Camera Basics

Camera Basics

Camcorder Manuals & Setup

Using the Panasonic AF100


Using the Panasonic HMC150


F-stops, Shutter Speeds,Rule of Thirds, Reading a Histogram

Shutter Speed and Frame Rate (10:12 mins) FYI

Shutter Speed Variation: using a 45° shutter in Saving Private Ryan, Steven Spielberg, 1998

from Cinemashock

By applying 45 degree shutter, we are achieving certain staccato in actor’s movement. We are achieving certain crispiness of explosions. Everything becomes slightly, just slightly more realistic.

Go almost always for the 180 degree shutter (that is, 1/50 if you shooting 25 frames per second, 1/48 when 24 fps, 1/60 when 30 fps etc.). This is the perfect looking natural looking film blur, something we’ve been seeing for so many years, something we are used to and like a lot.

If you want to add a subtle sense of realism, go for a smaller shutter degree (or faster shutter speeds, in 24 fps that would be from 1/48 to 1/60, 1/120 etc.) resulting in lower amount of the motion blur.

On the other hand, if you go for a dreamy look (or feeling you are on drugs, confused, you name it), you can experiment with slower shutter speeds like 1/24, 1/12 etc., adding thus more of the motion blur (this concerns only video cameras though).

What is a 180° shutter angle? If you look at the shutter as having a full 360° angle, then 1/2 that is 180°. Remember your rule: set the shutter speed to equal 1/fps x 2.

For example, if you set your frames per second to 24fps, then your shutter speed should be 1/24×2, or 1/48. This represents a 180° shutter angle.

A smaller shutter angle means a higher shutter speed, which will give you blocky movement in your shot, and objects in motion will tend to be crisp rather than blurred.

Setting shutter speed to your desire is a matter of practice and experimentation.

Using a Waveform Monitor and Vectorscope

Larry Jordan’s excellent article on Color Correction using a Vectorscope: Make People Look Normal. Plus some pretty lively commentary on what skin tones are “normal.” It’s all good.