How does shutter speed affect my video?

You might ask your self, what’s the Best shutter speed for my video? Let’s take a look into answering that now!

When filming videos there are typically three settings you need to concern yourself with, Aperture, ISO, and shutter speed. In my previous video I covered ISO settings, and now I wanted to talk about shutter speed. On a digital camera, shutter speed is a way to describe the length of time the shutter stays open when you press the button to take a picture. For this scene I have my shutter speed set to 1/60. So that means the shutter is open for 1/60th of a second. A shutter speed of 1/30 would be 1/30th of a second. Because the shutter is closing so quickly, it’s only able to let in a certain amount of light. The faster you have the shutter speed, the less light the camera will be able to take in. So if I’m filming, and it’s a dark scene, can I just lower the shutter speed to let in more light? Well… not quite. Let me show you what happens at lower shutter speeds.

You notice when filming the lower shutter speeds had really stop motion footage. It wasn’t smooth. Then as the shutter speed increased, the footage quality was smoother, but there was less light on the scene. From this testing the minimum that looked smooth was at 1/60 shutter speed. And this is related to the frame rate I’m filming at. Right now I’m filming at 1080p/60. So the original footage was shot at 60 frames. Therefore the minimum you ever want to set your shutter speed is equivalent to the frame rate you are filming at. My Canon m50 can shoot at these settings, so I would match up the frames per second and shutter speed the same.

When looking at the footage though, the 1/120 looked better than the 1/60. Let’s try to figure out why.

The original cameras used a rotary shutter, that spun in a circle, and it would be 180 degrees or 1/48th shutter speed for shooting 24p video. When looking at film this is what we are most accustom to seeing, that is why the general recommendation are these settings. That’s also why the recommendations carried over to doubling up your shutter speed according to your frame rate

Frames Per Second
Recommended Shutter Speed
24 (american film)
1/48 or 1/50
25 (european film)
30 (american tv)
60 (american monitors)
1/120 or 1/125

Good ISO Levels for Youtube Videos

Are you curious what ISO levels work well for YouTube videos? So am I, let’s figure out it out together!

First a quick background on ISO levels and why they matter. ISO is the sensitivity to light of a digital camera. When trying to setup a scene, you want to get the right exposure. If i had an image with a lot of light, and it was overexposed, the white in the image will look blown out. For example, let me overexpose what you’re looking at right now and show you what that looks like.

So the goal is to expose the image at a level where the whites aren’t blown out but theres enough light in the scene to see your subject matter. If it’s too dark or the contrast is too high the blacks will blend together and you won’t have a clean video. When setting up a shot like the one you’re looking at now, there’s a 3 settings that you want to focus on to expose an image, Shutter Speed, Aperture, and ISO. There’s a famous exposure triangle image you can google that explains this more in depth, or I could do a video on this in the future. Right now I’m in optimal lighting conditions and am filming at f/2.0 aperture, 1/30 shutter speed with ISO 100. ISO 100 is the lowest my camera will go, and therefore the BEST setting. But you won’t always be in perfectly lit conditions, and when filming in low-light, you will most likely have to increase the ISO to get usable video. The cost to increasing the ISO is a noisier image. At some point the image will be too noisy to be usable.

So let’s do some testing. The camera I am going to use is the Canon m50, which is an entry level camera with an APS-C crop sensor. Just know that a  full frame camera would let in more light in a comparable test. For this setup I am filming at 30 frames a second full HD 1080p, and going to use a shutter speed of 1/30. I am going to use a fixed aperture of f/3.5. The only thing we are going to tweak is the ISO. I will however be shooting with 2 different lenses. I will be shooting with my Canon EF-M 22m f/2 lens and my Canon EF-S 18-55mm with the Commlite adapter for EF-S to EF-M. 

The EF-M lens is a native lens to the Canon M50 which can let in more light, but again ill be using f/3.5 at 22mm.

The EF-S lens is an old kit lens I got with my T3i which can only go as low as f/3.5, and it will be focused at 22m. I’m testing both to see if the quality is different between the two lenses, since one is native and the other is not and connected via an adapter. I will be cranking up the ISO in equal increments and seeing how it performs in low light and how noisy it gets.

Now I’ll give my analysis on what we just saw. Again if possible shoot at 100 ISO, that’s your best setting for video, but when not possible i thought approximately 800 was acceptable. it was a nice blend of good exposure on the image, and there wasn’t too much noise in the image. This is of course viewing the video at full screen FULL HD 1080p. Now here is where maybe you can fudge things a bit. If your audience is primarily a mobile audience, try looking at the video tests on your phone, and let me know if you change what you think the highest acceptable ISO is. After viewing it on my phone, I feel like I could let the ISO go as high as 1600 and it still looks fine. So keep in mind, if you have a target audience you can tailor this to, and are happy with the results, feel free to fudge that a little.

Starting a YouTube Journey

I created a YouTube channel finally. What is the goal for the channel?
Learning how to create content and sharing that journey.

I’ve always wanted to create content, but was never confident enough in my self and ability to do so. Time is fleeting so there’s no better time to start then now. As of now I only know some basics. To learn how to create content is a daunting journey, as there is ALOT to it. Just think of the end of an episode of your favorite movie. All those credits past the actors are the production staff that went into creating that episode. There is writing, videography, editing, audio, lighting, photography, composition, gear, techniques ,and math. Not to mention many more skills you’ll need. That movie had a staff of professionals to do all that, you will have to fill ALL of those roles by yourself! 

But fear not, other youtubers out there are successful and they have figured it out. We can too! So i’m going to start a series of my learning process and sharing that along the way. My main goal is to learn and make mistakes. In terms of economics the market is an unbiased judge of what is good and what is not. At first it will probably be hard and the market will not be buying what i’m selling. But as times goes on, i would hope that we learn how produce good content that makes us feel good. Things you can expect are

  • Camera tutorials
  • Gear discussions
  • Example content
  • Testing different styles of video
  • Reviews Maybe
  • Struggles and Lessons learned