How to Set ISO and White Balance in Video Shooting

RAW format is widely used by the professional photographers as it can provide a wide space for post production. However, for the limited of storage and technology, DSLR still only record high compressed video. So, the changes that we can make in the post production is very limited, which means the settings of white balance, ISO, and aperture very important.


If the light source is certain, the auto white balance can play good performance. However, the thing will be a bit complicated if it is mixed with various light sources. Video cameras are mostly supporting the manual setting of auto balance. We can set it with the built-in modes (sun, cloudy, tungsten lamp, etc). Some of them allow us to accurate set with the number.

Canon 5d Mark 2

Let the white objects back to the pure white is not our standard of white balancing. Just image there is a white paper under green lights. Should we record it as green or white? It is obvious green is more fit for the public view. Besides, the setting of white balance is also an important trick of adjusting movie tones. To the same scene, same dinner, and same lovers, the different setting may be more corresponding to the situation of break up or fist date.


There is no accurate answer of the setting. It is a related complicated question and need beginners to take more practice. Normally, let the skin’s color back to its original one is corresponding to the public view.


In the aperture part, you just need to consider the current scene while take photos yet the later ones also needed to video shooting. After all, you are taking “a series of images”.


We have known that increasing ISO can help us get to the ideal image exposure in dim shooting scenes. Now, many DSLRs provide a very large range of ISO. However, the image quality would also decrease if it arrive a certain value. So when the light is not strong, it is not recommended to increase ISO value but control it in an appropriate range. This so called appropriate range is due to the specified shooting project and camera. For example, for news and some documentary movies, the scenes are unrepeatable, so the purpose of “recording” is the first principle. The loss of image quality is acceptable. In the other end, movies and advertise requires more in image quality.


To the most popular video shooting camera – Canon EOS DSLRs, there is a public received view that the times of original ISO value (160) has less noise, so the recommended ISO value is 160, 320, 640, 800, and 1250. Don’t use the value over 1600 on Canon DSLRs. More info and equipments on

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