[Help] Panning Landscape Video - How to fix motion blur?


I’ve been playing around with my camera (fuji xt3) trying to take video pan shots of landscape views (using a 27mm equivalent lens, or 18mm with an APS-C sensor).

The problem I’m facing is that when following the 180 degree shutter rule shooting at 24 FPS, the motion is too blurry because of the distance of the trees, mountains, etc I am trying to capture while panning. I’ve tried slowing down the pan, still looks blurry, and I tried increasing my shutter speed but then the footage looks like choppy images. I also tried shooting at 120 FPS then using Shotcut Properties to shorten it to 24 FPS playback but it’s just cutting out frames and making it look choppy because frames are missing.

Is there anything in Shotcut that can help with this problem I’m having? I have been researching a lot trying to find out what I’m doing wrong in terms of user error while filming, but I’m having no luck other than “don’t pan video at long distances”. Surprised to be having such an issue with this considering I’m not using a telephoto lens where you would expect a whip panning effect.

Thank you.

At 24fps this is a bit hard to fix especially if you want to keep exposure at 1/48, I’ve noticed bad panning artefacts even in high-budget movies. You can either move slow and steady (but increase the landscape time) or increase the fps (which I assume is not desired).

Usually the blur is intentional to give the impression of smoothness.

There are panning speed calculators online if you want to have some numbers, but basically you’ll have to pan slower.

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Thanks for the reply. I’m not worried about shooting at a higher frame rate, but for youtube I think the current max is 60 fps so I could use a 120 FPS shutter. It just confused me because most cinema movies are still shot in 24 FPS to my knowledge, and I’ve seen nice landscape shots on them (though more often than not they’re focused on a nearby subject). Also I see drones film beautiful far away landscape pans and they always look picture perfect, no judder and no blur. So I’m trying to figure out how to avoid issues in my camera that you may not see on a smartphone or drone.

I like the smoothness that blur gives, but then you can’t appreciate the details in the landscape from my footage, it looks like it’s out of focus but it’s in focus, just blurry.

Thank you for the link, I will start using this as a guideline and do some tests :slight_smile:

I helped this guy work this out.

The 180-degree “rule” isn’t a rule, it’s a convention. The problem with it is that you end up with overly sharp backgrounds that take too long for the processor in the camera to process.

It’s not luck, a few cameras have the same problem. Some don’t.

You might find dropping the shooting mode down to 1080p will fix the problem and setting the ‘shutter speed’ to something higher.

Edit - Here’s a diagram that might help:


Interesting, so you think it could just be the camera struggling to process at 4K? I’ll have to tone it down to 1080p and see, thank you. I wonder if using H264 instead of H265 will also help in camera, less processing work. I will try 24 fps but with higher shutter speed and see if this helps.

You’ll have to work that out yourself. Most modern cameras have a huge amount of settings that work with/against each other and it varies from brand to brand, model to model.

As a generalisation, nobody expects a background to be in razor sharp focus. Unless that is what you are filming. Then in that case you’d have your camera on a tripod to maximise the resolution.

Typically though, you don’t lose much if your background is blurred and some people even prefer bokeh backgrounds in certain settings but it’s all up to you and what you are filming.

Also see:

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There are normally 2 motion artefacts, blur and judder. Both are related to the sampling used in the camera. You may find that if you reduce the blur by reducing the shutter speed, you’ll increase the judder. Because it’s a camera effect, you can’t really remove it once it’s captured.

The required frame rate and shutter speed to make the effects imperceptible depends on if your eye is tracking motion in the shot or not. But it’s a lot higher than 24. If you do want to shoot at 120 and blend it, you need to shoot with a 360 shutter.

(24 is not a magic number, it was the framerate required to make a film reel last the same length of time as a gramophone record on the system in use for the Jazz Singer in 1927)

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Modern computer displays have a refresh-rate of 60fps or even 120fps, so it makes sense for videos that will be primarily viewed on these devices to be at 30fps or 60fps,

When movies moved from “Silent” to “Talkies” the sound was recorded onto the same strip of film that stored the picture. This meant there needed to be a consistent frame rate. That consistency was set at 24 FPS. It was chosen by Warner Bros. and their sound film system called Vitaphone, for their release of The Jazz Singer in 1927.

Film stock is expensive. Recording at a higher frame rate costs more. As such, filmmakers needed a standard that was cheap, but also achieved that persistence of vision. 24 FPS also allowed for that fidelity between picture and sound.

See here for a good explanation:


I’d argue that using a framerate related to the local mains frequency is a better idea. If you’re in an area with 50Hz lighting, and you shoot at 60, you get a very obvious flicker, even with LED lighting (unless you’ve got modern TV/Film luminaires).

As with judder related to motion, once this alias is embedded in the video, it’s hard to filter it out.

Vitaphone did not record audio on to the film stock, it used a 33 1/3 RPM phonograph mechanically locked to the projector. Sound on Film came later with Movietone.

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In this case the background is the subject, just panning a far out landscape, don’t even have a bush or anything in the foreground. That’s why I was hoping to keep it in razor sharp focus same way as when you see a drone filming from very far away but it looks sharp and not blurred but also no judder. I’ve tried a tripod as well but it seems I may just be panning too fast considering the 24 FPS even though it feels slow, that’s where I think your tip of higher shutter speed might be able to help.

A 1/360 shutter at 120fps instead of 1/240?

No, 1/120 - If you shoot at 120 and then blend it to create a lower framerate, if the shutter speed doesn’t match the framerate you’ll get a very odd effect. It would be the same as repeatedly opening and shutting the shutter during a single frame. You’d get multiple images per frame.

The XT3 Fuji might say “No”

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