August 27, 2014, 09:29:38 PM

Author Topic: 60D over exposed in sunlight - how do I control?  (Read 5455 times)


  • Guest
Re: 60D over exposed in sunlight - how do I control?
« Reply #15 on: June 14, 2013, 10:13:01 AM »
You don't HAVE to shoot at 1/50. If you don't have an ND filter and want to shoot at 1.8 or 2.8 outside, just crank the shutter speed up. Yes, it will change the look of your video, but you just have to decide if you'd rather have the shallow DOF or not. You don't always have to follow the rules. ND filter is a great solution, but not the only one. I'd also recommend stopping down to f/2.8 or 4, which will still give a great blurred out background on the 50 1.8.


  • PowerShot G1 X II
  • ***
  • Posts: 38
    • View Profile
Re: 60D over exposed in sunlight - how do I control?
« Reply #16 on: June 14, 2013, 12:47:14 PM »
...just crank the shutter speed up...
This is poor advice for someone wanting to create smooth, shallow depth of field video.  It will take at least 1/250 - 1/500 shutter to shoot in mid day sun at f/1.8.  That will strobe unbearably in your final output.

I need to use two Hoya NDx4 filters to get f/2.8, Iso 160 and 1/50th shutter.  To get to f/1.8 you will most likely need one NDx8 and another NDx4 depending on the back ground.  Sand, concrete and snow can increase the requirement for ND's considerably.  Also if you use inexpensive ND's and/or inexpensive variable ND filters, they tend to create a very red or rust hue to all your video that is hard to remove.  I've found it better to buy one really good filter as I can afford them, rather than inexpensive ones that tend to degrade your image significantly.

On a side note, f/1.8 is nearly impossible to keep in focus unless the subject is close to infinity on that lens.  As others have suggested f/2.8 is about the minimum I'll even try if there is any movement in the scene.



  • Power Shot G16
  • **
  • Posts: 21
    • View Profile
Re: 60D over exposed in sunlight - how do I control?
« Reply #17 on: June 14, 2013, 03:11:47 PM »
I have a Canon 60D + 50mm F1.8 lens

I shoot today. Damn!! Over exposed!!...I wanted the blurred background look
The aperture was pushed up to a higher value and no longer changeable...What am I doing wrong?

This is a very common problem, especially for new DSLR videographers. It can be especially confusing if you're used to a camcorder. On a consumer camcorder the depth of field is deep, so you don't lose much by stopping down, some have built-in ND filters, and more adjustable video gain.

A flexible solution for DLSRs is using a variable ND filter. On this variable ND shootout, the Tiffen was well rated. I use it on my 5D3 and it's very good:

The other solution is stopping down but using a longer focal length. I sometimes shoot interviews at 280mm @ f/4 on my 5D3 which is equal to 175mm on your 60D. If you had a 70-200 f/4, at 175mm you could stop down to f/8 at a 20 ft camera-to-subject distance and have about the same depth of field as 50mm @ f/1.8 at 10 ft:

F/8 is 4 1/3 stops darker than f/1.8 so that might be enough to maintain your shutter speed -- on a cloudy day, but not in bright sun.

As a last resort you can increase shutter speed and sometimes on an interview or static subject you can get away with it, but it's risky. It can cause strobing, especially if anything is moving -- even out-of-focus tree leaves in the background.

The problem is a sun-lit subject is incredibly bright. You don't notice this because your eyes are so adjustable. They can handle starlight at 0.0001 lux to a sun-lit beach at 100,000 lux -- a billion-to-one range. Without aids like a ND filter, a video camera cannot handle this.

At a fixed shutter speed and ISO 100, a sun-lit subject will need either 1/8000th sec or f/22 or some combination to balance the exposure. If you want f/1.8, your 60D might over-expose even at 1/8000th, it's maximum shutter speed:

I'd suggest something like a 70-200 f/4 lens, coupled with a variable ND filter. That gives you (a) More flexibility at subject-to-camera distance, (b) Ability to stop down and maintain shallow DOF, (c) Variable ND to dial down light and maintain a wider aperture.
« Last Edit: June 14, 2013, 03:14:46 PM by joema »


  • 1D X
  • *******
  • Posts: 1373
    • View Profile
Re: 60D over exposed in sunlight - how do I control?
« Reply #18 on: June 17, 2013, 05:00:23 PM »
Like they said, use an ND filter.  Since you have to keep the shutter speed fixed at 50 if you stop the lens down all the way and have the ISO is the lowest possible then ND's are your only option. 
5DIII/5DII/Bunch of L's and ZE's, currently rearranging.