I've FujiFilm Finepix S8500. It is capable of shooting high FPS videos. It works fine in broad daylight but when indoors, the video is always dark. What settings I can adjust to make the video brighter? I tried to adjust ISO and aperture but that does nothing. I also notice that the videos are darker if FPS is higher. I understand why this happens but is there anything to get a brighter video?

  • Is there some restriction on using studio lighting?
    – filzilla
    Jun 9, 2014 at 22:13
  • I don't have that gear.
    – kBisla
    Jun 10, 2014 at 5:00
  • Its a great bridge camera, however it has a small sensor. Small sensor means it can capture less information on its sensor, even when setting a high ISO setting. Its strength is the great zoom, but the image quality is so so.
    – eLouai
    Jul 9, 2014 at 1:13

3 Answers 3


Two ways

1) Larger aperture (the lower the number the larger the aperture) letting in more light, but also narrowing your depth of field).

2) I would suggest a higher ISO, don't understand why that does not work for you. The current crop of camera's now are absolutely amazing at capturing low light environments that you cannot see with the naked eye.

One of the best cameras for this is the Sony a7s, just released (s for sensitivity).

It needs to be seen to be believed.

Sony a7s high ISO video link

  • ISO 400,000...!! Sure it started getting unusably noisy (even seen through the rather lossy h.264 encoding) around 1 million, but that's still absolutely insane. Wish they had a link to a higher quality version that would actually let you see the noise levels clearly though.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jul 9, 2014 at 2:17
  • Hmm, found a video that is a bit better, it looks like it is about 2 stops better low light than the 5D Mark iii and $1000 cheaper. Not bad, particularly when you throw in slog2 4k HDMI output. Sadly probably not going to have a RAW video hack any time soon though. :(
    – AJ Henderson
    Jul 9, 2014 at 2:45
  • Yes, an amazing camera, a full frame sensor, amazing ISO. Here is one between Canon 5D and Sony a7s with HD 1080. It gets really grainy at 400k, I would probably stop around 100k ISO. For video cameras, I think this is now king of the hill. youtube.com/watch?v=wGr_hXgJVGs
    – eLouai
    Jul 9, 2014 at 3:02
  • Yeah, I shot my own video on my 5D at 25,600 to compare to the footage shot on the a7s that was online. That's how I got the two stop level. 25,600 (max on the 5D3) is about the same noise level as 100,000 on the a7s.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jul 9, 2014 at 3:59

The best way is to add more light, I see you mentioned not having the equipment to do so. There are a couple of home hacks to get around that.

1) Remove lamp shades and use the highest wattage bulb you can. I also prefer the clear glass bulbs sometimes with a diffuser over them. I find that tends to be brighter than the hazed bulbs but I have official evidence to prove this just experience.

2) This is my favorite home light hack... Go to home depot and buy your self the the double halogen work light with stand. These work great for video as they are bright, easy to move around, come with a rotating head and are on a stand already, not to mention the best part, they are cheap!

3) Use halogen track lights in the room. This is also a way to get a nice light array for not a ton of money. Again they are super bright, easy to move around, just mount the track to a piece of 2x4 and you have a mini light array right there.

Reasons not to use a higher ISO: In all cases I avoid increasing the ISO unless absolutely necessary. A higher ISO will increase noise and there are no 2 ways about it. I always exhaust my other options first, aperture, exposure time and simply turning on a light if I can.

  • 1
    Be carefull with halogen lighting, you may get some frames brighter and some frames darker because of the light's frequency, you may be able to adjust that in your camera though. Mine allows to switch between 60Hz and 50Hz if my memory serves well.
    – YoMismo
    Jul 23, 2014 at 15:12

Only with a larger aperture to let in more light if a higher ISO isn't helping. Though the camera probably already uses a very large aperture for this high frame rate mode. The more FPS the less light per frame obviously.

Your only other option would be to adjust the brightness in post which is a very limited option as it increases noise and can introduce artifacts but it might improve the footage a little bit. This usually works better if you can shoot in MJPEG instead of h.264/AVC. Try to shoot with the highest bitrate possible to have the biggest flexibility in post.

Usually you want to shoot with plenty of light when filming with a high frame rate, especially in-doors.

  • 2
    Increasing ISO, if possible would be preferable to boosting brightness in post as it would minimize certain types of noise in the recorded signal.
    – AJ Henderson
    Jun 8, 2014 at 19:17
  • Of course, any camera adjustment should be preferred over "fix it in post".
    – timonsku
    Jun 8, 2014 at 19:42
  • ISO was my first attempt to counter the problem but, like I said, it does nothing. Videos at ISO 100 and 12800 are equally dark. I think this camera ignores the ISO settings for video. The problem is camera specific. It's not a DSLR.
    – kBisla
    Jun 10, 2014 at 4:58

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