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When it comes to setting up your shutter speed to get a proper exposure for your DSLR video, there are rules you can follow that apply to any camera that has manual settings.
As a starting point, getting great looking video out of your DSLR camera, starts with getting the correct exposure (lightness or darkness) for whatever scene you are shooting. Setting your shutter speed is the easiest place to start because, in general, you’ll set it once and leave there for the entire shoot.
The 180 degree rule is a concept in filmmaking used to setup a proper shutter speed based on your frames per second (FPS). The rule dictates that you multiple FPS by two. In the case of 24fps, you’d set your shutter speed at 1/48th. However, with most DSLR cameras you don’t have 1/48th as an option so you use the closest number which would be 1/50th. If you’re shooting at 30fps then you’d use 1/60th.
This rule determines the amount of motion blur you’ll see in your video. Using the 180 degree rule gives you the same setup that is used in hollywood filmmaking. It’s the amount of motion blur that our brain expects to see because it has been used in film for so long. Also, our eyes naturally see some kind of blur so this mimics what our eye is already seeing.
Setting your shutter speed too high (125th and above) will start to produce jagged looking images. Moving objects in your scene won’t have much, if any, motion blur and thus will appear to jump from one point to another giving your videos a jagged look otherwise known as the staccato effect.
A famous example of this is the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan. The higher shutter speed makes things appear hyper-real and more chaotic. On the contrary, slowing the shutting speed below the 180 degree rule will produce a dreamy or psychedelic look.
If you are shooting video in a low light situation,a trick for getting more “real” (non ISO enhanced) light into the camera is to slow your shutter speed down below the 180 degree rule. As mentioned above, in scenes with lots of motion this might produce a weird look however if you are shooting a scene without a lot of motion, it can be a great trick for getting more light into your video.
Music heard in this video (in order of appearance):
A Sparkling Journey BY: Alexis Messier
Making Music by: Mx Brodie
*Gear used to make this video:
Transcend SD card 16 and 32GB Class 10
Canon Normal EF 50mm f/1.4 USM
Manfrotto 701 HDV Tripod
Rode VideoMic Pro
Impact Multiboom Light Stand and Reflector Holder – 13′
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