Thursday, July 23, 2015

Manual Shutter Speed for Video with DSLR-Type Camera, huh?

New to photography here with a pretty new DSLR-type (mirrorless) camera. I'm still getting the hang of manual control, but it's amazing what I can do now. It's even better that I don't have to pray for the camera to take the picture I want. Think I have shutter speed, aperture, and ISO sort of down for still photos; that is, I know what they do, not that I set and use them properly. This was not the case a few weeks ago when all that confidence disappeared because I decided to try filming a video or movie using manual.

Filming Video with Manual: What the hell does shutter speed do?
Just so you don't get led on, I'm not answering that question: that was my question and it had a lot more expletives when I asked it.

Aperture and ISO seemed pretty obvious my first time in movie mode. But what the hell was this shutter speed thing?

I knew what it was supposed to be used for in still photography. For some reason, it just didn't translate to videos in my mind. What I was originally thinking was, if my frame rate was set in frames per second, how could I be changing the speed of the shutter? Wasn't the camera fixed to whatever timing produced 24 frames per second or whatever my setting was? Was my camera going to get damaged if I set it too fast or slow? Isn't it used for high-speed or slow motion videos? OMFGBBQ!!!

Thank goodness for Google. Hours later, I had my answer and a rule of thumb or two. And I also learned how to divide a second of time into smaller fractions. Anyway, the point of this post is to point you to the videos I made using different shutter speeds.

Video Shutter Speed Variation - Side-by-Side

Summary of Videos
The two videos use the same set of videos. However, one version has all the separate videos shown sequentially while the other version shows two at a time sequentially. There was a plan to show more than two at a time, but my video editor would only allow three videos to be edited at once and I needed one "video" for text -- that or I just didn't know what I was doing.

Anyway, from what I understood, choice of shutter speed was most apparent when it came to moving objects. My first thought was to find a ball or to use a lazy Susan, but the kitchen tap was what I settled on because it was more consistent when reproduced. In short, the cold water faucet was turned on and off while filmed with lower and lower shutter speeds.

The videos were shot using a constant aperture -- unless I accidentally changed it -- and a varying ISO to try to maintain the exposure while the shutter speed changed. Highest ISO I went to was 25600 and the lowest shutter speed was 1/1600. Footage was too dark at that point and getting grainy. Do note that I tried my best to keep track of the shutter speed for each video, but I couldn't find a note in the metadata to double-check. As usual, accuracy is not guaranteed.

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