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7D Video Too Bright


Hi, I'm fairly new to the 7D. I thought I had all my video settings correct, but when taking a video outside it is either too bright or washed out. I set all my settings in Manual mode then I saved it to a custom setting. Upon taking video, my Exposure Level Meter is automatically metering very high. I would sincerely appreciate it if anyone could point me into the right direction for correction. Thanks, Ray 


My settings are as follows;  

  • Quick Mode
  • 1920x1080 @24frames
  • Shutter Speed - 1/50
  • Aperture - f/2.8
  • ISO - 160
  • AF Point Expansion
  • Landscape
  • Cloudy (used for warmth)
  • Evalutive
  • Auto Lighting Optimizer - Off


I'm not surprised your exposure meter is telling you that your exposure is very high... if you are outside during the daytime and using those settings, then it's because it actually is very high.  


When you are using 'manual' mode the metering doesn't control the exposure.  The light meter is only reporting information to you... in other words it is offering you "advice" which you can choose to take or ignore.  But the meter will not change the camera settings when you are in "manual" mode... it uses the settings YOU dial in.


I'm wondering why you chose 1/50th, f/2.8, and ISO 160.  


That would produce an extremely over-exposed shot if you are outside in daytime.


In full mid-day sun, at f/16, the shutter speed can be set to the inverse of the ISO setting.  This is called the "Sunny 16 Rule".  It was a guideline developed back in the days before cameras had light meters as a way to help photographers remember common exposure settings without having to meter the light.


So at ISO 100 you can use a shutter speed of 1/100th.  But the rule goes on to say that in light overcast (this is when you have thin clouds... but you can still see objects casting a shadow) you lose 1 stop of light (half the light) and can make up for this by increasing the exposure time (e.g. switch to 1/50th) -or- by increasing the ISO (e.g. ISO 200 instead of ISO 100) -or- by opening the lens aperture by 1 full stop (e.g. switch to f/11 instead of f/16).  


In moderate overcast you lose 2 stops.  Moderate overcast is when things no longer cast a shadow... but it does not yet look so dark that it seems as though it's about to storm.


In heavy overcast you lose 3 stops (when the clouds are getting fairly dark.)


But even in heavy overcast at ISO 100, three stops down from f/16 is f/5.6.  If speed the shutter up to 1/200th then you can get down to f/4.  If you speed the shutter up to 1/400th then you can get down to f/2.8.  (and this is with "heavy" overcast).



Tim Campbell
5D III, 5D IV, 60Da

Hi, Thanks for the reply........ Being fairly new to the DSLR world, I went to Youtube for some video settings. It appears that I have it all wrong. I realize that every situation calls for different settings, but I was hoping for some good starter settings to get going. The Sunny 16 Rule sounds interesting. I'll set up my settings accordingly and go out shooting. I've been using the AV mode for my stills which has been working out great. Thanks for your help, I sincerely appreciate it. Ray

Upon researching the Sunny 16 Rule, I can see how it would work with stills. I don't understand how it would work with video. Shooting video at 1920 x 1080 @24 fps the shutter speed would be 1/48 (1/50 7d). Wouldn't this be a conflict when using the Sunny 16 Rule? Ray

The "Sunny 16" rule applies equally to Stills and Video.


If you want to shoot at 1/50 and ISO 100 you will need to stop down to f/22. I think most people in your situation would just  use a higher shutter speed. It will work just fine but you will loose that "Cinematic" look.


If you still want to shoot at 1/50 you must use a Neutral Density or  Variable Neutral density filter to cut down on the light reaching the sensor. 

Mike Sowsun

  Thanks for the reply..... I stepped down my aperture from f/2.8 to f/14, what a difference! My best range on my EFS 17-55mm lens for bright outside is between f/13 through f/18 with f/16 looking the best. With this being said, I'm gonna need to get a ND filter in order to step up towards the f/2.8 range. I've been looking at the newer Light Craft Rapid Variable ND filter. I need to check reviews as well as others. I believe that a variable would be best. If you have any suggestions, by all means please do....

   I tried taking some video inside with natural lighting in which f/2.8 being on the dark side. Only solution I've found is to raise the ISO in the 800 range or keep it low and change my shutter speed. Of course there is a third solution.... LOL......... add some light. Still learning and I'm sincerely thankful for everyone's help. Ray