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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.
Hi! My name's Rich Harrington. And I'm Robbie Carmon. And this week, we're continuing our look at the exposure triangle. On past episodes, we gave you a good overview of how all three sides of the exposure triangle need to be in balance. And last week took a look aperture which is the opening on the front of the camera that controls the light. Well, sort of the next thing is the shutter speed. So, if you've got this opening, how often does that shutter open to let the light through? Yeah. And this is something that has different uses in photography versus video.
And that's where sometimes people get kind of confused, you know. Yeah. We know a lot of photographers that use shutter speed to sort of stop motion, right. They might be. Uh-huh. Shooting sports and they go, you know what? I'm going to go to a 1/1000 so I can get that, you know that guy perfectly stuck in motion. I was shooting eagles, and when I shot them, if I wasn't shooting at you know, 2500 RAM or even four thousandth of a second Blurry blob on the screen, right? These beautiful birds are zipping by at 40 miles an hour. If you don't shoot them at four thousandth of a second They look like streaks, but this freezes it.
Right? But the thing is for video we are not shooting a single frame. No. We are shooting in multiple frames continuously right. 24 or 20 or 30 frames and 60 frames a second. And you actually want slightly blurry images. I think one of the things that people struggle with is they look at and they pixel peep individual frames of video. And they're like, oh, it's not crisp, it's not sharp. And they start to compensate with things like shutter speed. This is particularly true for photographers. When they do that, they get beautiful freeze frames, but when the video plays back, it's like, robot dance, all jerky.
Right, well yeah, and this is part of a greater, you know, scientific kind of thing. You know, it's a persistence of vision, and all that kind of stuff. But let's just make it simple for everybody. Yeah. When it comes to video, and the exposure triangle shooting on your DSLR, you have to consider shutter speed a relatively fixed variable. Yeah. And what I mean by fixed variable is that it's something you can adjust, but there are sort of guidelines to where you want to set it and kind of forget it if possible. So, for example, if you're shooting at 24 frames a second, a good place to put your shutter speed would be at 1 48th of a second, double your frame rate.
However, most DSLRs are not going to let you do that, so 1 50th is about as close as you can get for 24 frames per second. If you're shooting 30 frames per second, you guessed it, your shutter speed would be 1 over 60 and so by doubling your frame rate, that gives you an idea for where the shutter speed should be. Now I said, it's a guide. Yeah, it's a, it's a rule that you should know the rule before you break the rule. Right. And so generally speaking, what you're going to see, and we're going to explore this more in-depth in the field in just one second, is that as you change the shutter speed, slowing it down leaves it open longer.
So more light comes in. So if you're shooting in a low light situation, and you're at the end, you don't have any more aperture to give; bumping up the ISO is adding noise, you're like, you know what? My subjects not moving that much, I'll cheat. But just be aware though that's going to increase the, the visible motion blur as the footage is playing back. So, it might be cool for an aesthetic, you know aesthetic reason, car lights going by or something like that. Yeah. If you shot a really, you know, slow shutter speed. And by the way, I've been, a, a lot of people have asked, hey, can I shoot at, you know, 1 4th, or you know, these really small numbers in video mode to get those blurry, streaky kind of things that you.
It's called time lapse. Yeah, you can't do it on most cameras, DSLR cameras with video as of yet, yet. So you do have a little wiggle room, and the opposite is true. If, let's say you were at 1 50th for normal shooting at 24 frames a second, you could bump up and increase your shutter speed slightly. Now, just be aware when you do that, the motion is going to be a little bit more staccato. And it could work just fine for a sort of an action fight sequence in a movie, but in normal situations, it's going to be a little jarring and a little weird looking. Alright, well, let's head back out to the field.
We're going to connect up with D.P. Jimball. He's going to share some of his perspectives of how he uses shutter speed, both for aesthetic and technical reasons. And then we'll evaluate some of the shots from the shoot, and show you how it comes into play.
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