By February 17, 2013 7 Comments

A Recipe for Awesome Video Results – Settings for Great Video

Faced with a shoot literally in the dark at a ski race, I needed to know how to balance getting enough light into the camera with getting good, smooth, clear video. (As a kind of extra challenge, mother nature threw a snow storm at us that night too.)

As a new video shooter, I’m still learning the difference between AVCHD and MOV, between 60P and 24P, and loads of other vital information. Sometimes my need to create (because of an opportunity) arises before my knowledge has been developed. What to do? Ask an expert for a recipe and keep working on knowledge acquisition!

My friend and Hybrid Hero colleague Mark Toal helped me out of the pinch I was in with this opportunity. He knew that I planned to use my Lumix GH3 with the f2.8 12-35 lens. The recipe is to set the video recording to AVCHD (to make a compact file) at 60P (to get smooth video) with an Exposure Mode of “M” (manual). Then set the aperture to f2.8 and the shutter speed to 125 (roughly double the frame rate of 60). I then used ISO to get the right exposure (in this case it was 3200). This worked well for the race in the dark and snow storm, and when I tried it again a few days later on a clear and bright day, it worked great too (with a lower ISO of 400). Thanks Mark!!!!

While this recipe is not the be all and end all of settings for getting great video, it’s a great place to start and yields amazing results. Until the knowledge is there, I have a way to keep shooting, and all is well in my world!

About the Author:

After 20+ years in a computer tech job, Carol Schlintz is enjoying a second and more fulfilling career as a portrait and sports photographer in suburban Milwaukee. Like many of us, she has met with some personal challenges and is in need of reducing the physical strain from carrying heavy pro cameras and lenses around. Not one to take "no" for an answer, she jumped in with both feet and no safety net. As of April 2012 Carol has retired her big DSLR's and picked up a couple of small, light mirrorless cameras and is now using them on every shoot. Vlogging here on discovermirrorless, as well as sharing and swapping ideas with the other Hybrid Heroes (and the viewers!) is part of her process of evolving from a still photo only photographer into a photo+video+audio hybrid image maker. Count on Carol to share what works, what doesn't, and all the steps in becoming Milwaukees first hybrid photography studio that specializes in making and selling eProducts.

7 Comments on "A Recipe for Awesome Video Results – Settings for Great Video"

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  1. Carol, this is a good recipe to follow. Your clips look great. I’ve never shot at 60fps as I find the files get huge.

    And, you must tell me more about the AVCHD mode especially with editing. Do you convert before editing, or are you using something like FCPX to convert your clips on import?

    Thanks, Marlene :)

  2. JimKosinski says:

    Very timely for me since I am trying to shoot spring sports at our local HS. I have recently joined the mirrorless ranks and video is new to me as well.

    Wondering what focus mode will work the best (using a GH2).


  3. Hey Marlene, I ClipWrap. No degradation, and it;s (nearly) as fast as copying from the card, so doesn’t cost me time. Then any app will use them because they look like MOV files (and act, taste, smell like MOV too).

  4. Jim, I used continuous and 23 point. For me this is the best. I’ll be interested in your results!

  5. ryanal says:

    It may be worth pointing out that on a Mac, Panasonic GH3 AVCHD files are invisible to Aperture 3.4.3, and must be converted to work in iMovie 11.

  6. ottorascon says:

    Thanks for the video Carol. I’ve not used this setting, as I stick to the MOV file most of the time. But I’ll give it a go. As for AVCHD – you can import them in FCPx straight from the cameras SD card. Thanks!

  7. Seeker says:

    Hi Carol,

    Looking for 60p on my menu but to no avail! But then the penny dropped – I’m here down under and we have ‘different settings. Just a quote I found from somewhere on the net as a guide –

    “The camera comes in two versions. One for the PAL market, and one for NTSC. The PAL market includes Europe, China, Africa, Australia and New Zealand, while the NTSC market includes the Americas and Japan.

    If you have a PAL version of the camera, you are stuck with the 24fps, 25fps and 50fps framerate options. And if you have an NTSC camera, you can choose between 24fps, 30fps and 60fps”.

    Not a criticism – just an observation for others who may be scratching their heads also!

    BTW – love your work – your ‘egoless’ vids are really helping us newby’s.

    I’m slowly making my way back through the vlogs searching for those little bits of info – it’s slowly sinking in but all this frame rate, shutter speed,60p,28Mbps etc – it’s all a bit daunting!!!

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