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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: Rob, we're back in the studio. We've pulled some shots in and, and I want to be clear. Rarely, do we break the shutter speed rules. Robbie: No, it's one of those sort of golden rule kind of things. And if you look on forums online, you'll have a lot of people yelling at you perhaps, if you suggest that you should break the rule every once in a while. And again, I think that probably 98% of the time, we're folllwing that double frame rate for shutter speed. So in other words, 24 frames a second. We're trying to get as close to 148th as possible. 30 frames, we're trying to get to 160th and so on and so forth.
But there are situations that we'll take a look at with some footage that we shot out in the field, where we deviated slightly from that rule. Rich: Well, let's take a look at some stuff where we didn't break the rules for a second. And this is where you're going to see, he's playing. And so the hand is strumming on the guitar He's moving his head and his shoulders a lot. The motion just looks natural. Robbie: It does. And this again, we're shooting at 24 frames a second here. So this was a shutter speed of 150th and I would agree with you, it looks very natural. Not a secado motion, especially in this hand, not secado. It doesn't have overall, you know, a lot of motion blur in that movement.
Rich: Yeah. Robbie: It looks, as it should. Rich: Yeah, and particularly where this is an issue is we're here shooting. And this is a dolly shot, the camera is sliding to the left. And the move looks very natural. It doesn't feel abrupt. It doesn't feel jittery. And so, really getting that right's important. In fact, you might even slow this down but we wanted good crispness on the vehicle there. Robbie: Yeah, and this works great. I mean you, you, you see, especially with that staccato movement with higher shutter speeds. You see it in must faster moving motion before you saw it here.
But again, this looks nice. You don't, you know it's a nice subtle move where things are looking the way they should without excessive blur or excessive stacatto movement. Rich: And as he's walking here this is one of those situations where shutter speed could be used for control. So on this particular angle the DP camera barely didn't have enough filtration. Robbie: Mm-hm Rich: So by changing the shutter speed just a little bit he was able to knock down the light. So by going slightly faster he got a little less light in there. So, instead of shooting at a fiftieth.
He went to a sixtieth or an eightieth and because the subject isn't moving too fast it doesn't look jerky. But you can see a little bit in the water. Robbie: Yeah, a little bit in the water. And it's one of those things that doesn't really bother me. I mean, I suppose if I was going to really pixel-peep on this, I could say, yeah, that's a little weird motion on the water. But I'm focused on the, you know, the artist Jason there, and not so much on the water. And this was a good little cheat. It helped us get away with a nice exposed shot, just cheating a little on shutter speed. Rich: Now here, we went to faster shutter speed because we wanted that crispness.
You know, if we were shooting this at a 30th, or even a 50th, those strings might have started to become blurry blobs and we wanted some crispness as he's strumming. Robbie: Yea, you can especially see it with the low E string there on the guitar as he hits that. How you get sort of all the movement involved in the string, and that's very nice. You know, this is again, this is again one of those things that in this case it was used to just to kind of pick on a little more detail. Because we weren't having a ton of fast motion. We wanted a little bit more sharpness in some of the movement on the strings. Rich: Yea, and that worked really well.
And, then we're shooting here in a night club and I've actually Modify this shot in post to simulate the issue but this is the type of movement you are going to see if you start to get too high on the shutter speed. It is going to start to look staccato and that is what we are seeing there is, you know, this is simulated with posturization but that is going to be what happens. Robbie: Ugh, well look, it kills me every time. Rich: Yeah. And it just, it feels unnatural. Now I had actually emphasized that with posterizing the time, but that's exactly how it would look if I shot at the wrong rate.
Rich: Yeah, absolutely, and that's something that again I just want to stress that, you know, importance of monitoring on set. Set, cause I've found that especially when you're playing with shutter speed on the back of the camera LCD and I've said this ten million times, everything looks good on the back of the camera LCD, you might not notice that sort of weird staccato motion on the small camera LCD. You might need a loop or an external monitor to really see that. Rich: And what we're having here. This is the footage normal. I really like how we're getting the hair. And the curls feel natural as they're moving around.
They're not jumping. And he was doing a lot of movement. He was really getting into the song. And I wanted that to feel smooth. Robbie: Yeah. And I mean, I think you went down a little bit on shutter speed. Didn't you? Rich: Yeah, yeah. And as I tweak shutter speed, it was working okay. You know, you see it was actually a little bit streaky there. And that was desired. I just wanted it to feel very smooth. Because he's moving around. So, I like it. So, as you saw there, shutter speed is a rule that you rarely break. But we did give you a couple of legitimate instances where it helped us get the shot. Robbie: Yeah, and I would go on record and say, Rich, the greatest filmmakers break the rules all the time.
Rich: Yeah. Robbie: You know, so even though it's a good way, you know, especially as you're learning the craft and you want to get shots that look technically correct, don't be afraid to experiment a little bit. Rich: Yea alright, so we have one more side of the exposure triangle left. We've covered aperture. We've covered shutter speed. That is ISO, and that's going to be our topic next week. Rob, I think one of the biggest things about ISO is that this is the biggest moving target. When we started this show, when you and I wrote the book From Still To Motion with some of our good friends Jim Ball and Matt Gottshalk. Robbie: Mm-hm Rich: We, we would not bump up ISO out of fear of ruining the shot.
And now, these. The newer cameras, I'm like, really? Robbie: Yeah. It's amazing. Some of them, they're so sensitive that they can literally, I mean literally see in the dark. It's pretty amazing. So next time, Rich, we'll definitely explore in depth a little bit more about ISO. Rich: See you next week.
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