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Best DSLR Video Settings For Canon Cameras

Best DSLR Video Settings For Canon Cameras

Guest post for Darren Rowse:

For more videos go to: www.learningDSLRVideo.com

I get this question about once a week, “What are the Best Video Setting For The Canon DSLR cameras”.

So let me start off by eliminating two things you can take off the list. Those are aperture and ISO. Aperture, I really can’t tell you what to set it on because it depends on the type of look you are going after.With a shallow depth of field or not.

And the other one is ISO. ISO is kind of there for exposure how how you are going to set the exposure. I will say you do not want go too far north of let’s say 1600 especially on like the Canon T2i then it gets really noisy. Obviously you are going to need to use aperture along with the ISO to get the right exposure but at least it gets you in the ball park. Those two ingredients are taken off the list.

So the first I can tell you about what is on the list is shutter speed. Basically if you are going for a “filmic” look you are pretty much going to double your frame rate, so if you are shooting 24 frames per second you are going to want a 1/50th of a second shutter speed and if you are shooting at 60 frames per second you are going to go with 125th frames per second shutter speed. Now I will tell you it’s just kind of a guideline and a rule but I have shot at much higher shutter speeds and it has worked wonderful, especially if you are shooting something like myself which is just basically a moving head.

If you just getting your feet wet with your camera I think the best setting for Picture styles is Standard. I use it 90% of the time. If you are outside filming some landscapes for instance then you might want to try Landscape, and if you are using a close in portrait shot you might want to try Portrait picture style. After you have had the camera for a while and you want to take it to the next level, you might want to create a very flat picture style so you can have more control over color, sharpness and saturation in post.

As for White Balance, the best setting by far is always going to be custom. This is where you get the perfect color temperature for your shot. This is best way to do it, but it is also unfortunately the most time consuming.

The best setting for focus is to set it on quick focus and focus to one of the many points within the view finder. This is just my personal favor way to do this, I am sure others might disagree me but I got really accurate and fast results using this method.

Disable your AGC to get this cleanest audio, AGC is automatic gain control. I use a hack method for this, but there are many other ways to do this as well like a buying a Juicelink box or a software hack if you are brave enough to install it on your camera.

Set Movie Exposure to Manual, this is the best way to go by not letting the camera to decide for you.

Grid display to Grid 1, this helps me with my composition just right.

Disable Highlight Tone Priority, I have done many tests with this and found it best just to leave it off.

Auto Lighting Optimizer is set to standard. Again I have done a lot of tests with this and I find that this setting not only helps my portrait photos but it even helps when I do video interviews if the lighting is not quite even on the person’s face.

That is about it for the best settings you can use on your Canon DSLR for video. Thanks for watching and thanks to Darren for letting me do a guest post again.
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  1. Hello mr Darren I have a Canon T3 EOS Rebel DSLR camera and I am trying to figure out what is the best setting for shooting video with so I can do most of my color correction in post production! I am trying to get that film cinematic look in my music video. can you help me please?

  2. How can I get that crisp look that you have on this video? I have a t5i. What are the best settings to achieve your look? Thank you

  3. Juan Manuel Photographer

    great audio on this video!

  4. hello sir,
    recently I shot my project on 5d mark 2 but while in fcp output I got color waves on character shirt..
    so how does it happen.?
    n hiw should u remove it.?

  5. Holy sounds almost Greek to me…a Canon SX700 camera is grainy on the LED screen… now I'm stunned with numbers n apatures can someone give me some ideas please on how to set this camera for night filming please? Or a setting for indoor pics that are not grainy….thank u..I thought this was a great camera but am having problems with it….remember I really have no clue how use this…I know then why did I buy it? Well……that's a great question maybe one of u out in camera land can answer as well… thank you! 

  6. Another Great Video Dave,  

    Great Stuff to know  :o)

    Dave Kellum,  developer of Abbey 9000 Software

  7. I agree on pretty much everything Dave said, except the sharpness setting. I like to keep my sharpness setting at 3 or 4. I do this because it´s as close to the sharpness I see on my movie DVDs( blockbuster movies). I have a 42 inch LCD TV and this is the closest I have gotten to look cinematic. The other reason I do this is because I do not have to use unsharp mask in premiere…which slows down rendering. By doing this in cámara, all I have to do is worry about color correction and grading. Mind you, this is my opinión and it Works well for me on my televisión….this is not BlueRay, just your standard DVD. The  picture comes out crisp and clean…without artefacting. Give it a try and see what you think!

  8. This is definitely going to be helpful for me. I will have to go back and look at the settings that my Canon Rebel T5 is currently on. The problem I am facing is that 1. the images look clear on the LCD but when I upload them they are blurry and 2. the lighting isn't as bright as I want it. I have lighting equipment that has day lights but they really don't brighten that much. I know I have to change the ISO but I have no idea where to even begin with that. When I use Manual Focus I can get a more clear image but its really hard to do this without asking someone to sit in for me to focus on. I do beauty videos where I am the one on camera so I've run into several issues with trying to get the focus correct when filming by myself.

  9. Everything looks so good and clear and in focus on lcd while I film but on laptop its kinda blurry overexposed and noisy.. is this something with settings or something with laptop.how much should be fstop for indoor filming? And whats merering timer?.it wud mean a lot if u helped.

  10. Help stop the slippery slope towards overwhelming advertisements on YouTube 

  11. The youtube network is posting mandatory ads without the channel owners approval…..we should all demand a stop to it or eventually we will all be forced to watch 3 min commercials before we can view videos….

  12. Yes……there are mandatory ads on YouTube……and it sucks….please write youtube and demand the 5 second opt out!

  13. please stop mandatory adds on youtube…..

  14. TheTacticalDefender

    Watched this so many times I think I know it by heart!  lol Great videos Dave, they have helped me a ton, I even bought your course for my T5i and it was a HUGE help. One issue I have is filming in manual that every time I do that, after I get home and look at my video it's not in focus. When I'm filming and look at the video via the lcd on my T5i it looks great, then I get home and it doesn't look so good. My vision isn't that good (thanks to diabetes) so I usually film in full auto but often in my videos you can see the lens focusing in and out during the video, not too pleased with that. Can I focus using the auto focus and then switch over to manual and it hold the focus? I'm a one man show and film all videos not moving from a tripod. Thank you!

  15. can some one help me i got my self a 1100d when i shot a video i have to manually focus in AF 
    what am i doing wrong ?
    or is it my entry level dslr ?

  16. how to move even skin tone with DSLR canon or saturate details like wrinkles on face.

  17. where should I change the settings on manual ??

  18. Thanks for your video. Your video always healpful specially me. Please sugest me compare Canon Eos 5D mark 2 vs EOS 6D vs GH4 vs Sony A7S
    which 1 is best for HDSLR video? And

    canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM, EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM,
    EF 70-200mm f/4L IS USM or EF 70-200mm f/4L USM which lance is best for DSLR video?

  19. i am getting a red dot on my canon 600 d dslr wt to do  i need your help

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