The following lesson was created by Vimeo for its Vimeo Video School . It’s used here with permission. Look for a new lesson each week.
One of the major perks of using a DSLR is the ability to shoot in low light. This is possible because the sensor on your DSLR is a lot larger and sensitive than sensors on most camcorders. And it uses magic.
When you go out to shoot at dusk, twilight, or in a dark bar with friends, there are a few key things you should know that will help your videos look as stellar as possible.
- Use lenses with low f-stops — The lower the f-stop, the wider your aperture will be meaning the more light will hit your sensor. Need a recap on what these terms mean? Check our handy Glossary .
- Choose a white balance that will stay true to the look the light is giving you — dusk can give you some nice bluish tints that really indicate that it’s dusk. If your white balance is off a little, it will give your image a different color tint and may look a little weird. Of course, you may like that weird look, so it’s up to you.
- Bump up your ISO — if you have a full frame camera, you can push it up to around 3200 ISO without your image being super super grainy. With a cropped sensor, you can push it up to about 1600 ISO. If you bump your ISO to these respective settings and you still can’t get a good image, you call always go higher, but your image will become more grainy. I recommend experimenting a little and go out at night and shoot video with different high ISOs to see the difference.
Now for some inspiration! Check out what our buddy, Vincent Laforet , was able to do just using ambient light and a Canon 1D Mark IV.