Frame Rates and Shutter Speed. Quick tip.

In still photography we have three settings to control exposure: ISO, aperture, and shutter speed. When shooting HDSLR video, the shutter speed is pretty much locked. We only have ISO, which is limited, and aperture, which we want to use as a technical AND as a creative tool. For this post, let’s concentrate on shutter speed.

Is there an ideal shutter speed to use?

The answer is yes, there is. Unless you are trying to shoot high-speed, or slow motion, a good rule of thumb is 2x the frame rate. So for example, if you are shooting at 30fps video, set your shutter speed at 1/60th of a second. When it comes to shutter speed, we basically set it, and forget it.

Camera Settings for HDSLR Video

Faster shutter speeds make for better frame grabs, but also make the video more choppy.  This video is one of the best visual explanations I’ve come across for both concepts. Remember that exposure is extremely critical in digital cinema, we don’t have the RAW latitude we enjoy in still photography.