment in Malaysia.

Here is the trailer:

Thaipusam Trailer from Den Lennie on Vimeo.

This is some of the info from F-Stop Academy, the company who produced my two training products:

This is a one-stop shop for shooters looking to up their game, explaining not just the technical stuff but Dan’s whole approach to shooting, including how to prepare for events and navigate your way through them. But instead of talking at you, he takes you with him on assignment; the whole DVD was shot in the run-up to and during the Hindu festival of Thaipusam, held annually in Malaysia’s Batu caves.

Whether you’re a documentary maker, keen amateur or photojournalist, you can’t afford to miss the action. This shows you how to capture it all – covering everything from focal lengths to audio recording and carrying out a recce.

He mainly uses Canon DSLRs in the DVD, but the majority of the techniques apply whatever brand of DSLR you are using.

Here’s what you’ll find on the DVD download:

Chapter 1 Understanding D-SLR Functions
We look at the core differences and similarities to photography and we spend some time setting up the a Canon to shoot in Video Mode.

Chapter 2 Lenses, Focal Length & Crop Factor
Understanding the effect of crop factor has on effective focal length.

Chapter 3 Light control, Picture Styles and using Filters
The optimum set ups to give you the most control visually.

Chapter 4 Camera Movement And support for Video
Moving the Camera. All the techniques that are largely specific to shooting video. This is a steep learning curve for photographers but I walk you though clearly and concisely.

Chapter 5 Shooting in Low Light
Low light shooting on the 1D Mark IV- This section covers working at night in a Hawker market, demonstrating the incredible low light and resolving capability of the Canon 1D Mark IV

Chapter 6 Basic Audio recording techniques
In a busy restaurant I demonstrate 3 separate ‘simple’ audio recording techniques.

Chapter 7 How to record advanced audio for DSLR
Recording Advanced Audio, we return to the Hawker market but this time I share an advanced ‘Dual Sound system’ for recording audio that gives me more control.

Chapter 8 The Pre Assignment Recce
I spend 4 hrs scouting the location in advance of the assignment. I will walk you through my thought processes and how the shoot will differ from a straight stills only shoot.

Chapter 9 Pre Assignment Final Kit Check
Working solo in movie mode requires some extra kit, I explain how the kit breaks down and what to carry without compromising on quality.

Chapter 10 The Assignment
This is a very intimate journey, working side by side with me in the thick of a festival with over 1 million devotees, body piercing, rituals and stunning images make this the climax of the training documentary.

Click the image below to be taken to the store to buy it!

And here are a couple of great pieces of work from Dan…

Mongolian Racer from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

A horse trainer and his 10-year-old jockey face the biggest day of their year at Mongolia’s Naadam festival, which dates back to before Genghis Khan’s time and celebrates the ‘manly sports’ of wrestling, archery and racing.

By guardian.co.uk staff Dan Chung and Tania Branigan.

Shot on Canon 1DmkIV, 5DMkII, 550D and GoPro HD cameras. For more details on how it was shot please head over to www.dslrnewsshooter.com

See http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2010/jul/20/mongolia-nomads-livestock-winter-poverty for more on Mongolia from the Guardian.

China’s 60th Anniversary national day – timelapse and slow motion – 7D and 5DmkII from Dan Chung on Vimeo.

The parade in Tiananmen Square to mark the 60th anniversary of the People’s Republic of China – as seen in timelapse and slow-motion.

Slow motion shot on a 7D at 720p/60
Time lapses on Canon Eos5DmkII and Nikon D700.
Edited on Final Cut Pro

For more details on how this was shot head over to www.dslrnewsshooter.com

For more on China from the Guardian go to www.guardian.co.uk/china



  1. Great stuff – will be grabbing this – been following Dan for a while now – ever since his first 5D Beijing footage…

    Phil + Dan = 2 best DSLR guru’s around.

  2. i have already purchased some days ago, i found it quiet intresting and usefull .. specially if you travel and make videos .. his way of carriend all things were very intresting to me, i have always problem of choosing on which lenses or which acessories i should carry with me while im traveling 🙂

  3. Phil, can you explain the advantages of this over your F-stop academy video? Your video was very informative, this looks good too but I can’t justify spending more money if he covers the same stuff that you did!

    1. Hi Jon

      Dan’s training is different from Phil’s excellent training tutorials. In D-SLR Video on Assignment we follow Dan on a real assignment so you very much get an over the shoulder look at Dan shooting a story. This is a progression for teh serious dslr film maker.

      Don’t forget also we offer a full 60 day money back guarantee if you don;t feel that it was of value.


  4. I’m a news cameraman and love filming with DSLR,it’s a fantastic revolution and have 7D and GH1. But for real news coverage, very fast shooting, to be able to make the right composition, focus and correct exposure in 2 seconds i need a 2/3 broadcast camera.

  5. I’m very intereseted in the training videos but I’m stopping short of getting your 5D MkII Cinematography mainly because I only have the T2i.

    Will getting Dan’s (much pricier) DVD teach me how to ‘wing’ one-man videography on my T2i? Despite the difference in the basic camera?

    Also, I have been researching for gear to add to my guerilla pack and am very interested in what Dan has that I may appropriate for my lower-budget gear.

      1. I just discovered you have the 7D Tutorial and is actually the perfect intro for T2i videography. Thanks Philip! Hope to catch one of your on-location master classes in the future. More power!

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