What Are the Best Settings for Daylight Videos?

Shooting video outdoors can give you amazing backdrops that bring your stories to life. Daylight is effective at communicating emotions like joy, happiness and falling in love. What are the best video camera settings for filming during the day?

How To Set Your Video Camera for Daylight Shoots

The right settings depend a lot on the time of day and the weather. The following settings are great for bright sunlight at 9 or 10 a.m.:

  • Aperture: Use F/5.6 for a pleasant depth of field in bright sunlight. If cloudy weather allows, you can go with F/2.8 for a blurrier background with even more cinematic flair.
  • ISO: Modern video cameras work well outdoors at ISO 100 or 200 with lots of light present.
  • Shutter speed: Because shutter speed has a strong effect on motion blur with video cameras, it’s usually recommended to keep it at double the frame rate. If you’re shooting at 24 fps, use a shutter speed of 1/48 or 1/50.
  • White balance: Make sure to set your white balance to “manual” when filming video outdoors. Otherwise the camera will constantly shift tonalities, making editing a nightmare. Generally speaking, set the temperature to 5600 Kelvin and leave it there for sunlit video.

Additional Tips for Better Outdoor Video

The trickiest part of filming in daylight is that sunlight constantly changes. Shadows become more or less intense, and clouds can dramatically change available light. What can you do to take control of outdoor illumination?

  • Use reflectors and diffusers
  • Equip a variable ND camera filter
  • Shoot early in the morning and late in the afternoon

With these tools and techniques, you can either keep illumination at balanced levels or mold it to your purposes.

Get Inspired by the Possibilities of Daylight Video

Check out the limitless video library at Shutterstock to find examples of outdoor videos that use sunlight brilliantly. Discover modern techniques and unique illumination and positioning ideas from the pros.

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