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This weekly course covers the most common questions videographers encounter when shooting and editing with DSLR cameras, from choosing a frame size and frame rate to understanding moiré. Authors Rich Harrington and Robbie Carman will also help you understand the impacts of compression and the difference between cropped (or micro 4/3rds) and full-sized sensors in cameras, and much more. This continual FAQ guide is a handy way to find the answers to the questions that plague you the most.
Rich Harrington: I'm here with DP Jim Ball and so far we have learned about aperture, we've learned about shutter speed, there's one more thing left in the exposure triangle, and what is that Jim? Jim Ball: Well, that would be the ISO rating, which is a hold off from film, film speeds. It's something that DP's like me are familiar with in terms of sensitivity. Different cameras actually have different translations of one specific IO, ISO to another. But in the DSLR world, we're getting more and more familiar with what a particular ISO rating number means.
Rich Harrington: Now, I think since the first generation of DSLR shooting video to where we're at today, you know, we used to be really nervous pushing it into the 800 range. Are you seeing that these cameras are behaving better now at higher ISOs? Jim Ball: Absolutely. As, as, these cameras keep they keep bringing out newer models. The default ISO rating, the normal rating of the camera keeps going up, and up, and up. We've got several cameras, video cameras and still cameras, that the nominal ISO rating is well over a thousand. Rich Harrington: Alright. So, why don't you walk people through a few adjustments and just explain what you're doing as you tweak the ISO? Jim Ball: Yeah, so the ISO rating, as you, as you know, the lower the number the less sensitivity the sensor has to light.
The higher the number, the more sensitivity it has to light. So if you're trying to gain exposure you would increase the number, and you'll see it get brighter and brighter and brighter and brighter. I'll go all the way up to, like, this particular camera goes up to, like, 13,000. Pretty handy. And as I go lower, it's going to get darker, less sensitive to light. Now, I have this one rated at around a 1,250, which a few years ago was really high and really grainy. But things are just getting more normal.
You have very min-, because as the ISO goes up, you get a little more grain. That sensor's working a little harder to get exposure, and you start to see a little noise. Rich Harrington: We have a lot of rich blacks though here, and, and, which camera is this, by the way? Jim Ball: Oh, this is the Canon 5D Mark 3. Rich Harrington: Yeah, and, and we never would have been pulling off 1,250 on the Mark 2 without seeing some noise. Jim Ball: No, 12, 1,250, and we tested it, right? 1,250 was about the highest you would dare to go without seeing some grain that's start, started to become a little offensive.
So, with the Mark 3, I've shot camp fires at 8,000 ASA, which is pushing it but acceptable, still decent blacks, there's even a noise reduction in here for high sensitivity settings. Rich Harrington: Well, that just looks absolutely great. Alright, well those are the three components of pulling off proper exposure. You've see aperture, you've see shutter speed, you've seen ISO. Next week we're going to talk about when all three of those adjustments don't get you what you want, how do you pull it off?
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