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Sony HVR-Z1 / HDR-FX1
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Old April 29th, 2008, 10:00 AM   #1
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What shutter speed?

I'm perplexed by the shutter speed and why to use one over the other. I used to shoot every thing in 30, because I liked how it faked 24p with crappy dv cameras. The HDR-FX1 is nicer and I'm starting to use 60, but I'm worried about getting that fluid video feel.
What's the point of the shutter really? and how do people decide which to use? Is it aesthetic preference, or is it technical and based on lighting.
I shoot alot of green screen by the way, and fast action.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 09:39 AM   #2
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Is this a stupid question? I'd just like to know if people always shoot with one specific shutter speed, or if it varies what does it depend on?
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Old May 6th, 2008, 12:48 PM   #3
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Always shoot at 60, especially if you do fast action. Unless you like that jittery 30p look.

It's both an aesthetic and technical/practical decision, so the choice is really up to you.
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Old May 6th, 2008, 11:14 PM   #4
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Aric, to me it's whether I like the look of a particular shutter speed, or I'm trying to compensate for low light beyond where my iris or gain will help me.

I'll use a higher shutter speed sometimes if I know the shot will be used in slow motion. Can make it look sharper. Or I often shoot at 30 when doing wedding reception speeches where the light is bad. For dance footage, it's fun to shoot at 15 or 8 and get a nice blur.

For well lit, "natural" motion, I shoot 60i.
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Old May 10th, 2008, 09:34 AM   #5
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intended distribution

Another consideration when choosing shutter speed is how you will distribute the footage. If it is over the Internet, then a higher shutter speed will provide a better encoded image.
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Old May 11th, 2008, 01:56 AM   #6
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I'm not sure that the original question has been answered in sufficient detail. Obviously people don't want to be telling stuff you already understand perfectly well, but at the risk of doing so, this is a brief resume.
Exposure is is determined by aperture+shutter speed + gain. Increasing gain tends to produce noisy images, so generally you want to work at 0dB and staying within 9dB is advisable. Aperture is obvious, but generally you don't want to close down more than f/5.6 (eg. f/11) because of diffraction limited resolution. The normal shutter speed is half the frame rate: 1/60 for 30fps and 1/50 for 25 fps. If you wish to freeze fast motion you use a shorter shutter opening (e.g 1/1000 sec). If you have poor lighting you can use slower shutters, up to 1/3 sec on the FX1 -- that will spread the exposure over 10 frames, so motion is smeared.
So for NTSC land the default setting is 60i with 1/60 second shutter. You may use shutter to control exposure, noting that you need to use a consistent shutter speed so shots cut together.
If you allow the camera to work in auto mode it will manipulate aperture, shutter and gain as it wishes, which isn't good. Better to let only iris be auto controlled, and best to keep the camera in full manual. However in run & gun shooting you can find auto iris and auto focus useful, being careful with the latter because it tends to lock onto the sharpest detail (e.g. wallpaper) rather than people. Hope some of this is relevant.

EDIT: the other issue for shutter speed is avoiding flicker caused by mains frequency lights. Use 1/60 or 1/120 for 60Hz mains.

Last edited by Serena Steuart; May 11th, 2008 at 02:41 AM. Reason: about flicker
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Old May 12th, 2008, 10:46 AM   #7
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Thanks, I did a shoot recently that had to be in SD. My shutter was on 30, hoping to slightly match the other cameras which were panasonic SD cameras in 24p.
We saw the footage back to back, and I think anyone would agree that the 24p looked better, in fact they seemed to think my (FX1) camera sucks.
I wish I could do 24p with HDV, although I never thought I'd say this.

Recently w/ 60 Shutter speed I've had more trouble keying than usual, and the only difference I can see is that I'm not doing my usual 30. So I'm still thinking about which one I like more.
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Old May 14th, 2008, 03:01 AM   #8
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Well if you shoot 60i you can use Cineform to extract 24P. I'd never shoot SD with the FX (or any other, unless it was an SD camera).

EDIT: you get much better resolution by shooting HDV and downconverting. Best by downconverting on rendering. There's nothing wrong with the FX, employed well.

Last edited by Serena Steuart; May 14th, 2008 at 03:04 AM. Reason: amplify
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Old May 14th, 2008, 03:18 AM   #9
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I'm in pal land so we shoot at 50. If the shot is very bright like shooting on a beach or snow and the camera is at f8,f10 with the 2nd ND filter on i will change shutter to 100 and this seems to work for me, going down, slower shutter speed is good for funky effects.

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Old May 14th, 2008, 09:50 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Simon Ash View Post
I'm in pal land so we shoot at 50. If the shot is very bright like shooting on a beach or snow and the camera is at f8,f10 with the 2nd ND filter on i will change shutter to 100 and this seems to work for me, going down, slower shutter speed is good for funky effects.

Cheers
SA
Aren't you guys 25fps anyways? You guys don't really count because that's the look I am looking for! Why don't we use PAL in america, is it technically better than NTSC, or are they just different?
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Old May 16th, 2008, 07:57 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aric Mannion View Post
Aren't you guys 25fps anyways? You guys don't really count because that's the look I am looking for! Why don't we use PAL in america, is it technically better than NTSC, or are they just different?
Yes, the advantage of being a later development. 576 lines, better colour encoding, and 25 fps. But 30 fps is good. Just NTSC that isn't.
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