Nigerian Photographers:How To Achieve The Film Look With Your Cheap DSRL Camera


We have all been to the cinema before to catch a particular movie, did you all notice that unique feel cinematic movies have? The film look is simply all about getting images(footages) that deserves to be on the big screen. Most DSRL and mirrorless camera today have either HD, FULLHD, Ultra HD or 4K capabilities. Even the most basic entry level DSRL or Mirroless camera manufactured around 2012 down to 2017, have at least HD shooting capabilities. You don’t really need that video camera of 4million Naira to get that film look, your DRSL or mirrorless camera is just sufficient.

In this article, we will be showing you guys how to achieve that film look with your cheap DSRL or mirrorless camera. Follow these outlines carefully to get that ultimate film:

Read: Common Mistakes Most Photographers In Nigeria Make All The Time


You need to set your camera to a resolution you plan on shooting in. I will advise you to always go with the highest resolution provided by your camera in order to maximize quality.

Frame Rate And Shutter Speed 

In other to achieve that film look on your camera, there are a few more settings you need to mess around with. We are gonna start with the frame rate. Firstly, set your camera to 24fps, use 25fps if your camera doesn’t have an option for 24fps. Cinematic movies are always shot in 24fps or 25fps. The next thing is to set your shutter speed, which should be twice your set frame rate. For example, if your set frame rate is 24ps, then your shutter speed should be 24×2= 1/48seconds rounded up to give you 1/50seconds. Also, if you are shooting 60fps then your shutter speed should be 60×2=1/120seconds.


Be wary of high ISO settings as this could lead to digital noise and discoloration. As a rule of thumb, don’t let your ISO speed go beyond 1600. You can experiment with any f-stop value of your choice but if you intend to get that nice and blurred out background, then you are better off shooting wide open with f-stop values of f1.2 down to at least f4. When you are shooting wide open in broad day light at times, even with the lowest ISO value, your images may tend to look overexposed. A quick fix for this is using a neutral density filter as they have the ability prevent about 3 stops of light from hitting your camera’s sensor.
In order to get smooth and steady video clips, get yourself some sort of camera stabilizer like a gimbal, a steadishot, a tripod or even shoulder rig as your budget permits. Audio is very important too if you want to achieve the film look. Your on board camera mic is as good as useless when it comes to quality audio capture. Most cameras come with external an mic jack which allows videographers to plug in external microphones to capture audio of higher quality. Get yourself an external recorder if your camera lacks an external mic jack.
Always shoot with a flat profile, no sharpness, no contrast, just flat. You can add all that during post.

Videographers out there, what do you think?

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  1. I am not sure where you are getting your information, but good topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for excellent information I was looking for this information for my mission.

  2. I’m not certain the place you’re getting your info, but great topic. I needs to spend some time learning much more or understanding more. Thanks for wonderful info I was looking for this information for my mission.

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