Canon 7D, Exposure Settings for Video

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Setting the exposure for video is similar to setting exposure for still photographs, but you will notice a few differences that will only apply when recording movies. One obvious difference is that you can only view your scene in Live View, and the LCD Monitor will display a simulated exposure for what your video will look like during the recording process. You’ll know it’s working properly when you see the exposure simulation icon displayed in white on the Information Display (Figure 9.4). There are also some limitations on shutter speed and exposure— keep on reading to learn more about them.

 In video mode you will see a simulated exposure that is similar to what you will actually record.
FIGURE 9.4 In video mode you will see a simulated exposure that is similar to what you will actually record.


As with other types of photography, we have the option to shoot in auto or Manual mode (M), but with video the settings are a bit different. When using a shooting mode other than M (such as P, Tv, Av, and the Full Auto modes) the camera determines its exposure settings by using autoexposure. You have no control over the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. This is a simple setting to use if you want to get a quick video and don’t have the time to change the settings manually. However, with autoexposure you have limited control, and if you want to take full advantage of your DSLR and lenses when shooting video, you’ll probably want to give the Manual mode a try.

The Manual mode for video functions in the same way as it does for still photography: You pick the aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. You can even change your settings while you are recording (although the microphone might pick up camera noises—read more about audio later in this chapter). I prefer to use the Manual mode when shooting video because I like to be in control over all of my settings, and I also like to use the largest aperture possible to decrease the depth of fi eld in the scene.

One important thing to note when shooting video is that you have some shutter speed limitations, depending on your frames-per-second setting. The slowest shutter speed when shooting with a frame rate of 50 or 60 fps is 1/60 of a second, and for 24, 25, or 30 fps you can go down to 1/30 of a second. You can’t go any faster than 1/4000 of a second, but it’s recommended that you keep your shutter speed between 1/30 and 1/125 of a second, especially when photographing a moving subject. The slower your shutter speed is, the smoother and less choppy the movement in your video will be.


if you were to edit the video fi le on your computer, it would be diffi cult to change the white balance without damaging the pixels, and if the white balance is completely off, you might not even be able to salvage the video’s original colors.

What’s neat about shooting video is that you can see what the video quality will be like before you start recording. This means that you can set the white balance and see it changing right in front of you

Picture styles are also a very useful tool when shooting video. They work the same way as with still photography, and you can preview your scene with the changes while in the video Live View mode. Just remember that once you record in one of these settings, you can’t change this quality of the video. For example, when using the Monochrome (black and white) Picture Style, once you’ve recorded a movie, there is no way to go back and retrieve the color information.


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