How do I "Shoot for the Web"?

How do I "Shoot for the Web"?

When shooting video for delivery on the internet, keep the following in mind:


Shoot everything tighter
Smaller movies mean you need to make your subjects bigger. Close-ups provide energy and detail even at small screen sizes.

Minimize camera movement
The key element in great looking low-bandwidth video is to keep each frame as similar to the previous and subsequent frame as possible. Every pixel of a frame that is different from the previous frame must be stored in your online movie, which in turn increases the amount of data needed to represent that frame. To keep frames as similar to each other as possible, use a tripod and don’t move the camera or zoom while the tape is rolling. Steady shots will compress with much higher quality.



Use manual mode
Use manual mode to keep control of focus and exposure. You don’t want extra pixel movement generated by the camera’s automatic controls hunting around for a setting.


Feature your subject

Here’s an article on that topic.


KTBS – Keep The Background Simple

Solid backgrounds are best for web video- a pure black or pure white background works great. Sharp, detailed moving backgrounds, such as a field of swaying wheat, an ocean glittering in the sun, or trees with leaves flying in the breeze are the worst. If you do have a moving background, the more shallow your depth of field, the better- blur out the background and focus on your subject for the best results. A Center Spot filter could help in situations where the background is sharp and distracting by softening your image while keeping the center area where your subject is sharp.

Avoid intricate patterns in clothing and subjects if possible
Like patterned or moving backgrounds, these don’t compress efficiently.


Shoot in 30p mode if you have it
As desktop video is non-interlaced, it’s better to shoot non-interlaced and avoid the artifacts of blending or deleting fields during compression. 30p is better than 24p because you will not be adding interlaced pulldown to the footage.


  1. Vidwrkz 14 years ago

    Will shooting on a 2/3 chip camera in 16:9, look better than HDV on the web?

  2. Josh 14 years ago

    You don’t want to put HDV on a website.

    Here is a lot of info on web video:

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