Video Tech Tips - Shutter Speed

Shutter speed full circle: Setup and adjustments

Jul 8th, 2016

Hi, I'm Wade James, and thanks for tuning back in to Guidefitter's Video Tech Tips. Last week, we talked about ISO. This week, we're talking about shutter speed. We're going to do this one in dummy terms today because that's how I run. The first tip I'm going to tell you about shutter speed is to figure on running your shutter speed at double your frame rate. That might sound confusing to you, but let me explain.

In a 24P timeline, which is the project that you're making for your video, if I would record both of my cameras at 60 frames per second, I'd never take my shutter speed below 1/125 of a second. Here's why. When I drag these 60 frames per second clips into a 24P timeline, as long as my shutter speed is double of what my frame rate is, I can slow that footage down and get smooth slow motion. On the flip side, if you have that setting wrong and you slow it down, you'll get that really, really choppy, irritating, warbly, jumpy slow motion footage and it won't be smooth. Shutter speed is your savior in conjunction with ISO.

A lot of people and filmmakers will use neutral density filters, and I use them also, but if you don't have the luxury of using one, your best bet is to crank your shutter speed up to get it exposed properly if you can't take your ISO down any lower. A neutral density filter is like sunglasses for your camera. What that allows you to do is run your ISO where you need to in a bright situation, and also have your shutter speed set where you want to, at, say, 1/125 or 1/50 of a second. Say it is broad daylight, bright sun shining down. I am in a tree stand filming out into a field. My ISO will probably be at 100, and my shutter speed, I'd like to keep it at 1/125, but it'll be blown out, so I'll crank that shutter speed up as high as I can to get it darkened as much as I possibly can. Inside of a ground blind, I want my shutter speed to be that 1/125, and I'll crank my ISO to get it brighter. The next piece that we'll talk about is aperture. Aperture will be your best friend once you learn how to use it properly.

I'm Wade James, and thanks for checking out Guidefitter's Video Tech Tips.

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