Introduction to ISO, Aperture, Shutter Speed & Other Advanced Settings for HDSLR Video

Shooting video with your HDSLR camera is easy. Like still photography, Nikon HDSLR cameras offer a range of setting options from automated through full manual. Once you’ve been shooting video with your Nikon HDSLR and feel confident enough to experiment with various settings, you’ll find your creative, inner cinematographer breaking free.

In addition to using aperture and ISO creatively, you also have the option of changing the frame rate, video resolution and shutter speed for unique video looks.

Frames Per Second / FPS

Frame rate is the number of frames being recorded each second. Most videos in the USA are shot at either 24 FPS or 30 FPS. At 24 FPS, you are recording a more cinematic or filmic look. At 30 FPS, its more of a video look that you’re used to seeing when watching TV shows.


The resolution of Full HD is 1920x1080. You can choose to record Full HD at 30 FPS or 24 FPS. The resolution of HD is 1280x720 and you can choose to record HD at 30 FPS or 24 FPS. Because HD is lower resolution, you also have the choice of recording HD 1280x720 at 60 FPS which when the footage is conformed back to 30 FPS in post-production or editing software, can give you a really “heroic” looking slow-motion effect.

Shutter Speed

It is suggested that you double the FPS to get your working shutter speed, so when shooting at 24 FPS, use at least 1/50 of a second shutter speed and when shooting at 30 FPS, use at least 1/60 of a second shutter speed.

You can use a slower shutter speed, which will show more blur in moving objects—and likewise you can use a higher shutter speed, which will freeze the action on screen.


Use a wide aperture when you want to separate the subject from the background, or show only a small portion of the action in focus and a smaller aperture when you want both the foreground and background in focus.


You can increase the ISO however remember that the higher the ISO increases, the more noise may be visible in your video footage.

Remember to check your HDSLR camera’s User’s Manual for instructions on its particular menu navigation and dial layout.

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