How Do You Use a Zebra on a Video Camera?

Using a Zebra on a Video Camera

If you are a videographer, you might have heard of a zebra pattern. It is a feature that is available in most professional video cameras. In this tutorial, we will discuss how to use the zebra on a video camera.

What is a Zebra Pattern?

A zebra pattern is an exposure aid that is used to indicate areas of an image that are overexposed or underexposed. It displays diagonal stripes on the areas of an image that are too bright, allowing the videographer to adjust the exposure settings accordingly.

How to Enable the Zebra Pattern

The process of enabling the zebra pattern varies from camera to camera. However, it can usually be found in the menu settings under “Exposure” or “Display.” Once you find it, you can enable it and adjust the threshold level from 70% to 100%.

Adjusting Threshold Level

The threshold level determines at what brightness level the zebra pattern appears on your screen. The default setting is usually at 70%, but you can increase it up to 100%. This means that if you set your threshold level to 90%, any area of your image that has brightness levels above 90% will display as zebras.

Using Zebras for Exposure Control

Now that we have enabled and adjusted our zebra pattern let’s see how we can utilize it for exposure control.

  • Over-Exposure: If any part of your image displays zebras, it means those areas are overexposed. You should reduce your aperture or shutter speed or both until those areas disappear.
  • Under-Exposure: If there are no zebras visible on your image, it means your scene might be underexposed. To fix this, you can open up your aperture or decrease your shutter speed or both until the zebras appear.

Using Zebras for Skin Tones

Zebras are particularly useful in achieving accurate skin tones. It is recommended to set the threshold level at 70% and adjust it accordingly to suit your needs.


In conclusion, using a zebra pattern on a video camera is a great way to ensure that your exposure settings are accurate. By following the steps outlined in this tutorial, you can enable, adjust, and utilize zebras for better exposure control and accurate skin tones.