Key Terms: Frame Rate, Resolution, & White Balance (Camera Lesson 02)

Summary: Ryan covers the second three crucial camera terms- frame rate, resolution, and white balance.

Length: 7:06 minutes

Video Lesson

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So in the last video we began to look at the first three essential terms you need to know: your aperture, shutter, and ISO. In this video we complete the six essential terms by looking at white balance, resolution, and frame rate.

White Balance

White balance tells our cameras how to correctly perceive and render the color temperature of light. Our eyes are pretty amazing, in that we can go from one environment to another and we’ll never notice any difference, as our eyes automatically adjust. Our cameras, on the other hand, need to be told what white like looks like otherwise the colors will look rather odd.

So if we are shooting with candle light, that light is going to appear more warm, or orange, if we don’t correctly white balance. And if we shoot outside, and we don’t correctly white balance, then the image is going to appear more cool, or blue, if we don’t correctly white balance.

White balance is measured in degrees kelvin (K). This system of measuring the color temperature of light was developed by Lord Kelvin back around 1850. And it is based off of heating up a perfectly black body.

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Depth of Field, Part 1: How Aperture and ISO Affect Focus
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 6: Five Tips For A Successful Shoot
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 5: Lighting Six High Speed Sets
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 4: Common Lighting Problems
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 3: Camera Operation & Workflow
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 2: Frame Rate
Your Guide To High Speed, Part 1: Introduction
12 Crucial Questions Before Lighting Your Set (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 15)
Negative Fill: The Best Kept Secret (Cinematic Lighting Lesson 08)
8 replies
  1. kinopasha
    kinopasha says:

    I’m enjoying your lessons Ryan, they’re clear and thorough. One question though, does Vimeo support 60 fps and is this lesson rendered out at 60 fps? I just felt that I couldn’t see much difference in your fps comparison shots.

  2. Ryan E. Walters
    Ryan E. Walters says:

    Thanks. 🙂 Unfortunately Vimeo does not support 60 for- only 24, 25, or 30… so all of our videos have to be rendered out at 24 (23.98). So some of that is getting lost. The difference is there- but you have to really be watching for it. The best way to tell, is by looking at the motion blur, or lack of it. At 60fps there is about half (2.5x) the amount of motion as there is at 24 fps. Or to put it another way, at 24 fps there is 2.5 times more motion blur.

    If I figure out another way to display that more clearly I’ll do it. 🙂

    (BTW- here is the link to the current Vimeo standards: )

  3. Aman27
    Aman27 says:

    Bother i have just started to see your videos and have really got my queries answered thanks to your simple and perfect explanations 🙂 but i don’t know why your videos take so long to download 🙁

  4. Ahmedsalem
    Ahmedsalem says:

    Very informative tutorial, just I have two questions, first how come 4k is four time full HD , if I will multiply 1080 *4
    it is bigger that your number this really confuse me .
    Second question If you shoot in 4k and you need to export HD , this mean you are recording a very big file without any need , may you explain this point to me .

    • Tim
      Tim says:

      Good questions.

      Remember, when you are dealing with screen size, you are dealing with two dimensions. With 4K, you are doubling the width AND height of 1920 x 1080, so 4k is 3840 x 2160. These dimensions can hold four 1920 x 1080 images. (Technically, the correct name for 3840 x 2160 is UHD for ultra high definition. However, many people call it 4K including most tv manufacturers.)

      As for your second question: if you are shooting in 4K, but only need a 1920 x 1080 image (what is called “HD”) for your video, then your footage will be close to four times larger than you need. This means that you have to storage four times more information, and when you edit the footage your computer has to process four times more information. But none of this is helpful if you are outputting a 1920 x 1080 finished product.


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