A camera is difficult to navigate for beginners. It’s understandable why many new video producers choose to stay on the Auto setting. It’s a bright green “A” among a layout of strange symbols and controls.
However, if you stick to this Auto setting, you will not be using your gear to its full potential. This is especially true for manufacturers. Your shooting environments are dimly lit shop floors and harsh, reflective objects. This auto setting is primarily designed for classic portraits in broad daylight.
This article tells you how to get started with manual camera settings to make the most out of each video you shoot for your business.
7 Camera Settings for Better Manufacturing Video Production
- Frame Rate
- Shutter Speed
- White Balance
Take off your camera’s training wheels and learn these 7 controls to improve your video quality.
1. Frame Rate
The first setting you need to choose is frame rate. The standard is 30 frames per second or “fps”. If you’re filming slow motion, select 60 fps. If you want your video to feel more like a Hollywood movie, they’re filmed at 24fps.
Manufacturers should use 30fps 90% of the time. The other 10% might be filming a fast tool or machine for slow motion.
On most cameras, the resolution and frame rate go hand-in-hand. Manufacturers should choose the options for 1080p aka Full HD (FHD). Sometimes, that option isn’t available for 60 fps. In this case, 720p is acceptable since it can be scaled up in editing.
Backlinko did a study and found high definition videos perform universally better than standard definition videos. The standard setting is “1080p/30”.
3. Shutter Speed
This one is easy. You just divide your frame rate by 2. When you’re shooting 30 fps (1 frame = 1/30 of a second) your shutter speed should be 1/60 of a second.
This is called the 180-degree shutter rule. It’s been the standard since the first motion picture cameras were invented.
This is a good time to turn on your histogram. It will tell you if your image is too bright or too dark so can make the next adjustments accordingly. This overall brightness is called the exposure since you’re exposing the camera’s sensor to light.
If you see a value on the left or right is maxing out, change your ISO or aperture to even it out. Consult your camera’s manual to learn how to turn on your histogram.
The ISO sets how sensitive your camera is to light. The lower the number, the less sensitive, and the darker the image.
However, while a higher number will give you a brighter image, it will add noise and grain. Ideally, your ISO will be set from 100 to 800.
The aperture is a mechanism in your camera’s lens that controls the amount of light hitting the camera’s sensor. This one is counter-intuitive. The lower the number, the wider the opening in the lens and the more light allowed in the camera.
The trade-offs with changing the aperture changes your focus. To get a professional-looking image with a blurred background, you will use a small number like 2. If you want the entire shot to be in focus, increase the number, watching your histogram to make sure your image stays bright enough.
7. White Balance
Setting the correct white balance will ensure your images look natural. If your white balance is wrong, you will end up with images that look too yellow or blue.
For the correct white balance, simply select the one that describes your where you are shooting: daylight, indoors, overcast, etc. Now your camera will produce the most accurate colors for your scene.
Take Manufacturing Video Production to the Next Level
Once you’re set up, you’ll feel like you have a brand new camera. Your images will be exposed correctly, have a depth of field, and natural colors.