Before we start changing settings on our cameras, let’s go through the terminology of the settings and understand what effect each variable has on our footage.
The Frame Rate determines how many frames per second are recorded in your camera. Most DSLR’s allow you to change this setting.
Aperture regulates the amount of light that passes through your lens using a mechanical diaphragm.In Videography this is measured in T-STops. The higher the T-Stop the more light is let in to the sensor and thus allows recording in darker scenes. Higher aperture also creates more background blur, this, however, is determined by multiple factors such as the distance of the subject and the focal length of the lens.
Shutter Speed or Shutter Angle
Shutter Speed is the amount of time it takes the shutter to open and close to capture each image. So if we have a framerate of 24 FPS (Frames per Second) the shutter speed determines how long each frame is exposed or the shutter is open to capture this frame. The slower the shutter speed the more motion blur is introduced to the image. In videography, the Shutter Speed is referred to as Shutter Angle. This stems from the film days when the Shutter speed was set by cutting a wedge out of a round piece of material which then spun between the lens and the film to set the exposure time of the film. The standard for film or videography is a 180-degree shutter angle or in shutter speed double your framerate. Some cameras won’t let you set the exact double so the next best number will have to suffice.
The Picture Profile of your camera will determine the saturation, sharpness and contrast of your video. For flexibility in post-production, it is best to record in a desaturated mode or a preset cinematic Colour Profile. There are some cine specific profiles on certain DSLRs such as CineD and CineV on Lumix or Cine1 and Cine2 on Sony cameras. Some more advanced Picture Profiles are versions of LOG and HLG.
The Resolutions is the number of pixels your video is recorded in. The higher the resolution the higher the quality of your recording but beware as many monitors cannot playback the higher resolutions such as 4k or even 6k. Higher resolutions also create larger files on your recording media and might make post-production more difficult as it will add additional strain to your editing computer.
White Balancing sets true white in your camera and removes the unrealistic colour cast. In videography it is important that the White Balance is set to manual, an automatic White Balance setting can cause changes in colour when the scene or lighting changes. In this tutorial series, we will see how you can manual white balance your camera using a grey card.
ISO indicates the sensitivity of your Camera sensor or the amount of light your camera soaks up when the shutter is opened. The higher the number the lighter is picked up by the sensor, this, however, has a downside. Higher ISO numbers will not only pick up more light but will also pick up more noise resulting in grainy footage. It is important to know how far you can push your camera’s ISO before you have to fix Noise in post-production. Each camera will also have a base ISO value which is usually the setting with the least noise
We will go through editing at a later stage but in this article you can find a good idea of what terminology is used in Video Editing.
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In the next Tutorial: Camera Video Settings
In the next episode of my tutorial, we will configure your camera for Videography. The basics applied will be possible in most modern DSLR Cameras so make sure you subscribe to our mailing list to receive the next post. Until then, keep filming.