Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

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Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby Tier4GEVO » Sun Jul 31, 2016 1:54 pm

I've been usually using 1/725 in daylight videos of trains, so if you pause the video, all the locomotive numbers, car letters and numbers are all clear, not all blurred out from motion blur. Is this a good method, or is motion blur desired more in train videography because it could closer depict what a human eye sees?
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby Dan Cluley » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:06 pm

I think it pretty much a matter of personal opinion. If it looks good to you then it works.

I think with video, frame rate is equally, or more important to the look.

Also, are you shooting interlaced or progressive?
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby Tier4GEVO » Sun Jul 31, 2016 6:42 pm

Dan Cluley wrote:I think it pretty much a matter of personal opinion. If it looks good to you then it works.

I think with video, frame rate is equally, or more important to the look.

Also, are you shooting interlaced or progressive?


3840x2160p in 30fps, progressive. Not many 4K cameras below multi grand prices do 4K in 60fps.
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby Saturnalia » Sun Jul 31, 2016 9:17 pm

60fps is generally desired for railroad videography because it is smoother overall, and we're shooting moving objects. Anything above 60fps however, and you can't tell the difference. 90fps is a silly waste.

I will add, while we're on the quality subject, that frame rate and pixel count has much less to do with quality than your sensor. Sure, new smartphones may do 4K, but the sensor is the size of a pin and will never surpass a good 1080p camcorder with a 1' sensor.

And like you said, 4K camcorders with large sensors capable of 60fps are very pricey. Thus far, I see very little benefit to 4K, ESPECIALLY in Internet video distribution. We simply don't have the infrastructure to transfer that much data quickly, and at acceptable cost.

Furthermore, sites like YouTube change the video formats anyways. So it's 1080p is still a lot less in quality than the 1080p coming out of my Sony.

So basically, not all 1080p is created equal, same for 4K, etc. It's about the package as a whole.
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby Tier4GEVO » Mon Aug 01, 2016 5:45 pm

Saturnalia wrote:60fps is generally desired for railroad videography because it is smoother overall, and we're shooting moving objects. Anything above 60fps however, and you can't tell the difference. 90fps is a silly waste.

I will add, while we're on the quality subject, that frame rate and pixel count has much less to do with quality than your sensor. Sure, new smartphones may do 4K, but the sensor is the size of a pin and will never surpass a good 1080p camcorder with a 1' sensor.

And like you said, 4K camcorders with large sensors capable of 60fps are very pricey. Thus far, I see very little benefit to 4K, ESPECIALLY in Internet video distribution. We simply don't have the infrastructure to transfer that much data quickly, and at acceptable cost.

Furthermore, sites like YouTube change the video formats anyways. So it's 1080p is still a lot less in quality than the 1080p coming out of my Sony.

So basically, not all 1080p is created equal, same for 4K, etc. It's about the package as a whole.


Yes I understand. My Panasonic GX85 has a 4/3 sensor which is very nice, and I try to attach a pancake f/1.7 20mm for nighttime video, and set it to 24p for the best outcome. And I agree about the smartphone 4K sensors. To be honest, I love my iPhone 6S Plus in certain daylight conditions, but anything beyond 7 PM and/or darker cloudy days will really show in the video outcome.
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby J T » Thu Sep 08, 2016 6:41 am

Tier4GEVO wrote:I've been usually using 1/725 in daylight videos of trains...

I've never heard of such a setting. Can a vid expert explain this for me?
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby Tier4GEVO » Sat Sep 10, 2016 11:17 am

J T wrote:
Tier4GEVO wrote:I've been usually using 1/725 in daylight videos of trains...

I've never heard of such a setting. Can a vid expert explain this for me?


Shutter speeds are a setting in almost every non-ancient camcorder (or camera that takes video just fine). It is simply the length of the time the sensor is exposed to light. It is one of the three typical setting components of photography - ISO and Aperture being the other two.

Generally speaking, normal shutter speeds for video are recommended 2x the frame rate. 1/60 is suitable for general applications. And in low light, the sensor is exposed to a good amount of light due to the low shutter speed. It works great for almost anything besides motion and HAS to work for everything at night regardless of what you are filming. Nobody can use a 1/500 shutter When motion comes in to play, such as filming a kid on the soccer field, filming a plane landing, trains (duh!), we experience motion blur. This is combated by raising shutter speeds so the speed of the exposure to light is comparable to the speed of the moving object you are filming. This way, if you were to pause a video of a train, it won't be all blurred out. There is an extent to having natural motion blur being OK, but when the whole train is just looking like an out of focus blob, it's not very likable.

The average Sony camcorder and small-sensor camera is great at this. You raise the shutter speed, get the results you want. Doesn't matter if the aperture is small (giving you a shallow depth of field) because the sensor is so small it can't even give you that result.

The issue with many large sensor cameras (APS-C, APS, Micro 4/3, Full Frame) is that for filming trains, the aperture needs to be higher. On large sensors, you can achieve a blurred background (shallow depth of field). Many senior high school photos are shot with very low-number aperture lenses such as F/1.7 and less. The smaller the number, the more light that can be let in. The issue is that you want a DEEP depth of field on a train (everything in focus). On large sensors, we need to actually raise the aperture number (allow less light in for better whole-shot focus) so we get what we want. This overall lets considerably less light in, and combined with a high shutter speed, the video may get "dark". If you use too much ISO gain, you experience video graininess (commonly referred to as video "noise"). While a bright sunny day is OK to use the best of both worlds settings, on cloudy days or darker settings, SOMETHING has to be sacrificed.

Filming a train with a F/1.7 on a larger sensor than 1 inch will result in a portrait-type blurry background, again, which we want to avoid for this type of video.
Using the same F/1.7 on a smaller sensor, it doesn't matter if the aperture is the same, the sensor is too small to give a shallow background anyways.

While daylight can be harder to achieve with these large sensors, night performance trumps everything else. If you slap a F/1.7 on the 4/3 sensor compared to a similar number aperture on a $300 Handycam by Sony, the differences are astonishing. Sensor sizes increase exponentially, which is why a 1/3 although looking like double a 1/5.8(6-ish), it is actually much more than that.

I may have rambled, I apologize, but my point is that one setting affects something else in many cameras, and many compensations and sacrifices are made in the real-world of motion videography, especially when less-than-sunny conditions are in effect.
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby bdconrail29 » Sat Sep 10, 2016 1:43 pm

Thanks for the long explanation, but it wasn't neccesary unfortunately (a lot of it wasn't quite correct but that's another topic).

The point is that no camera in the world that any of us have ever heard of, can you set the shutter speed to 1/725.
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby Ypsi » Sat Sep 10, 2016 2:14 pm

bdconrail29 wrote:The point is that no camera in the world that any of us have ever heard of, can you set the shutter speed to 1/725.

On top of this based on a simple and very quick google search there would be no real reason to have such a shutter speed when shooting any video. I seem to see a common message of "shutter speed should be double the frame rate" and "higher shutter speed, choppier video appearance". I also noted that with faster shutter speeds, the scene is much darker. That included 1/1000th which is "close" to 1/725th.

Image Chaser wrote:For example, if you are shooting at 24 FPS the correct shutter speed would be 1/50th (rounded up from 1/48th). For 25 FPS the shutter speed should be 1/50th. For 30 FPS the correct shutter speed is 1/60th and so forth.

Of course you can shoot video at other shutter speeds, from 1/25th -1/30th up to 1/8000th depending on the DSLR model. Keep in mind that as the shutter speed changes, so will the look of the video.

– The slower the shutter speed, the more motion blur will be visible in moving subjects.

– The higher the shutter speed, the less motion blur will be visible in moving subjects (making video appear choppy).


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https://vimeo.com/blog/post/frame-rate- ... record-str
http://www.imagechaser.com/produce-your ... ointers-2/
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby Tier4GEVO » Sat Sep 10, 2016 4:41 pm

Ypsi wrote:
bdconrail29 wrote:The point is that no camera in the world that any of us have ever heard of, can you set the shutter speed to 1/725.

On top of this based on a simple and very quick google search there would be no real reason to have such a shutter speed when shooting any video. I seem to see a common message of "shutter speed should be double the frame rate" and "higher shutter speed, choppier video appearance". I also noted that with faster shutter speeds, the scene is much darker. That included 1/1000th which is "close" to 1/725th.

Image Chaser wrote:For example, if you are shooting at 24 FPS the correct shutter speed would be 1/50th (rounded up from 1/48th). For 25 FPS the shutter speed should be 1/50th. For 30 FPS the correct shutter speed is 1/60th and so forth.

Of course you can shoot video at other shutter speeds, from 1/25th -1/30th up to 1/8000th depending on the DSLR model. Keep in mind that as the shutter speed changes, so will the look of the video.

– The slower the shutter speed, the more motion blur will be visible in moving subjects.

– The higher the shutter speed, the less motion blur will be visible in moving subjects (making video appear choppy).


Articles I read:

https://vimeo.com/blog/post/frame-rate- ... record-str
http://www.imagechaser.com/produce-your ... ointers-2/


Isn't filming trains the same concept as sports or airplanes filming? I don't know when motion blur is a favorable effect in that type of video. I have shot plenty of 1/725, and comparing to my 1/60, my naked eye cannot tell a hint of difference in playback in terms of "choppiness".

Also, raising shutter speeds to that level in daylight should not have an effect on darkness at all, unless you are using a tiny aperture setting as well. Though I don't use it, I can go to 1/4000 if I wanted before the video begins to darken. For indoors however, yes, a 1/725 would make the video look extremely dark.
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Re: Shutter speeds for videos of trains!

Unread postby J T » Wed Oct 26, 2016 9:43 pm

bdconrail29 wrote:Thanks for the long explanation, but it wasn't neccesary unfortunately (a lot of it wasn't quite correct but that's another topic).

The point is that no camera in the world that any of us have ever heard of, can you set the shutter speed to 1/725.

Thanks for explaining that to him. I simply wanted to know about the existence of 1/725 as a shutter speed because I've never heard of that before.
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