DPReview TV: How to set exposure when shooting video

Welcome back DPReviewTV viewers it’s Chris Nichols here from dpreview.com
and I’m trying annunciation this time so no more ‘Christicles.’ I think this week I’m gonna call you guys
‘Deepers’ that’s what we’re gonna go with, that’s your name this week. Let us know
what you think and you know what we’re gonna do today is something that you’ve
asked for on the forums, people are saying we want some instructional videos
on videography: techniques, exposure handling, Log files all that kind of
stuff so today we’ve got a fun and easy entry level video we’re we talking about
video graphic exposure today. Now for today’s video we’re gonna keep it simple
so we’re gonna assume that we’re not doing Raw recording or Log recording yet
just that you’re starting out and using standard color profiles and if all that
stuff that I just said makes no sense don’t worry we’re probably gonna address
that in future instructional videos for you but we’re gonna be talking about
today is the four basic aspects of video exposure so I know you guys are all
familiar with your exposure triangle in photography so this is simply an
exposure triangle with four aspects [Jordan] That would be a square Chris
It’s [sigh] we’re going to go with trapezoid. It’s a trapezoid an exposure trapezoid because those are
kind of triangular but with an extra thing. Alright so I want to start off
talking about aperture and how that plays a part in videography you know
essentially depth of field is identical between photo and video but you can use
depth of field in very creative ways for video like you just saw now: a person
walking from out-of-focus to the plane of focus. Now of course very thin depth the
fields a popular look in photography because it very much draws the viewers
eye to the focal point you want them to look at and that does work in
videography as well but some of the challenges you’re gonna face with ultra
thin depth-of-field are, for example looking at somebody talking just like I
am if you’re moving your hands a lot or bobbing your head in and out you can
very easily have that subject go in and out of focus it could be quite
distracting so you know one thing that Jordan really recommends even though you
bought those really expensive wide aperture lenses he’ll often suggest stop
down a bit give yourself a little bit of leeway so you have that coverage just in
case in the end though it’s all up to you how you want
use it creatively and don’t forget you can manually focus and use that depth of
field in a very interesting way to draw the eye visually through your frame.
The last thing I want to touch on is f-stops versus t-stops you’re gonna hear that
quite a bit in the video world now I’m not going to get too technical but just
remember that an f-stop value as part of a mathematical equation, it’s your focal
length of your lens divided by the actual diameter of the aperture blades
in millimeters but it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s the exact
amount of light coming through the lens there’s lots of other factors involved
where you might lose some light transmission what this all means is that
if you buy a really fancy lens and it says it’s an F 1.4 it might not actually
give you ‘1.4 amount’ of light you might be getting something more like
1.7 or 1.8 it really depends on the lens so t-stops are very simply this rather
than go with the f-stop value the manufacturers actually figured out the
true light transmission and they’re giving you a t-stop to represent the
actual light going through to the camera Now in photography f- stops aren’t a big
deal our cameras are often doing automatic exposure so they compensate
for this little issue here any sort of post-processing can take care of it from
photo to photo to photo we’re talking about you know in most cases a third
stop but in videography this can be an issue I mean imagine if you’re doing
multicam work for example on a live show where you’ve got two different lenses at
2.8 and they’re not giving you the exact same amount of light that could be a
problem and even if you can fix it in post afterwards if you’ve got a
multi-day shoot we’re talking about a lot of work from scene to scene as you
switch lenses it’s expensive and this is why you might want to invest in
t-stopped lenses. Hey everyone it’s Jordan to talk about shutter speed and this is
definitely the exposure variable that photographers struggle with the most
because in photography we’re primarily using it to freeze action but in video
it determines the sense of motion in the shot and let’s just wave our hands
around in front of our faces right now especially if you’re on public transit
right now and you can see we see a natural blur when we do that same thing
that you’re seeing in the video right now that’s because we’re using a shutter
speed that’s double our frame rate we’re shooting 24 frames per second right now
we’re shooting at a forty eighth of a second and if your camera can go close
50th of a second but whatever frame rate you’re shooting at, double your shutter speed will
give you nice natural looking movement okay so for a
perfect demonstration of shutter speed I’m bringing in my friend, local legend
Adam Mudry. Ad..[trails off] No you’re supposed to come from… you know we don’t have
time or enough fog, let’s just, let’s just do this
[Music] so while Adam’s playing right now
I’ve shot this at a 50th of a second which is going to give us
natural-looking movement and a 500th of a second which is a shutter speed I
would use if I was photographing live music to freeze action and you can see
the 500th of a second looks really weird here where our 50th of
a second we’re seeing some blur we can actually see where the drumsticks are
going at a 500 they just appear and disappear around the frame irregularly
looks extremely weird it’s not how our eyes see motion you look at things like
horror movies occasionally they’ll use fast shutter speeds for effect because
it’s disorienting but I don’t want everything that I shoot to look like a
horror movie and it doesn’t just apply to fast action here you can see Chris
talking and I guess doing some judo or something and you can see even with this
slower movement the fast shutter speed looks weird when we’re looking at it
right now and that’s why we want to try to stick to that double your frame rate
rule so what this really means is shutter speed is just going to be a
fixed exposure setting for the vast majority of your shooting, if you really
want to control light levels generally you’re going to be using your iris to do that
[Chris] Jordan it’s an aperture, they’re the same thing, stop using your video speak
Iris or aperture to adjust exposure if you’re in lower light you’re also going
to be using your gaint to adjust exposure [Chris] That’s more video lingo now I’m gonna
explain that later in the video We’ll get to that, or you can also use
filters if you’re in bright light again we’ll touch on all that stuff later you
know what, Chris can talk about something now I’m out. Alright deepers this is a
quick and easy one I want to talk about ISO and essentially when it comes to
photo and video ISOs identical same values same kind of light sensitivity
but that being said I just want to keep in mind Jordan just talked about how he
often use relatively slow shutter speeds to do video as compared to photo and
because of this you don’t often have to crank your ISO that high. Also on top of
that if you do need to raise it to get your depth of field where you need it by
all means do it but I find that in video it’s a little bit more forgiving because
with the motion the noise patterns always changing it’s not as abrasive as
in a photo. Last thing I want to mention because videographers think that they’re
cooler than the rest of us they like to call ISO ‘gain’ it’s an acronym
I believe it stands for gangsters and industry ninjas because that’s what they
consider themselves Alright so let’s talk about the fourth
leg of this exposure square I’m calling it a square Chris. [Chris] it’s a trapezoid and
you know it. Regardless right now we’re shooting in a bright day we’re at our
lowest sensitivity, we’re at a 50th of a second so I get nice natural motion blur
but you can see we’ve got this really distracting background and Chris has
already put a three-stop ND filter on it just to be able to shoot at 5.6 but i
still don’t love this background so we’re gonna put some more ND on right
now so now we’ve got 6 stops of neutral density on there so we’re able to shoot
at f/2 and you can see we’ve knocked that background out more effectively so
I’m using my aperture choices creatively and then I’m using neutral density when
I’m in bright Sun to control the exposure that’s why you really want to
have these in your bag now there’s a couple types of neutral density filters
I like using these fixed ones because we can swap them over and out and there’s
no issues with reflection anything like that
you’ll also find variable neutral density filters and these will let you
smoothly move between different exposure gradients the trouble with that is
they’re polarisers as well, so you’ll see weird things happening with your
reflections when you change exposure and even when you pan the camera so I prefer
working with fixed ones but it is certainly a bit less convenient. So now
Chris is shooting me with a neutral density filter and a polarizer and
polarisers are great because you probably already have one in your gear
bag they’ll cut down on average 2 stops of light now right now Chris doesn’t
have the polarizing effect on but as he swings it over here you can see that the
reflections in the water lessen also the exposure on my face shifts a little bit
looks really great the problem is if I’m using two angles one with the polarizer
one without the polarizer my saturation and exposure are going to shift between
shots so I love using ‘polls’ for video just don’t mix and match shots with and
without a polarizer. All right I hope you enjoyed that useful little tutorial on
the video exposure trapezoid you know the video exposure square. It’s a
trapezoid and you can you can solve that argument on the comments below and don’t
forget there’s so much more we want to talk about in terms of video exposure
and techniques things like frame per second things like Log file, Raw recording,
camera movement audio lots of stuff that we want to touch on let us know what you
guys would like to see in the comments below and also don’t forget to check out
our Twitter our Instagram feeds and definitely subscribe if you want to see
more content yeah I mean that’s the way to show us that you want to get more of
this content so That’s how you show us love. Yeah show us up we’re so
insecure, all youtubers we need the love and of course comment below
anything else you want to talk about we could do photography tutorials otherwise
in the meantime if you looking for some more information yeah if you really
found this useful check out Richard Butler wrote an ‘Intro to video for photographers’
you can see the link in the description below great article to
get you started as well but don’t worry more reviews coming soon so stay tuned

Comments 100

  • Awesome!!! video tutorial… more of this. @tunji_sarumi

  • "Its Chris Nichols here" – okay ready to watch!

  • best visual for shutter speed. It would be nice if you could demonstrate how different picture styles and sharpness/contrast settings affect footage

  • Great video guys!

  • Awesome! Thank you guys. Video newbies are usually stumped by the AUDIO component of video production. You may want to cover that in future video tutorials.

  • Awesome Video Chris & Jordan! I'd love to see more of these kinds of videos

  • I'am starting to dive into video, so yes, please go on with that series.

  • Great video, exited to see more!!
    Would be cool if you show the process from shooting to editing video in log, i still cant figure it out right, especially slog with the overexposure and how to grade it

  • Excellent tutorial and idea. By all means, please continue this series, because as I see it, for now its hard to find good on-line resources for aspiring videographers…(like myself…)
    Personally, I would be interested in considerations regarding image quality, formats, file sizes, etc. (the theory appears simple, but for some years now already, I cant't see with my eyes any differences between my 25p and 50p videos, or between mp4 and xavc-s… all other parameters equal).
    Simply put: how to maximize quality while minimizing file size?
    Best regards an good look!

  • Love to see a "1 Year Later with the GH5" since 6 months has past since the "6 Months Later with the GH5" video. Mostly we would like to see what you guys ended up doing for primary goto lens. Did we get use to the focus by wire? NJah's be packing! Frederick & Jennifer

  • pass on being called DPr's (deepers). Loved the video!

  • Awesome tutorial, guys! Will you be covering the log profile and it's variety across all the brands for video work?

  • More please

  • Very good information. Well done. On another subject, I fail to see the need to have a cutsey name to call viewers. You could just say Hi Folks.

  • Great job as always guys!

  • Video exposure DIAMOND! Uh, Ninja Star! Uh…

  • Great job guys! I usually take photos but this one still benefits…

  • Great video! I mostly do photography, but I'm starting to dabble in video because my camera can do both. This is important information. It would also be great if you could talk about how to use exposure tools like zebras and waveforms.

    Now I just need to expand my knowledge of Premiere Pro CC and get a home computer that can handle it instead of having to go to the library and borrow their iMac. Another video idea for you: what specs to look for in a computer for video editing and why.

  • Great video for me as someone who, as a photographer is looking to get into video. Thanks guys.

  • Hey guys really liked this video. Could you come up with level by level guidance about videography more on a technical aspect like this one ?

  • Really great basic video. Thank you. Also, I always wonder about white balance in a video. We put in a few seconds in a photo raw, but it seems like a lot of effort on a video. Would be great if you make a video on that. Thanks

  • What an amazing video! Helped me out so much! THANK YOU! You guys are killing it with the new channel! Awesome work keep it up!

  • I thought you would get into how to expose using different white balances, metering modes, zebra levels and backlight compensation. Maybe next time. But good basic info.

  • Just the advice/help I needed, thanks from the UK 🙂

  • A trapezoid is a quadrilateral with two parallel sides, whereas a square is a regular quadrilateral with four equal sides and four equal right angles, which means that opposite sides are parallel, and all sides have the same length measure..

  • I still don't know how to shoot video with my Nikon. AGH!! I just dropped my surface on it's head…whew, it still works. Anyway, what I take away from this is to shoot at f4 and 1/50 of a second because I will be shooting at 24 FPS, right?

  • Wow legs! 3:53

    On a serious note, what I have noticed nowadays are filmmakers almost always shoot with an open aperture regardless of the scene. They just want to always get super shallow depth of field even if the scene doesn't call for it.

  • I get the 1/2x Frame Rate argument for shutter speed. Well, kind of…
    Yes, going faster will make movement look unnatural, but why not going slower? to 1/Frame Rate?
    From what I've gathered the 180º shutter angle resulted from technical limitations on film that don't exist on digital. I've made some very quick tests and I can't see unnatural movement. Can anyone give me a reason not to shoot at 1/24 SS for better IQ?

  • 8:57 it's neither trapezoid or square because jordan made a rectangle shape 🙂

  • great video, please make one like that about choosing right white balance/kelvin in different lighting conditions.

  • Ah ha. Chris just got exposed!

  • Audio!!!

  • Beautiful. A perfect amount of information.

  • Very useful – as a stills photographer I’d love to know how to better use all the video capabilities that have sneaked into the pro cameras. More please…

  • Great video me being a novice took your advice & lowered my shutter speed but I shot
    Freight Trains in bright sunlight my videos were no longer sharp kinda fuzzy do I bump the shutter speed for moving trains? Help please advise ….. I look forward to your future videos thanks for your time

  • very helpful, best explanation i've seen on this subject. i'd really like to see more of this.


  • Let's talk about panning, shall we? I'm always confused about how and when to do it.

  • i really enjoyed some practical advise and examples mixed in with the usual product placements. i think it might be a new avenue on youtube not just to talk about a product but to throw in some practical examples about how to utilize the equipment. even though i have been a photographer for many years i am fascinated about video and how to do it well. good job in moving in the right direction, at least by my opinion.

  • I'm an old school cinema "film" guy, so I don't call it ISO or Gain, its ASA!

  • Parallelogram

  • can you make video about video formats? mp4,AVCHD,XAVC and which one is better for what kind of video thanks

  • Hello tcs tv o no i ment dp review make a video with tips for stabilizing video without any gear like a steady cam. Only you and the camera.

  • you guys are legends

  • Way to have completely out-of-sync audio during the drum segment! Noobs!

  • When can we expect the next video in this series? 🙂

  • Great explanation. Well done (!)

  • It's neither a quadrangle nor square. It's a diamond. Thanks for the great video. As a suggestion to future videos, I would like to see the subject of video dynamic range and highlight roll-off. This video that you just shot shows the problems with filming in harsh lighting conditions. What can be done to mitigate blowing out highlights in harsh lighting conditions and which cameras have greater dynamic range to help prevent blown highlights? It's something I wrestle with all the time shooting wildlife out-of-doors. I would love to get Jordan's take on this (No offense to you Chris) and learn some tricks of the trade.

  • Doubling the shutter speed at 60fps only gives an exposure time of 1/120th which wont give enough blur. 180 degree rule only works for 24/25/30 fps or slow motion shops. If capturing and playing back at real time then motion blur is motion blur, which is defined by exposure time as an absolute not as a ratio. This is probably why all 60fps footage looks staccato and horrible. So please stopp peddling the '180 degree rule'. It should be the 1/48ths to 1/60th of a second rule.

  • Good information, thank you

  • Enunciation police are the pixel peepers of sound.
    Just don't say about.

  • What kind of turkey is at 4:22?

  • We're looking to start upping our game and do more cinematic looking videography to document vintage car and motorcycle restoration, racing and some of that sexy drive through the mountains and creeping in low lit urban streets. Is there a good handheld video platform we can start to experiment with? If this isn't the place to ask, can you suggest another venue? Thanks for the tutorial above, keep it up!

  • You asked for ideas and suggestions, here is mine 🙂 I have edited a lot of 1080p video in Premiere over the years, but never really tested 4k video editing. With virtually all new cameras offering that, can you make a comparison how much slower the workflow with that material is? All aspects – how much more the cards I need to write on cost, how the downloading it on the PC compare timewise, is importing in the program slower, how bad is the lag (if there is such) when you go up and down on the timeline and ofc – the time of exporting a clip in 1080 and 4k, plus the size of the final file. I guess in real life a lot of people are yet to make the jump from HD to 4k and it can be helpful for giving us an idea what to expect. Sorry for the long post and thanks for the cool videos you two make. I find them informative and useful.

  • Thank you.

  • This was great. Very informative for a novice with video.

  • Brilliant. Thanks.

  • Thank you guys, waiting for something like this for a long time. Looking forward for more.

  • Great tutorial …. make more of that. I love it.

  • Please help anyone. I have my ISO at 100 and would like to keep it that way (is that a good idea in video?), my shutter at 1/50th since I am shooting at 24FPS, and my aperture at 5.6. Now, when I move the camera sometimes my exposures goes into the negative or positive and my question is, which is the best way to keep my exposure perfect? do I increase the ISO or the aperture? but what about if I want to use F4 all the time? which is the best technique to use?

  • Why not trapeZOIDBERG?

  • whos manning the camera filming in the last scene?

  • Trapezoid!

  • Great video but we need more of that. How to adjust the camera, picture profiles, audio etc

  • awesome video, PLEASE keep it going – everything is interesting!! Personally I'd like to see more Log related videos, especially exposure setting etc.

  • This video was useful for explaining shutter speed.Good thing you didn't mention anything about a freaking histogram. Ya need to do tutorials on how to expose log footage using a grey card 18% with the false color and wave monitors. And how to use a light meter. Also how to white balance using an expodisk or a grey card.

  • This is one nice video of you for filmaking or videography call it as you wish and the sense of video motion or call it effect or natural blur or natural movement is the most important thing.. and you achieve this with shutter speed 1/48 at 24fps and ever slower.. and something else important in daylight you use higher iso and in low light you use lower iso values and you are adding your lighting equipment in this case.

  • Thanks very helpful as I am new to video. When shooting video in 4K how do you deal with storage? (I was shocked to find 1 min of 4K video taking up nearly 700MB of storage space). I'm using a Panasonic G85 & a GX85. I would be shooting mainly family (esp. those energetic grandchildren) & travel.

  • It's a rhombus, noobs! 😂

  • a square is a special case of a trapezoid 😛

  • One thing to consider regarding ND filters. Adding ND filter also shift color balance noticebly. We need xrite color chercker to bring back the color tone.

  • You guys flow really well. Lots of info and you don't just love to hear your own voice. Thumbs up. I'm going to look for any Panasonic Vlog stuff you have now.

  • Trapasquare or squareazoid

  • Great stuff – please do more like this!

  • Love this. Thanks guys.

  • Great info! Thank you very much.

  • useful info as usual – why not do some videos on editing video?

  • How to create that maximum shallow depth of field with video then? With photo's you can heighten the shutterspeed, but that will create choppy video. I film with f-stop 1.2, 24fps with the shutterspeed at 1/50. That will create the shallow field of depth but the effect is more how I like it with whe shutterspeed almost at it's maximum. What's the best way to still have fluent video?

  • There's a lot more clarity at the higher frame rates. Especially in the drummer shot you can see a lot more clarity on him and the lights behind him. Is it possible to get that clarity without the high shutter speed?

  • I love this series… thank you!

  • F-Log

  • Was wondering what "gain" stood for. Always assumed it was some French acronym.

  • If you want to shoot video of a dark scene with as little noise as possible is it better to expose the image to look dark in camera or is it better to expose it to look brighter (without overexposing the highlights) and then darken it in post? I ask because I've heard that noise is always higher in dark images.

  • Neither of you have to argue: it's an exposure quadrilateral.

  • I expected to hear about whether to use wave form, levels or your eyeball to get correct exposure…

  • MOVING HANDS while talking, are one of the most DISTRACTING parts of any video, I was always taught “If you can’t keep your hands still while in shot then sit on them”! That way instead of annoying half of your viewers, some to the point where they switch off, (the last thing you want to achieve) you don’t offend any of your viewers.

  • Is there a reason why you shot yourself in uneven lighting? Like you head is in the shadows but your body is in direct sun light. Or you simply just didn’t want to be in the sun?

  • Good introductory, but I think people that seeking "how to" videos on exposure are more concerned on how to set the correct exposures in video – i.e. grey card, white card, zebras, ETTR / oev – sone stop over – one stop under etc, light ratios, etc.. Especially when the situation is at hand where there is no opportunity to go through complex setups ( run n gun ). I suggest that would be a topic in which your viewers would watch more than once and use as a visual guide for shooting.

  • thats circle

  • I think the term you were looking for was quadrilateral. A trapezoid would have a pair of parallel sides.

  • Love this video, please explain a bit more on how Gangster and the Ninja works with everything else? Thanks🙏

  • great, thanks, movement maybe, or codecs

  • the drummer explanation, awesome

  • Great video! I would love to see some more about nd filters and color profiles.

  • It’s a quadragon

  • Why is the color different between the initial 1/50th and 1/500th comparison on the drums?

  • Slow down a little on your instruction

  • DPers 😉

  • Wow, I totally love your videos. Very usable info. Learnt a great deal from you guys.

  • Which should I use, 24fps or 30 fps? what's the difference of the choices?

  • Super mega exposing cinegamammas and slogs tutorial please

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