Drum Video Settings


Junior Member
Hi all,

I've just spent 1 hour searching the internet for camera settings as I'd like to shoot a drum cover but haven't been able to come across the information I need. Basically I'd like to know what aperture most videographers use on their cameras for drum covers. I'll be using proper lighting in a studio. In general using wide apertures creates more shallow depth of field but I'd want myself and the drums to both be in focus hence my question. Any feedback would be really appreciated,



Senior Member
Sounds like you're using a DSLR to shoot the video?

I'll assume minimum knowledge of cameras and lenses, so apologies if this is speaking the obvious!

Aperture as you say controls the depth of field, but it's not the only decider - focal length has a big effect too. A wide-angle lens (generally 24mm or less*) at f/5.6 will have a huge DOF whereas a 200mm at f/5.6 would still be pretty shallow.

This tends to work to your advantage for most videos, as you can stick a wide-angle lens on a tripod, pretty near your kit (as most people don't have large studios to film in!), set a modest aperture around f/4-5.6) and everything will be in frame and in focus.

If however you were doing a fancy video in large space and shooting from a distance away with a longer lens, you'd likely need to stop down a bit more.

Of course the other effect stopping down has is reducing the amount of light hitting the sensor. In photography, you offset this typically by slowing the shutter-speed BUT when filming you shutterspeed is limited as it is also linked to your FPS. Most video is shot at 24 fps, meaning you can't shoot slower than 1/25 (Not that you'd likely want to as for drumming you'll start seeing motion blur way before then).

If we assume a shutter-speed of 1/250 to remove any blur, 1/250 at f/5.6 is OK for a sunny day, but you could start getting under-exposed video.

Which leaves you with ISO to up the exposure.
Most cameras, even old ones will have good ISO noise control up to ISO1600. For video, assuming you're capping resolution at 1080p, this is the equivalent of only 2 megapixels, where most cameras have 10+, so you're not really going to see any grain at higher ISO's.

So, in summary; wide-angle is your friend, keep shutterspeed high and don't be scared to increase your ISO much higher than you would for a photo.

*On a full-frame camera, approx 18mm on a crop-sensor. I wouldn't go much wider or you'd get some weird distortion.


Gold Member
If you haven’t shot video before, I suggest renting a Canon 70D with a 10–22mm zoom lens from Lensrentals.com or borrowlenses.com and experiment. This camera-lens combo is good for learning & trying out stuff, and it’s not expensive to rent.

Lighting is what determines exposure and there’s no way of knowing what that is until you get in the room with lights on.

f8–f11 will generally provide enough depth of field for a clear image when using a wide-to-normal focal length, while filling the frame with your kit.


Platinum Member
I use a 70D with a 10-22 as well. Gets the whole kit in the frame.

If you want it all in focus F8-F11 is correct. But here is the issue, if you don't have a good lighting situation you either have to increase the ISO or lower it. Too high of iso will look bad so sometimes it's worth sacrificing a bit of the focus to get the exposure right. My basement is dark so going lower is sometimes needed. Going to 2.8 or around there is going to create too much bokeh and it won't look great.

also, you have a few options, face tracking autofocus is often one of the best choices for most things, but if you move around alot focus changes in video is annoying. I often set it to manual focus, use the digital zoom on the camera all the way and focus on where my face will be. that way it won' tbe changing as i play and move around.


Junior Member
Thanks heaps everybody. I should have mentioned I'm a photographer but I don't shoot much video. It just occurred to me today at work that generally the shallow depth of field is more often created when you're closer to the main subject while using wide appertures that this allows for the background to blow out. I tend to overthink things due to perfectionism lol.

I shoot with a full frame camera but at the moment my lenses are 14mm 2.8, 50mm 1.8 and a 70-200mm 2.8. I guess it will depend on how big the room is with regards to the last 2 lenses. I could use a lower apperture if I'm not to close to the kit that way I'd limit the shallow DOF but with the 14mm it would mean possibly having the whole room in focus and me being to small in the whole mix.

I was thinking not shooting at 24/25fps as I don't want a cinematic look. Most everyday type shooting like tv and such apparently is shot at around 30fps.

I'll be in the studio for a few hours so I guess I might just do some trial run in the garage where the kit is set up for the time being and take it from there.

Durbs on the note of needing to stop down if shooting with a longer lens to minimise shallow DOF I would have thought that this is only crated if you're close up? If shooting from a distance shouldn't this mitigate this. I wouldn't be shooting at Infinity unless I was in some giant space but it would help to shoot from further back wouldn't it? I say this because if 14mm is too wide, then the nifty fifty or 70-200mm might be just right from a distance even at 2.8 which would help keep ISO down?

I thought drums were hard!

Thanks once again everybody very much appreciated!!


Senior Member
Durbs on the note of needing to stop down if shooting with a longer lens to minimise shallow DOF I would have thought that this is only crated if you're close up? If shooting from a distance shouldn't this mitigate this.
Distance to subject does affect it, but I'm assuming you won't be shooting at 200mm!

14mm vs 50mm is tricky. 14mm is very wide... Can you crop in camera? My camera (A7R2) lets me activate Super-8 mode, or emulate APS-C crop, making a 24mm around 35mm which is great for filming.


Junior Member
That's sounds like a great idea. I'll look into the crop mode and see if losing that many pixels about 14 from 24 makes a huge different.

Thanks again!