You cannot be a good videographer if you do not know how to shoot in low light.
Dim light or low light situations are common things. But that cannot stop you from filming a scene even on a tight budget. You do not necessarily need any investment to shoot in low light.
All you need to do is to be knowledgeable about cameras. Learn to use the setting (and the environment) in the right ways. Shooting in low light won’t be a problem for you anymore.
Previously it was a point to use camcorders instead of a traditional digital camera to shoot in low light situations. Although video cameras do a better job in that, there is a thing we need to learn about the sensor. The sensor makes the main difference in allowing light to come in. Compared to an expensive camera with a small sensor, a cheap camera with a large sensor wins the game in the low-light shooting because larger sensors allow more light, which helps in forming or recording better images.
So yes, you can definitely use a DSLR or a mirrorless camera to shoot in low light situations.
Let’s read more to learn that.
Filming in Low Light? Not a Problem Any More!
We’ll be jumping right off to the main point.
But do you have a camera?
In case you do not have one or the one you have used got damaged or broken, then it is time you go for a new one. If your savings aren’t smiling, then apply for a loan with no guarantor from a direct lender online. These are personal loans, which you can quickly pay off with affordable instalments plans the direct lender will advise for you.
It s because not having a camera will not give you a platform to taste the tips you will learn here practically.
Getting a cheap camera is also more accessible these days. By comparing different deals and offers, a camera can arrive at your doorstep in no time.
With that being said, it is time you read the following points to make filming in low light situations possible.
- You Might Need to Increase the ISO
- Take Care of the Shutter Speed
- Time to Use a Wider Aperture
- Maybe You Can Use LED Lights
- Make Some Lux Adjustments
- And Adjust the Frame Rate
Now, it is time for us to learn about them in detail.
1. You Might Need to Increase the ISO
Have you noticed that some cameras keep on changing the brightness of the footage automatically as situations change with the light?
Now you see the footage bright with light, and then you see the light fading away.
This happens when the ISO setting are not fixed. ISO is the sensitivity of light in your camera. When shooting in a low light situation, increasing the ISO will allow your camera be more sensitive to light, which allows more light to get in and helps the footage in low light be visible.
ISO can change according to frames as well.
- Use an ISO of 1600 for a Micro Four Third
- NA ISO of 3200 will do great for APS-C
- Use the ISO of 6400 in case of a full frame camera
Most importantly, observe the situation in your camera and try testing it to the standards mentioned. It will give you control over overshooting in the low light situation you are probably experiencing right now.
2. Take Care of the Shutter Speed
You have to lower it down. But too low a shutter speed may not be helpful.
Let’s explain it.
Use the shutter speed according to the focal length of the camera. If you are using a standard 50 mm focal length, then lowering the shutter speed to 1/50s helps allow more light.
However, do not make it too low if your subject is moving. That can blur the footage. In this regard, your shutter speed should not go lower than 1/ 125s.
In 25 frames per second (FPS) or 24 frames per second, a shutter speed of 1/ 50s will do just fine. Make it 1/ 60s for 30 FPS.
However, if the shutter speed is lower and the footage becomes blurry, then go for a tripod to get a more stable video.
3. Time to Use a Wider Aperture
The aperture is responsible for creating the depth of field. Your subject can get more highlighting if aperture settings are used correctly.
You should continue changing the aperture because of zooming in and out. For example, zooming in will make the aperture go lower, making the footage even darker.
Yes, you need to keep the aperture low. But pay attention to it when you make other changes. In case of using a film camera or a video camera that happens to have an f-stop, then try fixing it at the lowest to the 1.4 mark.
4. Maybe You Can Use LED Lights
LED lights work great for low light situations as you do not need to provide your subject with other camera settings. However, appropriately using the lights matters too.
Bouncing back the light creates a very good effect in the footage.
Yes, LED lights mean investment. But most filmmakers have them anyway. If you do not possess Led lights, then use a part of the money after applying for no guarantor loan from a direct lender to buy one.
5. Make Some Lux Adjustments
Lux rating is a comparatively newcomer in the realm of shooting. But using it in a very careful way makes a lot of sense.
A lux rating of 0.2 is good for low light situations. Again, a lux rating of 0.7 is good but may not be good for some particular low light video recordings. You can come to a middle ground of 0.5.
You should check the different lux ratings with camcorders. Talk to the seller or customer support if required.
6. And Adjust the Frame Rate
Although you know a lot about frame rates, the lower the frame rate, the better light the camera indeed allows in.
Movies are typically shot in 24 FPS or 25FPS.
A frame rate of 24 FPS or even 30FPS is great with adjustable shutter speed. In low light conditions, you will get at least decent footage.
Whatever the reasons are, situations can be different. So, inspect the environment and the quality of light to further move on with your settings.
When you are done with that, you give your audience a wonderful low-light video.