DIY External Joystick box – v1

Using this joystick controller.

Sketching out the distance
Using an acrylic sheet as the top
Marking out the drill holes
1/2″ and the 5/16″
Need a drill press for cleaner holes
Didnt have 16mm for the red switch toggles
connecting all the wiring
testing the board and the buttons
cutting some rabbit grooves to slide the panel in. Luckily enough it was the kerf of the blade
assmble a base, wood was warped
add some screw stoppers so the board wont slide
all hooked up

Color profiles affect more than color.

Today i’m gonna do a short video on color profile settings for my CanonM50. By default there are some stock color profiles that come loaded on the CanonM50,

  • Auto: Sharper, more contrast, more saturation, will adjust the colours to look vivid, especially blue skies, greenery and sunsets. As such it is particularly good when shooting landscapes and outdoor sunset scenes.
  • Standard: Provides crisp, vivid images with increased saturation, contrast and sharpening. Default on EOS DSLRs.
  • Portrait: Optimizes skin color tones and saturation. Reduces edge sharpening for smoother skin texture.
  • Landscape: Produces punchier greens and blues with stronger sharpening for crisper-edged mountain, tree and building outlines.
  • Neutral: Has lower contrast and saturation than Standard. It is therefore ideal for images you intend to post-process by selectively adjusting the color, saturation, contrast and sharpening of individual images. 
  • Faithful: Similar to Neutral but produces images that are colorimetrically almost identical to the actual colors when shot under standard daylight conditions (i.e., an average color temperature of 5200° Kelvin.)
  • Monochrome: For black and white photos. Also includes four optional B&W contrast filter effects (yellow, orange, red and green) and toning effects (sepia, blue, purple and green).
  • Fine Detail: The default [Saturation] of “Fine Detail” is similar to “Standard” but the default [Contrast] is set lower than “Standard”. “Fine Detail” has Sharpness’s [Fineness] and [Threshold] both set to the minimum of [1], so even thin and low contrast edges can be sharpened to produce an image emphasizing fine edges and patterns. Unlike “Neutral” and “Faithful”, “Fine Detail” is intended for images that will be used straight from the camera, without post-processing (however we suggest you to take RAW images to enjoy the maximum post-processing flexibility).

After looking at these color profiles in the video, I noticed that sharpness is different across color profiles. This was something I did not expect, i expected only color and saturation to be affected. So if doing an overhead sketch shot, you would want to increase the sharpness to catch the fine detail. Or this could be something you do in post processing. I am unsure how to do sharpness in post processing and how it will affect the quality of the videos, or if this is something you want to do as you film. It’s very different from shooting RAW photography and video.

I do think for the film look, you want softness and a flat color profile. This way you can color correct/color grade the footage after the fact. Then you can apply sharpness to only certain parts of the film. It’s also possible to load in custom color profiles which you can create yourself or others have created. This will give you additional effects. The other thing to notice is that different color profiles have different color settings that are outside of the stock sliders that come on the camera. So play with the color profiles and see if you can find a look you want for your shot.


How does Aperture affect video?

When filming a video one of the common words you will hear is the word aperture. Most people care about aperture to get a very beautiful blurry background when shooting a subject. This blurry background is known as bokeh and it can either be good or bad. Typically the blurrier and creamier
it is when the background is out of focus, it’s called good bokeh. When setting up a shot, it’s part of the triangle of settings I keep mentioning. ISO, Shutter speed, and aperture. Aperture is a tricky setting, because it actually adjusts things in two ways. It changes the amount of light let into the sensor and the depth of field. Let’s talk about what happens when you adjust the aperture on your camera. When you open the aperture,
you are opening a diaphragm which lets more light into the sensor. You can picture a circle getting bigger the more you open the aperture. Opening the aperture is usually referred to as changing the f-stop (full stop). The lower the aperture (for example f1.8), the wider the opening is letting in more light. The higher the f-stop setting is, the smaller the opening, and it let’s in less light. So you might be asking why would I ever want to let in less light? Isn’t light KING?!?!

Well when you are adjusting the f-stop, you are also adjusting the depth of field. The lower the f-stop,the shorter distance of what is considered in focus. So at f1.8, the depth of field is considered shallow and only close objects will be in focus, and your background will be out of focus. This is how you produce good bokeh. If you raise your f-stop all the way to something like f/11, then things further away will be more in focus. If you wanted to capture your subject and clearly all the items in the background,
then this would be the setting that you want. The best way for me to describe it, is to picture an alligators mouth. If the mouth is barely open, the aperture is barely open, there’s barely any light getting in and the focal length is very far. If it opens up really wide, it lets alot of light in, and the focal length decreases. If this is hard to visualize, i’ll walk through some tests now showing how the aperture impacts your video.

Video Parameters:
Canon m50
f/2.0 to f/11
30 fps
iso 200 (800 at f/11)
15-45mm f/3.5 lens
22mm f/2.0 lens

Let’s go over what we saw from looking at the footage. As the f-stop was lower, we let more light in, and the focus was very shallow. I don’t know if you could tell, but with a shallow focus, it’s possible that someone’s
eyes can be in focus, but the ears or top of their head is not in focus. Sometimes this is what you want, depending on what shot you’re going for, but sometimes going too narrow isn’t what you want. Another thing you need to consider is all that light that’s being let in. If you were outside in the sun, f1.8 will usually blow out your image and overexpose it. This means you might have to crank your shutter speed very high to compensate, but if you are going for 2x the frame rate, this isn’t possible. You will have to find a way to make things darker by adding an ND filter (which i’ll cover in another video.) So just consider that when working at lower apertures. As I
increased the aperture towards f/11, you’ll notice it let in alot less light, and things in the background became more and more in focus. For a cooking show or maybe a group picture, I could easily see myself increase the aperture to make sure I don’t miss out on any details. However with less light being let in, i’ll most likely need to tweak the ISO which will inevitably add noise.

So to summarize again, aperture controls how much light is let in and the depth of field of a shot.If you are wanting to get that nice bokeh, then set your apeture on your shot, then accommodate the shutter, iso and lighting to accommodate the look you are going for. Getting this right takes practice, and setup, setting up this shot took me along time to get the look I was going for. Hopefully this was helpful and provided you with some insight onto how aperture works.

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