Frame Rates for Cinematography


I have recently bought a DJI Mavic Pro 4k drone to get some nice cinematic style landscape footage on my travels…

I am by no means a “video expert” but I know the principles. I have bought some ND filters as have heard that it is best to keep your frame shutterspeed at double your framerate, i.e if I am shooting 4k 30p I need a 1/60 shutter.

My question is…

a) is there any good examples online showing the difference between shutterspeed for 1/60 and something like 1/500

b) What is the threshold in your opinion as 1/60 wont always be possible without compromising on quality in regards to ISO, would 1/125 or 1/200 be acceptable to mix in with 1/60 footage?

  1. 24p looks better to most people, this is the industry standard frame rate.

  2. regarding shutter angle, the lower you go, the darker the image and more sharp the movement will be. 180 degrees is good for most shots, for crisp sports stuff people typically close it up (go low), and for night shots you can go to wide open (high). Think of it like aperture adjustment but instead of changing depth of field you change motion blur.

  3. ISO on mirrorless digital cameras approaches meaningless above like 1600 for video. How fast the lens is and your shutter angle will matter far more and will give you a less noisy result. on adjustment. Best advice I can give is keep the default ISO and change your stops and shutter angle in low light environments.

  4. Proper WB on exposure is also very important for setting up exposure on digital cameras.

Shutter angle test:

He’s compensating for brightness by changing aperture, you can tell by the depth of field difference in comparison shots, but it illustrates what it will do to the motion.

Here’s aperture:


thanks for your response!, I should have noted I am professional photographer so I am not completely clueless about balancing exposures etc. just havent touched on videography before…

Regards 24p that fine on the DJI mavic I believe you get a slightly wider FOV at 4k 24p over 4k 30p, so am happy to use 24p if you suggest

regards aperture, on a drone you have no control on this

I am however not sure what you mean by shutter angle? presume this is a video term for shutter speed? so 50-180 shutterspeed is acceptable?

Shutter angle is how long you expose a frame of a video compared to how long the frame will be onscreen. The “angle” terminology is a carryover from film, where the shutter was a rotating cutout spun at a certain frequency by hand with a flywheel mechanism or synchronous motors.

The metric is relative, so 360 is full exposure, at 24p that’d be 1/24th of a second, standard is typically between 45-105 for crisp action, 180 for regular stuff, wider for night shots. It all depends on how oyu want the motion to look.

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Thank you for explaining this!

well as I am the ammeture here, you tell me maybe? I am “planning” to shoot fairly slow gimbal panning footage of landscapes, seascapes etc… thoughts?

I take it a 180 would be 1/50th exposure?

1/48th, but yeah.

It all depends on what look you want. For example:

  • Stationary or slow moving camera with a fast moving subject ( think cinematic action or fight choreography) is typically shot at 180° because it improves sharpness on the scene while still allowing for some motion blur, improving the overall dynamic-ness of th e footage.

  • Stadium sporting events, road/vehicle footage is usually shot with a 105° or lower shutter angle to retain some sharpness in the scenery because you’re on a moving point of reference and your other dynamic elements will still look sharp with the right lens and outdoor lighting.

  • Night-time steadicam/crane shots are often done with a wider shutter angle because it allows for more wiggle room on your prime and focal length selection at the same time as reducing noise, and the extra blur won’t affect sharpness as much because of the stabilization.

Just adjust it until you get the desired effect. The only wrong answer here is one that gives your footage a look that you or your employer doesn’t want.

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Also, don’t forget to come back and contribute to the darkroom (photography megathread) with your experimentation and results.

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Definely will :slight_smile:

I personally think that 24p is just not that relevant today anymore. Almost all displays today are running 60Hz. Most monitors, tablets, phones, TVs… So to me it just makes more sense to go with 30fps for framerate. If you shoot a movie for cinema you probably already know what fps you want and why, so I just ignore those cases.

For shutterspeed I would always look out for the frequency of your local power. Here in Germany I just shoot 1/50s (because 50Hz power grid) and I can be relatively sure that I don’t get flickering from random lamps or so. Again, I’m intentionally ignoring artistic choice here.

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