Low-Light Videography on DSLRS

Well-composed images shot at night are something that most people don’t give enough credit to. As a filmmaker, I know how exhausting it can be to get that perfect shot at night. For all you beginning DSLR people out there here are some pointers that might come in handy.

First, you must know your camera settings and the limitations of those settings. We’ll start with ISO; never have your ISO above 1600.

While some mirrorless cameras such as the Sony A7 series can shoot at higher ISO rates without conducting noise, basic DSLRS can only go up to an ISO of 1600 before the image gets noisy. Keep your shutter speed between 1/30 and 1/50 and set aperture between F/1.2 and F/5.6. Readjust your camera settings to manual mode and bring down the contrast all the way to keep your image from getting too dark.

Just keep in mind that when shooting without light the “nosier” (grainy) your video can be. However, more advanced filmmakers do this on purpose to create little specs of light called boca.

Boca are the little round specs of light in the background when a car is moving through the city streets. For all you visual learners out there check out the video links below;

http://nofilmschool.com/2016/03/reduce-noise-basic-tips-shooting-low-light

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxCQEa_4yeQ

https://fenchel-janisch.com/cinematic-look-at-night-tips-for-dslr-filmmaking-in-low-light

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