A6400 Video struggles

Scott D

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Jan 12, 2021
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Scott Dellefave
Hi, i'm new to video recording and am starting up a DIY You Tube channel. I've recorded about 8-9 projects and i'm just not very happy with the picture quality before I bring it into Davinci Resolve for post editing. The picture is grainy and not sharp. I've watch dozens of A6400 video settings youtube videos and I think my settings are as most of those videos say to use. Below are the settings...if anybody has suggestions on why this is happening or how to fix I would appreciate the feedback. Attached is a still from a video i shot to show a before view of a kitchen. here is a video link https://youtu.be/lR4GeqW7jks and a second raw video clip of some woodworking https://youtu.be/6iPPfATIKTg
is it just because i need to clean up the picture in post? I would have thought the video quality would have been better than this though without editing.

kit 16-50mm 3.5lense
Shutter Priority: 1/60
Usually F 3.5
Format XAVC S HD
Record Setting 30p 50M
Focus Area Wide
Picture profile off
AF On
Metering Mode Multi
 

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FowlersFreeTime

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Chris Fowler
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Welcome Scott, good to see another a6400 YouTuber on the forum!
Here is my channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC_ulUEPSWk9vdcGZULOLHPg
I have been making cooking videos and I usually shoot with these settings:
Sony 35mm f1.8 Lens at f2 for talking head and f4 for view of the food
Mode: M
Exposure: 1/50
Format: XAVC S HD
Record setting: 24p 50m
Focus area: center
metering mode: center
picture profile: off
autofocus: on

Your videos look fine to me, in fact, YouTube automatically played them for me at 720p and I had to bump it up to 1080p since I'm on my pc and not my phone right now... but I know the instinct to want the sharpest picture possible! What are your ISO settings? I like to use a fixed ISO value wherever possible and keep it as low as possible. When I'm shooting against a dark background (like my countertop) I use auto but set the ISO min to 100 and max to 2500. I think the professionals usually have an abundance of light from studio lights and use lower ISO settings for improved clarity. I've got a cheap video light on my wishlist for next month's purchases myself...

What focal length do you use most often? have you thought about filming with a prime lens?

BTW, stills from videos usually suck, so you're not doing anything wrong there. When I make thumbnails for my videos, I dedicate a few minutes to taking an actual still photo to work with.
 

Scott D

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Thank you Chris for your feedback. Since I was using shutter priority my ISO was auto...looking at the metadata, those two clips had ISO of 320. Focal length is 16mm. I definitely am considering shooting with a prime lens but wanted to start off with the kit lens to see how it looked. I wonder if the lens will make the difference I'm looking for. Who would have thought making a you tube video was so intense :confused::ROFLMAO:

I guess my search for a budget friendly prime lens begins now
 

FowlersFreeTime

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Thank you Chris for your feedback. Since I was using shutter priority my ISO was auto...looking at the metadata, those two clips had ISO of 320. Focal length is 16mm. I definitely am considering shooting with a prime lens but wanted to start off with the kit lens to see how it looked. I wonder if the lens will make the difference I'm looking for. Who would have thought making a you tube video was so intense :confused::ROFLMAO:

I guess my search for a budget friendly prime lens begins now
Brother, there are people out there making YouTube videos with cellphones (and have thousands of subscribers!). We are the minority of detail-oriented creators who are never happy! 😅
I would say that if you like the 16mm view, the Sigma 16 is a fantastic prime lens and as a bonus it also has a short focusing distance (so you can do close-ups of your work if you hold the camera a few inches away).

As far as budget options... you get what you pay for 😬
 

Scott D

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I've had my eye on the Sigma 16mm and Sigma 50mm lenses for a couple months. I need to figure out which would work best for DIY / woodworking videos. I'm going to shoot the next video using 24p 50m to see how that looks. Definitely a ton to learn still. thanks for your thoughts!
 

FowlersFreeTime

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Regarding the frame rate, have you ever used a go-pro? I came from using go-pros for my kayaking and fishing videos, so I would shoot in 30 or 60 frames per second so I could slow down the footage sometimes if I had a big fish to show off. 24 frames per second, in contrast, is what people generally recommend for a more "cinematic" look and feel.

Regarding the Sigma 16, its very versatile, I love mine.
The Sigma 56mm is a great lens, but I see more people recommending it for shooting Portraits than for video work.
A budget option that falls in-between these two lenses is the Viltrox 23mm lens:

I'm always up for nerding out on these details, good luck!
 

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