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shutter speed

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mark Aitken
shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 3:56:58 pm

I'm filming very fast moving swallows. When I manage to catch them in the frame the results are very different from what I see with my eyes. The birds are blurred and look like mosquitoes - rather than the acrobats they are. I think this may have something to with shutter speeds? I'm shooting at 25P.


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Todd Terry
Re: shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 4:06:43 pm

Is your goal sharp still photos? If that's the case and you want no motion blur, then yes your shutter speed is too low. WAY too low, probably.

25p has nothing to do with it, that is apples and oranges (although many people confuse the two. 25p (or more commonly here in the states, 24p) is the frame rate, not the shutter speed. That only tells you that you are shooting 25 frames per second, it does NOT tell you how long the exposure is for each frame.

Now, normally when we are shooting motion for film and video, we want that motion blur... it is needed to help our brains mush all those individual frames into nice smooth fluid motion. If you shoot with too high a shutter speed, you get that jerky staccato look that we see so often used (or rather overused) in action scenes. That is called the "narrow shutter effect," and is sometimes used well (Saving Private Ryan), and sometimes way overused and poorly (and movie that happens to be Fast and/or Furious). So what is happening in those cases, the frame rate was (probably) 24 frames per second but the shutter speed was much higher... maybe 1/250 or even more.

Now when you want the appropriate amount of motion blur to give a smooth look, the usual rule of thumb is "One over twice the frame rate." That is, if you are shooting at 24fps, then a good target shutter speed would be 1/48th of a second. That will give you the "normal" smooth look. but if you are wanting sharp crisp stills of those birds to extract from your footage, then you need to shoot with a higher shutter speed. If shooting 25p you still be shooting at a frame rate of 25 frames per second, but you'll want to crank your shutter speed up much higher. You footage probably won't look to pretty if you just watch it as normal footage (it will have that staccato look), but individual frames will be sharp.

I know, it can get a little confusing...

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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mark Aitken
Re: shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 4:14:22 pm

Thanks Todd. I'm not extracting stills. I just want to see on video what I see with my eye - if possible. I'm not especially technical but I think there's a setting I'm not aware of here that needs adjusting. I want a smooth look - the way we see things - rather than an effect.


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Todd Terry
Re: shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 4:23:55 pm

If that's the case and you are shooting 25p (25 frames per second), then a "normal" shutter speed to give you a smooth fluid look should be 1/50th of a second... give or take a little bit.

But, as I'm sure you know, things on screen are never exactly as they appear to your naked eyeball. That's usually a good thing and we use it to our advantage... but here that's probably a negative for you, since that's the goal.

Good luck!

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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mark Aitken
Re: shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 4:37:37 pm

I've just checked the C300 menu and there doesn't seem to be a shutter setting - only 1/3 or a 1/4 or an angle. (I'm not clued up on shutter speeds for video cameras!)


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Todd Terry
Re: shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 4:45:00 pm

I shoot with the C300 every day, and yes you can easily change the shutter speed.

MENU >>
SHUTTER >>
Set the MODE to "SPEED." Yours is apparently set to "ANGLE"

Once you have it set to SPEED instead of ANGLE, you'll be able to adjust your shutter speed precisely. I'm not sure how you will access shutter speed on your particular C300, for mine I have one of the programmable buttons assigned to SHUTTER, but undoubtedly yours will not be the same button.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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mark Aitken
Re: shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 4:59:12 pm

Maybe I'm missing something here... it was set to OFF and when I set it to SPEED I'm not given any options. I've looked athe manual and serached YouTube but no joy.


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Todd Terry
Re: shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 5:21:56 pm

You won't be given any other options, SPEED is the setting, that's the "mode" you are in, and the one you want.

Then you use other camera controls to adjust the actual speed, after you are in speed mode. What they are on your camera, I cannot say, for me it's an assignable button on top (on the monitor module) that I have pre-assigned as shutter speed. When I press that button the shutter speed (which I believe appears at the bottom center of the monitor (which will say something like "48" or "1/48") will be highlighted, and then you can use probably the thumbwheel on the grip or one of the two dials on the port side of the camera to change that speed. It just depends on what it assigned to those controls.

I'd suggest you find one of the programmable buttons that you are not currently using (or don't mind using for something else) and program that to "Shutter"... the manual will show you the steps you have to take, I couldn't go through them off the top of my head.

Incidentally, you could still change the shutter speed when you were in the "ANGLE" mode, it just is expressed in terms of angles rather than fractions of a second (SPEED). The speed setting is much easier to mentally think about.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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mark Aitken
Re: shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 5:26:52 pm

Thanks Todd. Now that makes sense. So I'll set it to 1/50 and see what happens.


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Todd Terry
Re: shutter speed
on Jun 23, 2020 at 5:30:36 pm
Last Edited By Todd Terry on Jun 23, 2020 at 5:31:11 pm

You should have smoother results that way, good luck and let us know how it looks.

Shutter speeds and frame rates are complicated things and people confuse them all the time, but once it settles in your brain it's pretty simple.

I should have said that there might already be a shutter speed button assigned on your camera, I can't remember if one is there by default. Before you go to the trouble of assigning a button, it can't hurt just to start pressing all of the buttons on the port side and on the top monitor and see if any of them highlights the shutter speed number on the monitor. If it does, then that is your shutter speed button and once it is highlighted you should be able to use either the thumbwheel or one of the dials to change the speed. Canon doesn't make it super intuitive.

T2

__________________________________
Todd Terry
Creative Director
Fantastic Plastic Entertainment, Inc.
fantasticplastic.com



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