Manual control of shutter speed and aperture for video with NEX-6

Discussion in 'Filmmaking' started by ajm80031, Jun 17, 2014.

  1. ajm80031

    ajm80031 TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 16, 2013
    I've been experimenting with a variable neutral-density filter on my NEX-6, mostly in the interests of being able to shoot at a consistent shutter speed that allows some degree of motion blur (e.g. 1/60 of a second) without having to resort to a tiny aperture. However, what I'm experiencing makes me wonder if manual control over exposure is possible when shooting video with this camera.

    I set the camera in 'S' mode and adjust the shutter speed to 1/60. I then adjust the neutral-density filter until I get an aperture I'm happy with (e.g. f8). However, when I press the video record button to start filming, the indicated shutter speed jumps to 1/120.

    I tried 'M' mode as well, but with similar results.

    Is it possible to get full manual control for video with an NEX-6? I thought there was, based on the research I'd done before buying the camera last year, but now I'm wondering if that's the case. On my old Panasonic GH1, there's a special mode for video manual control (if you're in 'A', 'S', or 'M' the camera is still doing full auto-exposure for video) but there's no such mode setting on Sonys.
  2. ajm80031

    ajm80031 TalkEmount Regular

    Jul 16, 2013
    Well, no one else replied, so I'll follow up to my own post. I've done some additional shooting and now the NEX-6 seems to be behaving as I expect -- when I set the shutter speed to 1/60 in S mode it stays there while shooting video and the camera changes the aperture without affecting the shutter speed. Not sure why I had the problem before but not now, as I triple-checked the settings back when I encountered the problem to be certain it wasn't operator error.

    So, I've shot video using my cheap variable ND filter and while there is some vignetting (especially when the variable ND filter nearing its maximum setting) for bright-light shooting (e.g. outdoors on a sunny day) I'd rate the overall quality of the video as being significantly better than shooting without an ND filter and relying on small aperture settings. Shots without too much motion look pretty darned good, but even slow pans can result in some pretty significant "mud" as the details smear away. The sensor is very capable, but Sony's video codec just wasn't as good as the Panasonic cameras of the same generation. The Sony does have the edge over them for stills, though.
  3. roundball

    roundball TalkEmount Hall of Famer

    Oct 8, 2013
    Assuming they're probably similar, I shoot occasional wildlife videos with legacy Canon lenses on my NEX-7 in manual mode.
    Just last week I was shooting Hummingbird stills with shutter set to 1/400, then decided to click on the video.
    When the Video function took over it dropped the shutter speed to 1/125.