Understanding Shutter Speed

Basic Understanding of Shutter speed in Photography

Shutter speed is ‘the amount of time the shutter is open to let the light on Sensor to capture light’. It is a curtain in front of the camera sensor that stays closed until you press the shutter button and it opens for a set amount of time to expose the sensor to outside light.

It is calculated in fraction of seconds. Shutter speeds double with each setting letting in double or half the light. Shutter speeds range from 1/4000 to 1/30 seconds with in between settings like: 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15, 1/8 etc.

A fast shutter:Bottle-Burst

Bottle burst: 1/4000 ISO 3200 1dc. Canon 70-200 f2.8 at f4

  1. Freezes motion so you don’t get motion blur.
  2. Allows less light on the sensor.

A Slow shutter:
Venice-sky-2Venice 5d2. 13 seconds. F16. ISO 100. 24-105mm f4 @ f16

  1. Provides Motion Blur.
  2. Allows more light to enter into the camera allowing shoots in low light without increasing ISO.

For most people the 1/50 is lowest shutter speed if you are shooting handheld with a normal lens. With heavy lenses without Image Stabilization 1/125 may be the limit. Lower than that will result in blurred photo even if the focus is perfect. It is recommended to use tripod when going lower than 1/50 shutter speed.

Use a general rule of them: When you are shooting handheld do not use shutter lower than your focal length. For example if your lens is 50 mm you should not go below 1/50 on handheld.

It is recommended to use tripod when going lower than 1/50 shutter speed.

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