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In Video for Photographers: Shooting with a DSLR, photographer and videographer Rob Sheppard provides the essential foundation that photographers need to make the leap from still pictures to moving ones. From technical considerations, such as audio and frame rates, to aesthetic issues, such as composition and story development, this course presents concepts and techniques photographers need to get the best results from their gear and learn the art of video-based storytelling. Exercise files are included with the course.
When you're shooting video, you'll quickly notice that shutter speed choice is very different from video to still photography. Yes, the shutter speeds are the same, but not how we choose them for action. There is a lot of action going on with dance. If you were shooting still photos, you would have to consider how to choose your shutter speed in order to stop the action. Or you might decide to show blurred action with a slow shutter speed. So what I might do is shoot with a wide aperture and a high shutter speed such as 1000th of a second to stop the action. Or I might try something completely different such as a shutter speed of 1/10th a second to show a motion blur and give a feeling of movement in that way.
Well, I can't do either of these with normal video. First, remember that video is shot at 30 frames per second. If you divide 1 second by 30 you get 1/30th of a second, which means that 1/30th of a second is the slowest possible shutter speed for video. Now in some cameras, you can set very high shutter speeds for video. So you might think there is no limit there. Think a little about video. Remember the 30 frames per second. If you shot those 30 frames per second at 1/30th of a second, you end up with all of that entire 1 second filled with images.
There would be no gaps between each shot. Now suppose you shot at 1/1000th of a second. The total time used would be 30 1/1000th of a second for the 30 frames, meaning that 970/1000ths of that second, nearly the entire second, will be blank. That puts a huge gap between each frame that causes the video to stutter or chatter. Our eyes are not capable of creating smooth motion with that gap and so action looks unnatural.
Let's take a look at what these look like for video. First here are the dancers shot at 1/30th second. Did you notice how smooth the action looked? It looked like normal video. Now I shut the same dancers at 1/640th of a second. Did you see how chattery or stuttering the action looked? That did not look normal for video. While shooting at such high shutter speeds can give a very interesting and unusual look for an action filled scene, kind of a special effect, and in addition a high shutter speed with video is important if you want to look at still frames from that video.
Network sport, for example, will set up a special camera for freeze frames that will be shooting at very high shutter speeds just so they can go back to it and freeze the action. So if you wanted to check details of the action of these dancers, you would need a high shutter speed. But normally for video, you will be choosing a shutter speed between 1/30th and 1/90th of a second. You won't see much difference between those shutter speeds. I also find that you can get away with as high as 1/125th of a second if the motion is not too fast.
Some video purists feel that the ideal shutter speed is 2 times the frame rate. That would mean if you are shooting 30 frames per second, you would choose 1/60th of a second for the shutter speed. But one thing to remember about video is that you are limited in your shutter speed so as long as you're between 1/30th and 1/90th of a second and occasionally go up to 1/125th of a second, you'll be okay. Shutter speed choice is definitely a different thing to consider with video versus still photography.
The speeds may be the same, but the results are not.
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