Best movie recording settings for Sony NEX and Sony Alpha

eg. NEX 5N, NEX-5R, NEX-6, NEX-7 and Sony Alpha cameras

These settings are also useful for other types of camera.

sony nex

If you want to use your camera video feature more professionally and optimized for production use, there are few easy tips.


Constant aperture lenses (eg.f2.8) are more apropriate for filming instead of zoom lenses. Because whenever you zoom in or out, your image will darken or brighten.

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Wide lenses like 35mm 1.8 or 16mm 2.8 are usualy the best choices.
Also is very good to have a lens with OSS (optical steady shot) for image stabilization.

Aspect ratio

For shooting video choose 16:9 aspect ratio (widescreen) instead of 3:2 ratio wich is more apropriate for photography.

To set this, go to Image Size / Aspect Ratio and choose 16:9.

The highest quality video resolution is AVCD (1920x 1080) wichj is known as Full HD resolution.

Shoot in Manual Mode

Manual mode gives you the freedom to set the aperture to the desired DOF and the shutter speed accordingly with scene you want to record.

This is very important if you dont want your camera to keep changing exposures, when something bright or dark enters the frame.

Shutter speed and Frame rate

Choosing the right shutter speed depends on the type of scene you want to film.

For a cinematic look set 24 fps frame rate and a shutter speed of 1/50.

For sport video set 60 fps frame rate and a shutter speed of 1/120.
As you see in the examples above, the shutter speed needs to be the inverse of double the frame rate.

Aperture and ISO

Since your shutter speed will be determined by the frame rate you choose, this leaves aperture and ISO to set. Set the aperture to achieve the desired DOF and the lowest ISO possible for your scene.

If you are shooting in bright sunlight and you want a larger Aperture, is a very good ideea to use a variable ND ( neutral density) filter, that will reduce the amount of light entering the lens. This will enable you to choose aperture and ISO settings that would otherwise produce an over exposed image.

If you are shooting in low light conditions try to open your aperture as much as possible to receive more light in, and set your ISO as low as possible. Depending on the type of camera and the type of lense you use, at 1600 more or less, noise will appear.

White Balance

AWB (automatic white balance) is usualy the best option to use, unless you are in lower light conditions. Another good tip is to use a gray card in the begining of your shooting. This will help you to adjust the final white balance in post production.

Manual focus

To keep the autofocus from tracking things while you are filming, is best to pick manual focus mode.

Another good tip is to use autofocus to get the focus set and the then switch it to manual.

Use a tripod

If you don’t need to move for filming, try to use a tripod.
When using a tripod turn off OSS (optical stabilization system)

Flatten the image

If you want to have more dynamic range to work with in post production, folow the next steps:
Go to Brightnes and Color -> Creative Style ->Portrait
Then go to Options and set : Contrast ( -3 ), Color( 0 ), Sharpness( -3 )


Improve your audio by using a microphone or record to another audio device like ZOOM H1 and then sync the video and audio together in post production.

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