This guide will help you quickly master camera settings and get better DSLR videos


So you’ve bought a DSLR for shooting videos and you’re not sure where to begin. It can be overwhelming, as there are plenty of settings and variations. If this is the case, Darious Britt has a useful video for you. He’ll teach you some of the basic settings for getting the best video look with a DSLR, and quickly guide you through the camera settings and features he normally uses. Although you can have different features in your camera, the principle stays the same, and you can still apply the same settings like resolution, frame rate, ISO, shutter speed etc.

Camera settings

These will vary based on your DSLR, but Darious guides us through the settings of Canon 60D. There are some options that aren’t really important as they don’t affect the video itself, so he doesn’t mess with them, and even skips a few settings. So here are the important ones:

Set the camera to Movie mode and set the movie exposure to Manual. Leave the Autofocus mode on Live and disable Autofocus with the shutter button.

Darious leaves the ISO speed settings at 1/3 stop, disables Highlight tone priority, and sets the Movie recording size as noted above – 1920 x 1080 at 24fps.

As for sound recording, you can leave it on Auto. If you’re using an external sound recording, this doesn’t matter.

As for the metering times, he uses 16 sec, and he recommends using the grid for helping you with the composition.

There’s an option for setting exposure compensation, and Darious leaves it at 0. He disables Auto lighting optimizer, and sets picture style to Neutral. White balance depends on the light source, so you can adjust it based on the lighting conditions.

You can set the Auto power off as you like, and Darious usually leaves it at 2 minutes. He turns off the Auto-rotate option, and always formats the card before using it.

You can set the LCD brightness to a lower value if you want to save some battery life. Set the Video system to NTSC if you live in the US or PAL if you’re from Europe/Asia/Australia.

Things to set and forget

There are some settings Darious recommends you set and forget. The first is the resolution, which he leaves at 1920 x 1080. For you, it depends on the camera and if it supports 4K.

The second is frame rate, and he leaves it at 24fps. Those in UK and Europe should set it to 25 fps and set the shutter at 1/50. The golden rule of the frame rate and shutter is – you determine the shutter speed by doubling the frame rate. So, for 24fps it’s 1/48 or 1/50 shutter speed, for 30fps it’s 1/60, and for 60fps it’s 1/120 or 1/125.

Then, he sets the picture profile to Neutral, as it enables the most changes in post. Depending on your camera, it may be called differently, and you can even download different picture profiles.

Variable settings

ISO  –  if you’re outdoors, your ISO will be around 100-200, and for indoor shooting, it can go up to around 800, depending on the light you’re using.

Aperture – this one will depend on a number of factors, such as the look you want to achieve and the lighting conditions. If you want to achieve a shallow depth of field outdoors, you’ll need an ND filter to bring down the brightness so you can open up the aperture.

White balance – you’ll set this up depending on the type of light in which you’re shooting, in most cases, it will be Sunlight or Tungsten.

When this is all set up, you need to focus properly. You can zoom in with the digital zoom to make sure everything’s in focus as it should be. And one extra tip for mastering the camera settings really fast is to vlog in manual mode. You’ll need to adjust the settings more often and you’ll pick it up really fast.

Finally, to make all this seem less abstract, Darious gives some sample footage in different conditions and with different settings. From outdoor shooting in bright sunlight to an evening indoors, you’ll see how different settings affect the look of the video.

I’m all new to recording videos, and the only thing I have for this is a DSLR. Although many of these settings are applicable to photography and I’ve already known them, I find the video-specific parts really useful. But all the newbies who bought a DSLR for the purpose of filming over photography and still don’t know where to start, I hope this gave you a bit more insight and helped you with learning.

[MASTER camera settings FAST for BETTER VIDEO! | D4Darious]


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