There are many ways to manipulate DSLR cameras for video work. Here are a few tips I have picked up along the way that I would recommend to anyone shooting video with a HDSLR.
1. For all Professional Canon HDSLR’s, we have discovered what we call “Native” ISO’s. They are 160, 320, 640, 1250 and 2500. We have found that the other ISO’s are either a pull down or push up from the native ISO’s. This will improve the quality of the video dramatically.
2. Decrease your depth of field and use it to isolate the subject. DOF is a very powerful tool in cinema. It is much more aesthetically pleasing to the audience. ND filters will help you get into the f2.8-f4 zone that works well for cinema.
3. Take advantage of Neutral Picture style. The H.264 Codec is always trying to loose information before its compresses it onto the CF card. A Neutral or Flat picture style will give you more latitude in post for corrections.