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Lets get technical

Did you ever get frustrated with all the options you have on your DSLR and not really knowing what to use and when? well you’ve come to the right place, because this will make you more confused bwahahaha! Just joking!

I will be going through some of the essential settings you might want to play around with when making a movie on your DSLR camera in simple steps. Remember as I have already said many times but the most important thing in filming is the person behind the camera. YOU! But at the same time if you don’t have the basic settings configured on your camera then you might step into some issues which might require some tissues. We don’t like tissues…maybe when cleaning the camera.

Some key words to consider are ISO (International Organization of Standardisation), shutter speed, aperture, frame rate and White balance, these words wont be as alien by end of this post.

When we first start off at a location we need to start by looking at the colour balance of the camera and shots, this is where we define what white looks like under the current environment. As you can imagine there are many factors that could change how a colour looks in an environment, this process is used to eliminate colour off balance. This can be done by taking a picture of a white wall, paper etc… and use the settings in your camera to use that image to set the white balance. This process will set your cameras colour wheel to be in sync with the current environment.

Next thing we can look at is the frame rate, now this is very much dependent on the type of video you want to make. Traditionally film makers use to film in 24fps as they would try to use the least amount of fps (frames per second) to save costs which become the standard for filming very quickly but with the introduction of power line frequency standardisation (50HZ)it’s not possible to broadcast a 24fps video on TV. All broadcast friendly videos are shot in 25fps now.

This does not mean you can’t shoot at 24fps, I shoot most of my videos at that frame rate as this gives me more of a documentary look with the videos and has that raw history to support it as well.

Once we have decided the frame rate we need to set the shutter speed, this one will be easy for the beginning part but once you start playing around with your filming style this could develop into a complex beast.

Rule of thumb for shutter speed is that the shutter speed should be double the frame rate – example for 24fps / 25fps the shutter speed should be 1/50. Well that was easy! keep it that way!

Now let’s look at ISO as this can be a valuable tool in assisting you in dark times. See what I did there?! a bit of a filming pun!

Right so ISO speed is used to change the sensitivity of the camera sensor. ISO is similar to Shutter speed as it can determine how much light comes in but ISO is directly linked to the sensor. The lower the ISO the darker the image, the higher the ISO the lighter the image. BUT! the higher you go with ISO the more grainier the image becomes, so use it wisely. With great power comes great responsibility.

Oh and Happy mothers day everyone! High five to all the amazing mums!

Enjoy!

Ajmeet


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