Digital video and studio setup
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Digital Video and Studio Setup. Best Practices for Sign Language Bible Translation. Part 1: Choosing the right camera. Important Features. General price ranges: $ 300-1000 (USD) Cheaper cameras don’t have the features or quality that we need.

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Digital video and studio setup
Digital Video and Studio Setup

Best Practices for Sign Language Bible Translation

Important features
Important Features

  • General price ranges:

  • $300-1000 (USD)

  • Cheaper cameras don’t have the features or quality that we need.

  • More expensive cameras have features we don’t need, and are larger and heavier.

  • Highest quality brands:

Important features1
Important Features

  • Manual Focus Control

  • Auto-Focus produces poor results with sign languages!

  • Set your camera on MANUAL.

Important features2
Important Features

  • Manual Exposure and White Balance Control

  • Changing light, shadows, and fast signing can produce poor results when filming signing!

  • Set your camera on MANUALand check settings often.

Important features3
Important Features

  • Recording Media Options

  • HDD

  • SD Card

  • Internal Flash Memory

  • Mini-DV

  • DVD R/RW etc.


  • Lighting is critical to a good product.


  • Uniformity is important

    • Plain or finely-mottled backgrounds work best

    • No obvious patterns or sharp lines (brick, cement block, paneling)

    • No distracting details (e.g. light switches)


  • Plain solid colors, no patterns

  • No sharp lines

  • Good contrast with skin and background

  • Short sleeves best

  • Follow local standards of modesty

  • Comb hair away from eyebrows

  • Remove glasses and jewelry (lights reflect from lenses or flashy earrings)

  • Remove ties, phones, and other distracting details

Camera settings
Camera Settings

  • Image Stabilization: OFF

  • Manual Focus

  • Manual Exposure

  • Manual White Balance

  • Record Quality: High

Things to remember
Things to remember…

  • Garbage in, Garbage out. Good products begin with good video.

  • Leave plenty of time before and after signing.

  • Check and recheck settings and output.

  • Mark positions of the camera, signer and lights. Use the same positions EVERY time you film.


  • God’s word is holy and precious…it deserves your time and effort.

  • Quality production is time consuming, but the goal is worthy.