How to make the most out of your budget camera

This post is about getting the most out of a Canon 600d, and one of the things that needs to be considered when working with it.

ISO settings

The camera comes as standard with ISO settings for video from 100-6400, increasing in doubles (100,200,400 and so on). The higher the ISO setting used, the more noise in the video. If you have magic lantern (a camera hack) then you also have access to multiples of 125 and 160.

If you have magic lantern then use multiples of 160, as they produce a lower amount of noise than the equivalent multiples of 100, due to being the native iso's on the Canon 600d.

For shooting daylight outside, 100-400 (160-640) produces if correctly exposed acceptable images. Ideally shoot at the lowest possible ISO setting, while at the same time choosing an appropriate aperture (amount of sharpness you want). In bright, summer sunshine you may even need to use neutral density filters due to too having too much light.

If shooting inside daytime without lights, ISO 100-1600 (160-)have varying levels of acceptableness (800 and 1600 push this, might be acceptable for events where lighting isn't possible but not for short films/music videos/promotional videos). However lighting the shot is probably necessary in any inside location - although that isn't discussed in any detail in this article.

If shooting at night or in very dark conditions, where possible light effectively so that you don't have to use a high ISO. Even just a LED panel on top of the camera can make a huge difference (although if on full blast it might be a bit much for the eyes of the people your filming).

However it isn't always possible to set up lights, and so you will be forced to use some of the higher ISO's on your camera, and therefore produce a darker grainer low quality image. Before stepping over the 1600 mark on any shot of video, I would suggest you test the effect of this on the images quality.

Saying that, it is also important to remember that the image needs to be in focus, and using a lower iso and f1.4 for a shot of a whole room, may well look worse than accepting slightly more grain for a in focus image.