Camera Settings

Filming: Camera Settings

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The Golden Triangle

This is the relationship between three really important elements of capturing images or in our case moving images. These are ISO, Aperture and Shutter speed. Changing one element of the golden triangle might mean that you have to compensate with something else. It's all about give and take, if you can align everything together this it'll make your session look 100x better. Every environment requires different settings, it's a good idea to constantly experiment with the adjustments of each element.

Golden Triangle - SP.jpg

Looking at the settings of a camera can be quite daunting, but don't worry we're here to break it down for you. Although we're using our Canon 5D MIII as an example, the ISO, Aperture and Shutter Speed can be found on all cameras. They might be positioned somewhere else, but the figures are universal so you'll be able to differentiate them from one another. 


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In very basics terms ISO will brighten or darken the image depending on the setting. As a rule of thumb we prefer not to go any higher than about 1600. As we find that the quality of video can really get compromised.

Common ISO Values

  • ISO 100 (low ISO)
  • ISO 200
  • ISO 800
  • ISO 1600
  • ISO 6400 (high ISO)


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Aperture refers to the opening of a lens’ hole which light passes through, the larger the hole the more light passes through. Aperture creates depth of field, which gives you that blurry background effect.

Common Aperture Values

  • f/1.2 (Large Aperture)
  • f/1.8 
  • f/2.8 
  • f/4.0 
  • f/22.0 (Small Aperture)

Shutter Speed

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Shutter speed affects how much motion blur is in each frame of your video.  If you want your motion blur to look normal, you should take your frame rate and double it. Although this rule doesn't always apply, it is dependent on your light set-up. 

Common Shutter Speed Values

  • 30 (Low)
  • 40
  • 50
  • 500
  • 4000 (High)

White Balance

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It says it in the name, white balance 'balances' the colour temperature in your shot. Depending on how we want to set our whites we can really set the feel for the session. You want to try to get everything as ‘right’ on the day as possible  - of course post production always allows us to play with some changes, but setting up a consistent shoot and making sure your lighting and camera settings are calibrated each time really helps build a consistent product.

Common White Balance Values

  • AWB (Auto)
  • Tungsten (3200K)
  • Daylight (5500K)
  • Tungsten (3200K)
  • Colour Temp. (2500K-10000K)

Frame Rate

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Frame rate refers to how many frames are displayed per second on the screen. The lower the frame rate the more jagged the movement is on screen. Filming at a higher rate also give you the ability to slow footage down with fluidity. The industry standard is set to 24fps, however this doesn't mean you cannot experiment with what best suits your needs.

Common Frame Rate Values

  • 23.98 fps

  • 24 fps

  • 25 fps

  • 50 fps

  • 60 fps

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