January 21, 2017

Watch: Here's a Video That Will Demystify ISO, Shutter Speed, and Aperture for Beginners

Do you know how to use the three most important settings on your camera?

If you're just getting started on your filmmaking journey, one of the most crucial cinematic concepts to understand is exposure. Sure, your camera most likely has an auto setting that helps you expose your image correctly, but that's not going to be helpful in every shooting situation, which is why you should understand the different tools filmmakers use to achieve a proper exposure: ISO, shutter speed, and aperture. Caleb Pike of DSLR Video Shooter provides an excellent explanation of these all-important camera settings in the video below:

So, there you have it. It might be complicated at first, especially when you take into account how some settings offset the others, but once you get a handle on what each one does and how they change your image individually and collectively, it's actually pretty straightforward and simple.

One important note: be sure to have plenty of light to create your images. Adjusting your ISO, shutter speed, and aperture to make up for lack of light is sometimes a necessity, but it shouldn't be your everyday solution, especially when it doesn't have to be. Shooting a doc in the middle of the jungle at night—makes sense. Shooting a film in your backyard at night—plug in a light!      

Your Comment

6 Comments

Thanks for simplifying this for me!

January 21, 2017 at 3:47PM

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Kandice Wolf
Editor
13

I had interest in this post because I often have to break things down to people when they come back to me with substandard images in the professional environment from following advice much like this. So much so that i'm considering putting out a video that actually breaks down the importance of understanding native iso in exposure. Obviously that's on a camera by camera basis and this guy does disclaim this in his video as he's using a G85 but I think this is miseducating and misleading. Beginners need to understand this from the get go. If you think it's a good idea i'll make one and send it over. Focusing my importance on getting the best quality images from the correct exposure as opposed to juggling settings and ND, touch base on how a sensor works, why the light is important etc. I can even show extreme examples with likes of RED and how ISO is essentially just metadata but that might be too soon for the beginner brain.

January 22, 2017 at 5:26AM, Edited January 22, 5:26AM

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Josh Allen
Director, DOP, Editor.
16

I don't think it is fair for you to just leave it there. The guy in question has posted his video. If a counter-video is too much hassle for you, could you please open up your comments about best practice for images in the professional environment.

January 22, 2017 at 5:21PM, Edited January 22, 5:21PM

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Saied M.
1178

It was absolutely my intention to assist in any way I can. I was asking if it would be worth doing a counter video, not stating that it would be too much trouble. My motivation would be not to criticise but to as I stated earlier assist in further learning for those people seeking it, ensuring the most accurate information is out there. The internet is a mine field of information and for those seeking to learn so they can work in a professional environment I'll help in any way I can to help ensure people don't make mistakes that can be avoided.

January 23, 2017 at 11:44AM

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Josh Allen
Director, DOP, Editor.
16

Yes please...

February 21, 2017 at 6:40PM

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On the case Michael Freudenberg!

March 25, 2017 at 7:43AM

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Josh Allen
Director, DOP, Editor.
16