Best DSLR Video Settings – Basics of the Film Look How-To (Pt. 1)

This week, I’m going to explain how to get
your videos from looking like this, to something like this, so that you can get a bit more
creative in post production. I’m going to be using two common entry level
cameras to show you how to set your basic settings The older, more basic Canon Rebel T2i, and
the more current, Canon EOS 80D. These settings apply to any camera, no matter
what the brand. There are 4 major settings you need to know
on your camera to get a cinematic look. The Frame Rate, Shutter Speed, Aperture, And
ISO. I’m going to briefly go over these in this
video so that you can quickly get started, and then make separate videos for each that
go in-depth. If you’d like to just get to it, here are
each of the different settings to get you started First, Frame rate. The frame rate used for film depends on where
you live. In North America, this is 24 frames per second. In most of europe and asia, this is 25 frames
per second. To set this setting in the T2i, you will need
to hit the menu button, and in the first tab, change the movie recording size to the one
that shows 24 at the far end. I’m in North America, so for everyone else,
this will be 25 for PAL cameras. Anything higher, produces a smoother image. perfect for things like vlogs, or sports,
where we want it to feel more like real-life. But movies feel more dramatic and surreal
than real life, so we want to use lower frame rates To show you the difference, here is a tracking
shot at 60 frames per second, and the same shot, at 24 frames per second. The Next setting you will set is the shutter
speed. The optimal setting for most scenarios is
to simply double your frame rate and choose whatever option is the closest. So for most cameras, this will be a shutter
speed of 50. In order to change these settings in the T2i,
we must put our camera in manual exposure mode. To do this, access the menu. Go to the 2nd tab, and go to the option “movie
exposure” And then manual. This now gives us access to all of the settings
we need to set. The shutter speed, is the number at the far
lower-left corner of the camera. You set this by using the vertical wheel located
on the top of the camera. Set it to 50. This sets how much motion is in each frame,
and also how long light is allowed to hit our camera’s sensor. The 3rd setting you will need to set, is the
camera’s Aperture. This is the number just to the right of the
shutter speed. This controls our depth of field, and how
much light the lens lets into the camera. You will typically want to set this as low
as possible for most of your cinematic looks, unless it is for landscape shots. On the T2i, you can set this by holding down
the Av button, and then using the dial wheel you used earlier, set the aperture. To demonstrate, here’s the 80D going through
different aperture settings. Notice how a lower number lets in more light,
and the higher number, less light. It is most useful, however, for setting the
depth of field. The lower the number, the less background
we actually see in focus. The higher number, the MORE background we
see in focus. The final major setting is the Camera’s
ISO setting. This setting is the final step for making
sure your image is properly exposed, or in more simple terms, not too dark, not too bright,
this image is just right! The ISO is how sensitive the camera is to
light. You set this by hitting the iso button on
top of the camera, and using the dial to change the setting. You can start off by setting the camera to
AUTO ISO, which will try and correct your overall brightness automatically, without
changing the other settings. Indoors or in dark scenes this can cause disgusting
grainy images; so once you are comfortable, you really should set it manually. ISO Digitally boosts the light in the image,
so you want the lowest setting that you can possibly get while still getting a properly
lit image. Think of ISO as a last resort, for when you
simply can’t get the image bright enough by setting the aperture first. The last settings are more minor, but really
enhance your ability to edit your footage. First, is white balance. You will want to change this from automatic,
to any other setting that looks good for your scene. The reason is that while automatic mode does
a decent job, it will switch profiles if the lighting changes in your scene, which means
your shot might not match halfway through the take To keep this consistent, set it manually. The 2nd and most important is the picture
profile. The standard image profile in the camera digitally
colors the image to provide high saturation, and high contrast. This looks ok, but because any entry level
camera saves a compressed image file, these settings get baked into the footage, making
it extremely hard to edit and change later on To get around that, you will need to reduce
the contrast, and saturation, which provides us with what is called a FLAT IMAGE. If you are using a Canon Camera like these,
you can download a Free profile made by Technicolor, called Cinestyle, that provides an even flatter
image than is possible straight from the built in settings. If you look at the shadows in the railing,
we see almost no detail in dark areas. Whereas Cinestyle gives us all that detail. We can then add the shadows back later in
post. For example, here is that tracking shot from
earlier, which was shot extremely flat, but as you can see from post production, we can
create really dramatic images, due to this flat profile saving all the details. We can change the colors to suit the mood. And there you have it, all of the basic knowledge
you need to start getting more cinematic footage. Be sure to subscribe for when I release the
in-depth videos on all of these settings, and like the video if it helped you out. And in the meantime, feel free to keep yourself
entertained by any of my other videos. Thanks for watching, and I’ll see you next

100 Replies to “Best DSLR Video Settings – Basics of the Film Look How-To (Pt. 1)”

  1. Can't tell, how many videos I've watched just to get the settings right, but this hit the nail on the damn head.

  2. As a beginner I have a question about manual settings for video ( have a sony rx100 mark 5 )… on the last trip I did some videos in auto mode and the result was a disaster.. the trees I was filming looked just way to crispy and sharp ( probably due to a very high shutter speed,, was a very bright day…. now after some research I set it up like this ( shutter speed priority mode,, so it is locked (depending on fps) but the aperture is changing automatically ,,, 24 fps, shutter speed 1/50 ,, aperture auto,, ISO auto… but even when it gets to aperture 11f (max) it is still overexposed,, in the case like the drone I have, I would regulate this with ND filters,,, what can I do in this case??? isn t it better to keep just a locked shutter speed so the camera can regulate automatically the aperture for getting the right amount of light??? cause the light conditions are changing constantly…just when increasing the shutter speed to 1/200 the exposure is ok,, but then i have broken the rule of thumb (shutter speed 2x the fps ).. What actually happens when I turn the ND filter on on the camera??? please explain a bit how to keep the values and what to do when light conditions change,, thanks a lot in advance and sorry if some of the questions are stupid but I am just a beginner in manual settings for video))))

  3. really an impressed tube and channel…so please visite my channel and give me…
    do it.

  4. Mate I’m in Australia been a canon film and now digital but never took video till starting now this helped me heaps. As very straight forward for good looking stuff. Love my photography but thought hey time to get the most out of these babies. As I’ve only just been game enough to use light room more than a quick check that the light setting was ok when was at say a race or surfing. Yet I notice all these fantastic colour set exposed shots. Which drops of water that reflect perfectly. So a good friend sat down said yes your old school soldier then a photographer. But that’s the way now. As long as you Shoot a good Shoot and get it right don’t be afraid to give it a touch. As it’s not cheating as long as you don’t go spending hrs on a photo that should have not been displayed anyway. So this was a great bonus to stumble on. Cheers 👍🇦🇺🇦🇺🇦🇺

  5. Awesome video. I was unsure about a couple settings to get a more cinematic shot and now I'm clear as a sunny day with with no chance of rain. Thank you!

  6. Thank you so much for this video. I am just starting photography and wanting to film some shots at an orphange I once helped at. I'm hoping with these new settings, I'll be able to provide them with a decent video! 😀

  7. the post production just looks like you put a filter on it… one with a high contrast and a "glow" effect. I preferred the before shot over the after shot.

  8. Thanks for this vid. I know they're getting a bit long in the tooth now (tried & tested I say) but the 550d still seems to be a serious option for shooting HD on a budget. I'm not sure I want to go down the ML/ RAW route as I hear that can be a bit twitchy on the older Canons, but Cinestyle seems like an option I need to check out. I prefer the idea of reducing the information that's being compressed in the first instance as opposed to reducing the compression itself.

  9. This was a great video!.. I just purchased my Cannon TS7i and your video helped me to know how to set my settings to movie quality for my first video…thanks again!

  10. What are the best settings on my canon 80D for shooting a live video Dance Stage Performance? Any recommendations would be appreciated. Thanks!

  11. I have now utilized all these settings on my T3i, and it is a very noted difference…will continue to go through the other videos….much thanks

  12. Sir one question has appeared in my mind sometime. In the purpose of Videography on DSLR Camera, which criteria should i follow everytime if my FPS setting is 25p.

    1. I should take videography in auto mode only.
    2. Should follow manual mode and Shutter Speed should maintain 1/50 where Aparture 5.6/Other.
    3. Should follow Shutter Speed priority mode with 1/50.
    Which is best setting?

  13. You’re not funny. At all. You ARE really good at explaining this though. Thanks! Stop trying to be funny. Not working for ya. Keep making these videos!

  14. Thanks!

    Really concise video cuts through the hype, explains general tips for all brands with detailed setup for Canon cameras. Providing tips I've not seen elsewhere.

  15. thank you for your good tutorial . can someone tell me plise — on which canon camera possible to do the TRIMMING AND EDITING ON THE CAMERA ? no one say it on youtube !!!

  16. someone help me with my autofocus please, my canon t2i always has to be manually focused and idk how to fix it. PLEASE HELP!

  17. i've heard from someone, cant remember who, but he told me that it was better to record the footage at 30 fps and then using your editing software export the result in 24 fps. is that appropiate?

  18. Super helpful tutorial – trying to use my old T3i for a b-roll shoot as I think it can still produce some solid cinematic results, then Ill add a low cost Glidecam and I should be all set. Let me know if there’s anything else that would be helpful ….thanks !

  19. I don't think Cinestyle is available any longer. In this case, would you just use "Neutral" for a flat image or is there another profile that should be used?

  20. GREAT VIDEO, really I understood principal keys that I need for my project, really thanks!!!good job. Greets from Chile

  21. YOU are a god send, have had my t2i since 2011, just got interested in shooting video. This was really helpful. Going to the cinestyle video now. WooHoo.

  22. I have both the T21 (It is the 550D here in the Philippines, my first DSLR) and the 80D and still learning to properly shoot videos so this video/post is very important to me. Thank you,
    Route1Reels. BTW, liked and subbed (a long while ago).

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