3rd Edition

DSLR Cinema
A beginner’s guide to filmmaking on a budget

ISBN 9780415793544
Published February 9, 2018 by Routledge
278 Pages

USD $48.95

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Book Description

The DSLR cinema revolution began over ten years ago. Professional filmmakers, students, video journalists, event video shooters, production houses, and others jumped at the opportunity to shoot cinematic images on these low budget cameras. The first edition of the book mapped the way focusing exclusively on DSLRs. This new edition shows how you can create stunning cinematic images using low budget cinema cameras, from iPhones to the C200.

The author examines new cameras and new projects as filmmakers shoot action movies with the Panasonic GH5, craft personal stories with Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera, make documentaries and short films with the Canon C100 Mark II, and create music videos with the 5D Mark IV.

This book, like the previous edition, takes the wisdom of some of the best shooters and empowers you to create visually stunning images with low budget cinema cameras. It includes six all new case studies, as well as updated examples from short films and documentaries. This book contains the essential tools to make you a better visual storyteller.


  • An examination of the creative and technical choices filmmakers face—everything from why we move cameras to shooting flat in order to widen the dynamic range of cameras
  • Case studies from documentary filmmakers, news shooters, fiction makers, a visual anthropologist, and recent film school graduates
  • An updated list of gear for low-budget filmmakers, including a section on what to look for in the gear you need to shoot and edit your projects

Table of Contents

Foreword by Shane Hurlburt, ASC


About the Website

Introduction – The Rise and Fall of the DSLR Cinema Revolution

Chapter 1 – Composition, Lenses, Blocking, and Camera Movement

Chapter 2 – Lighting

Chapter 3 – Exposure

Chapter 4 – Recording Quality Audio

Chapter 5 – Postproduction Workflow

Chapter 6 – Telling Better Stories

Chapter 7 – Cinematic Gear on a Budget

Chapter 8 – David Tembleque: Blackmagic’s Pocket Cinema Camera in Dear Tom

Chapter 9 – Joe Simon: Canon’s C100 Mark II in Fragments by Dana Beasley

Chapter 10 – Philip Bloom: Canon’s 7D in A Day at the Races

Chapter 11 – Kiril Kirkov: Documentary Intimacy with the Canon 5D Mark III in Art of the People

Chapter 12 – Po Chan and Shane Hurlbut: Canon’s 5D Mark II in The Last 3 Minutes

Chapter 13 – J. Van Auken: Filming Action with Panasonic’s GH5 in Unmasked

Chapter 14 – Mari Cleven: Filmming Documentaries on the Canon C100 Mark II

Chapter 15 – Bibbi Abruzzini: Filmming Documentaries on the Canon 5D Mark IV



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Kurt Lancaster, who earned a PhD from New York University, has written several books on filmmaking. His documentaries have screened at national and international film festivals. He teaches filmmaking at Northern Arizona University. His filmmaking clients list includes the Grand Canyon National Park; Timpanogos Caves National Monument for the National Park Service; the American Community School in Amman, Jordan; Ha:san Preparatory and Leadership School in Tucson, Arizona for the National Institute of Health; Altez Ecofarm at Hasta Gard in Stockholm, Sweden; The Law of the Desert Born graphic novel promo for Louis L’Amour Enterprises, Inc; and the Institute of Tribal Environmental Professionals at NAU.


Featured Author Profiles

Author - Kurt  Lancaster

Kurt Lancaster

Associate Professor digital filmmaking and documentary, NAU, School of Communication
Flagstaff, Arizona, United States

Learn more about Kurt Lancaster »


"A huge thank you to Kurt Lancaster for giving a voice to DSLRs in this new trail-blazing book."

—Shane Hurlbut, ASC, DP of Terminator Salvation

"This book should be in every camera bag. A rich, comprehensive, and poetic examination of how filmmakers and cinematographers are creating stunning moving imagery."

—Rodney Charters, ASC, DP of the TV series 24

"Kurt has written a masterpiece in DSLR books—something that everyone starting to make a movie should read."

—planetMitch (planet5D.com)

"Out of nowhere, two DSLR cameras came out, and over a period of 18 months, they have been embraced by everyone from Lucasfilm to keen enthusiasts. This is easily the most exciting time I have experienced in my 20 or so years in the business."

—Philip Bloom, DP, director, filmmaker (philipbloom.net)