I often get questions from people asking why their footage looks grainy, or why the motion in their video appears “jumpy” and “jagged.”  Many of these problems can be corrected by using the proper settings on your camera while filming.

Grain in your video footage is often caused by the use of high ISO settings on your camera. Even though these HDSLR cameras can preform well in low light they still have their weaknesses. The canon 7d, t2i and 60d all share the same sensor and there for preform similarly in low light settings. I do not recommend shooting above ISO 1600. At ISO 1600 grain starts to show up noticeable but could still be removed using programs like Neat Video, and Magic Bullet Denoiser software programs (note: that both of these soften your footage slightly).  At ISO 1000 and under video grain begins to fall off and becomes much less noticeable.  So if you can try to keep your camera between ISO 100 and 1600 you should be problem free.

Motion flicker can be caused by your exposure time. 1/30th, 1/60th, and 1/125th seem to work fine, but if you go beyond that, motion in your video will begin to seem choppy.  If you have to much light in your scene and need to correct for it, the best option is to use a variable ND filter. I recommend buying a larger size filter if you can and using reducer rings to cover your smaller lenses (reducers are much cheaper then ND filters).

One other Item to keep in mind is that your camera should be in Full manual mode when filming. This should be the large M on canon cameras.  If you use any of the auto settings the camera may try to change any number of these settings in an attempt to correctly expose your footage. This can lead to dimming of video footage, choppy motion and any of the above problems listed.

Equipment used in this video
Canon 7d & t2i
Canon 50mm f1.2
Canon 53mm f1.4
Sennheiser g2 wireless mic
Zoom h4n & Zoom h1