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Shutter Speed For Video: What Are The Best Settings?

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Nowadays we live in such a dynamic world in which everything and everyone is ruled by the latest technology. It is almost like we live in a video where things and people are moving way too fast. Videos and photos are no longer taken only for professional causes and also to serve as a memory maker, they are also taken because they make you socially included and accepted by society. Videos are not just moving visual images, they often know how to convey a strong message for a serious matter.

There are many details that matter while recording a video. Every and each detail has its importance and plays a major role during the process of video making. Some of those details are The script, the video’s length, content, lighting, editing, shutter speed, captions, format, sound and so many more details that make a video complete and ready to deliver a message or make an impact.

In this article, we will focus on a detail that is mentioned among the other details and that is shutter speed.

First and foremost, let’s start with defining things.

What is shutter speed?

The shutter speed is the refresh rate of your camera.

The slower the refresh rate is, the more motion blur we see, as the sensor is exposed longer to the light. On the opposite, when the shutter speed is faster than normal, everything is super sharp as the sensor gets exposed super quickly.

How much shutter speed should you use?

A normal shutter speed gives us a natural motion blur, just like the eyes would see.

A simple rule is to take double your frame rate. So, if your frame is 25fps, your shutter speed should be 1/50 of a second.

Dramatic action shots

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Now, there are many occasions when you don’t want a normal shutter speed, and here are 5 reasons why.

  1. The first one is to bring more of a dramatic look to your action films. If you are going to increase the shutter speed to around 1/200 of a second, and have this on a 25fps recording, you will actually have a four times faster speed than normal. This trick is actually used in many actions or war movies, and one of the most iconic ones is Saving Private Ryan to make the explosions and blood splatters more crunchy and sharper. And this even added a more realistic tone to the movie. Or, let’s take for example a boxing match and two boxers doing their thing. If you switch on a faster shutter speed during the boxing match, that will make the entire boxing scene even more dramatic than it is.
  2. Another shutter speed trick can be the opposite of the first trick. If your frame rate is at 25fps and your shutter speed is 8, that will give you a lot of motion blur, which could reflect on the dizziness of an actor in a movie, who has just taken some drugs, and if you see the same video with a normal shutter speed of 1/50 of a second, the whole dramatic feeling of it will be gone.
  3. Slow-motion magic. If your camera can shoot slow-motion movements, for example at 170fps, try to set your shutter speed at 1/360 of a second. However, if you are shooting a fast action, which is very often the case, I would actually suggest setting it a bit faster. If you are filming at a normal shutter speed of 1/360 of a second, you are going to see a normal motion blur and you won’t focus on the blurry details, which become more prominent in slow motion. But, if you set your shutter speed to 1/500 on a second, that will slightly make the moving parts crispier and sharper, which will also be more pleasant for the audience, as they will be seeing the details a lot better.
  4. Time-lapses. A common beginner’s mistake is when they leave their camera roll and just speed up their clip in the post-production part. But, what they actually do when speeding up a clip is change the frames per second. But, the shutter speed should also change and that’s something you can’t do in post-production.
  5. Dark environments. You can’t increase your ISO endlessly or you will see too much noise. And that’s why you don’t have to be afraid to lower your shutter speed a tiny bit, exposing your sensor more. Definitely, when there is not much movement in your shot, the extra motion blur is not big of a problem. And the same goes when you are shooting outside and you forgot your ND filter. Instead of clothing your aperture all the way and having everything in focus, you could increase your shutter speed to around something 125, and thus you can open your aperture a tiny bit more, having the background more out of focus.


Final words

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So, as you can see, recording or shooting a video does not require only holding the camera or any device you are using in front of the object, that’s just the beginning and the easiest part. Shooting a video requires much more effort and thoughts into it. A lot of details are included and they have to be taken care of one by one. You have to learn every aspect of professional compositing, camera movement, the visual language, lighting and so much more, of course, if you want to make your video more captive to a massive audience and impress them with what they are watching. 

Shooting the perfect video might not be easy, but don’t put your guards down. Be willing to learn, everything can be taught and learned. Practice makes perfect, so do that. Practice each and every day, do your best, and don’t compare yourself to others cause in that case you will be offending yourself. I’d recommend you read our camera slider roundup if you’re into videography.

To conclude, i’d say that your biggest competition should be yourself and no one else and you should bear that in mind once and for all. Try to be as much creative as you can, creative videos always bring more attention.