A few days ago I talked about the shutter speed on a DSLR camera and how it works with video.  Today I would like to talk about another key element, the aperture.  There are really 3 main things that you must understand how to use to get a good exposure with a DSLR camera and two of these are the shutter speed and the aperture.

Typically, as I mentioned in the post about shutter speed, you want to leave your shutter doubling the frame rate so you are really only able to rely on two things.  Aperture and ISO.

Aperture controls how much light is let into the lens of the camera.  The lower the aperture the more light the lens will let in.  The more light the lens will let in then the shallower the depth of field will be.  Depth of field is basically how far your lens can see.  If the aperture is low, say 1.8 then you will be able to shoot in lower light but it will be a very tight focus point.  If you are focusing on the subject at 1.8 then the background would be completely blurred.  If you raise the aperture to 5.6 then you will notice that you are losing a lot of light but now if you focus on the subject you will be able to see most of the background behind them as well.

This is something you may want to look at when buying a lens as well.  Canon’s L series lenses are what you call fixed aperture and it means just what it says.  If you have a zoom lens then weather you’re zoomed all the way out or zoomed as tight as you can the aperture will not change.  This is important while shooting video because if you are shooting with a kit lens then it will not be a fixed aperture.  it will probably be a 3.5-5.6 so if you’re zoomed out you will adjust according to a 3.5 aperture which will be able to shoot in a little less light but when you zoom in and your aperture changes to 5.6 you will notice a big difference.

Shooting with a low aperture and a shallow depth of field will give you that “music video” look.  It also makes things pop if done right because the subject just stands out in the shot.