After a lot of awkward talking into a camera, I finally managed to finish my video tutorial on shutter angle! If you are not sure what shutter angle is and how it can help you make your DSLR video look more like film, please watch my latest SurfacedStudio tutorial
In addition to the video I have written up the following tutorial to go into a few more details on shutter angle and why it is so important.
Have you ever taken a video with your DSLR and it ended up looking more like some cheap home made clip rather than high quality film? While there are a lot of steps taken in post-processing to make the footage look sleek and polished, one simple principle you can utilise right now to improve the quality of your videos is shutter angle.
When you take video with your DSLR in automatic mode two bad things will happen:
The shutter speed of your camera controls how much motion blur you will see in every single frame of video footage. Unless the amount of motion blur in the video is similar to the amount we see in our every day lives, the footage will not feel natural to us. Our brain will perceive the differences and distance us from what is happening on screen :?
Have a look at these two images:
The falling ball in the left image has a lot more motion blur because the photo was taken with a slower shutter speed of 1/30s. The falling ball on the right side has a lot less motion blur because the shutter speed was faster at 1/100s. While this example is a photo, the effect of shutter speed on video is the same! The amount of motion blur in every single frame is controlled by your shutter speed.
The camera trying to maintain even brightness in your video by constantly changing the shutter speed is bad because it changes the amount of motion blur from frame to frame, creating a very inconsistent feel
Most of the time, we are used to seeing a certain amount of motion blur with our naked eye - just try to swipe your hand in front of your face and you see what I mean. Sometimes we have 'blurry vision' and all movement around us seems to leave more streaks than normally. Other times we receive an adrenaline rush and suddenly everything we see and hear appears were sharp and rich in details.
By using a specific (fixed) shutter speed we can give our film a certain amount of motion blur, depending on what effect we are after: