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The shutter speed is a measure of how long how film or sensor is exposed to light, due to the shutter being opened and closed. This is usually measured in seconds, or fractions of a second. Longer shutter speeds allow more light to onto the film or sensor and allow more subject movement.

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68
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6answers
12k views

Do fluorescent lighting and shutter speed create a problem with color cast?

I took a bunch of photos at my son's martial arts club using a D90 with a 50mm F1.8. The club is lit with overhead fluorescent lighting, and I was getting some weird results where some shots are ...
66
votes
10answers
15k views

How should I photograph falling snow?

We don't get much snow in the UK, so I don't have much experience photographing it, and when I tried photographing falling snow last year I found it very hard to capture the snowflakes in the air — ...
32
votes
10answers
2k views

What are some tips for shooting in low light?

I own a Canon 450D with just the standard lens kit that comes with it (poor so won't be buy a new lens for a while) and one thing I tend to struggle with is shotting in lower light conditions, indoors ...
27
votes
3answers
1k views

Why don't they make all DSLRs with an electronic shutter?

Why don't they make all DSLRs with an electronic shutter? Is it technically possible? Surely this would allow easier syncing with flashes (rather than the usual 1/200s or 1/250s max). I could even ...
26
votes
7answers
5k views

When to use shutter priority instead of aperture priority?

Under what circumstances would you use aperture priority vs. shutter priority and vice-versa? I typically don’t use shutter priority (ever) and favor aperture priority to try to get a max aperture ...
23
votes
5answers
6k views

Are there general rules for selecting the correct shutter speed and ISO in manual mode?

I have purchased my first DSLR (a Canon 500D) and have been playing around quite a lot within the aperture priority mode, with auto shutter speed and ISO. Anyways as I would like to become a better ...
20
votes
4answers
9k views

What is the shutter speed needed to stop motion?

I find that taking pictures where the subject is in motion (people, pets, toy helicopters) I get a blur where there is movement. On the other hand I see images of a drop of water in free fall in ...
19
votes
4answers
2k views

Why are there limitations to the upper limit of exposure time in digital cameras?

For example, my Canon 550D will only go as far as 30 sec (and then of course the bulb mode). For measuring exposure, I think all the camera needs is a timer, and I have no doubt they would have to do ...
19
votes
3answers
484 views

Do very short shutter speeds result in diffraction?

I'm curious if very short exposure times (say 1/8000 or even 1/16000) would cause noticeable blur due to diffraction. To achieve very fast shutter speeds focal-plane shutters start to close the ...
18
votes
5answers
816 views

What else changes with zoom?

Let me start with the general question: Consider the following situation. I want to take a picture of a particular object (that is, not a scenic shot). I can alter my distance from the subject ...
17
votes
5answers
7k views

How can I determine the minimum shutter speed to avoid blur from camera shake?

How can I determine the minimum shutter speed at which I can effectively avoid camera shake while hand-holding the camera?
17
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5answers
7k views

Is there a sane reason why 1/125 is not the half of 1/60?

Here are some common shutter speeds you will find on most DSLR cameras: 1/15, 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, 1/1000, 1/2000, 1/4000 As you move from left to right, or as you increase the shutter ...
17
votes
4answers
7k views

How can I make good fountain/waterfall photos?

I have a Canon Digital EOS Rebel XT camera, and I wonder how you could take photos of moving water like rivers, waterfalls and fountains...
17
votes
2answers
2k views

How do the stars in this photo appear without star trails even at a long shutter speed?

I found an image of the night sky taken by James Sainty at http://500px.com/photo/11615131. It has the following EXIF metadata: Camera Canon 5D Mk II Lens Canon 16-35mm L Focal Length 16mm Shutter ...
16
votes
7answers
614 views

Why do cameras use a single exposure rather than integrating across many very quick reads?

I have never understood why cameras need a shutter with a specific speed and why this cannot be adjusted in postprocessing. I think that present sensor works in an integral way: they save the amount ...
14
votes
3answers
1k views

Do the same camera settings lead to the same exposure across different sensor sizes?

Let's say I have a micro-4/3rd camera and a full frame camera, both set to 1/60 at f/2.8, taking a picture of the same scene in the same lighting. Will the exposure be the same across both cameras ...
13
votes
6answers
19k views

How to take fast-shutter-speed photos that aren't dark?

I was taking pictures of some water splashes. I knew I needed a fast shutter speed to make them look frozen in time. I have not used manual mode yet. I use the settings where I can pick the shutter ...
13
votes
5answers
664 views

Why are only certain shutter speeds or apertures available?

For the exposure control function DSLRs there are specific shutter speeds available. For example there are 1/4, 1/100, 1/500. Why, even in high end DSLRs, is there no option to use a custom shutter ...
13
votes
3answers
703 views

What is Bulb Mode?

My camera has a 'bulb mode,' and several questions on photo-SE refer to using Bulb Mode. A few questions: What is 'Bulb Mode?' Why is it called 'Bulb Mode?' What is 'Bulb Mode used for?
12
votes
2answers
554 views

Where do non-standard shutter speeds come from?

When I google "shutter speed" and explore a few first hits, there is always listed only the standard shutter speeds - 1/1000, 1/500, 1/250, 1/125, 1/60, 1/30, 1/15 etc But, when I go looking at ...
11
votes
2answers
856 views

What are the physical limits of a mechanical shutter?

I've recently found myself shooting a lot of photos on the maximum speed that my camera (a Canon 600D) allows (1/4000). This is quite extreme when thinking about mechanical movements, so I assumed ...
10
votes
3answers
882 views

How do I use the different shutter speeds my camera offers?

If I use a shutter speed below 1/30 on my Nikon P100, I get extremely dark images which are completely unusable. If I use the flash, it comes out fairly bright but just not natural. My camera ...
10
votes
4answers
1k views

How important is ISO speed?

My wifes Canon EOS 450D has various speed settings and an auto mode. The quickest one is 1600. She photographs mainly birds, both stationary and in flight and mainly still insects. What are the ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Why is shutter speed usually limited to 30 seconds? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Why are there limitations to the upper limit of exposure time in digital cameras? My Nikons - D70, D80, D300, D800 all have a maximum long exposure of 30 seconds (as far ...
9
votes
6answers
954 views

How much does a camera move in 1/250 of a second?

Many photographers will tell you that you should always use a tripod for best results. But what if I have the shutter speed set at 1/250 of a second? Just how much would the camera move or shake if I ...
9
votes
3answers
3k views

How do I manually set the aperture and shutter speed, while auto selecting ISO with the Nikon D90?

I have a Nikon D90 and would like to set the aperture to f/1.4 and the shutter speed to around 1/60, all while having the camera compute what ISO is required for the current light conditions. I am ...
9
votes
2answers
640 views

Why does the left windmill have too many blades?

Ok, check this shot out: These are the 3 windmills in Marshfield Massachusetts. It was shot from Provincetown, MA about 35 miles away. (I wasn't out to shoot them, I was shooting Right Whales... I ...
9
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1answer
1k views

How does shutter work when shooting videos?

I am a little confused about the concept of shutter speed in video shooting mode. I assume that the "shutter speed" means how fast the shutter would open and close. When this happens, I would hear a ...
8
votes
5answers
1k views

How do different aperture and shutter settings affect a photo with the same overall exposure?

Ok, here's my doubt. Suppose I want to get a certain exposure for an image. Keeping the ISO constant, there are two tentative possibilities here: Put the camera at f 1.4 (say) and at 1/1600 shutter ...
8
votes
2answers
3k views

Why is 1/250th second used as shutter speed when using a speedlight with my Nikon D7000?

I've got a Nikon D7000, if I increase the shutter speed it eventually goes to the bulb option and after that to 250, I've been told that 250/second is specifically for when using a speedlight as ...
8
votes
2answers
487 views

Why do I get horizontal grey bar with flash at shutter speeds slower than max sync speed?

I'm a total newbie to flash photography, and I am just trying to do some test shooting with Canon Speedlite 580 EXII using my 7D. I saw on the user manual that the maximum sync speed is 1/250 sec. ...
8
votes
3answers
525 views

What is the fastest possible shutter speed?

Is there a theoretical maximum at which a shutter cannot go faster (aside from the speed of light :-))? Is there a camera which has the fastest shutter speed? What is the advantage of this?
8
votes
2answers
168 views

What factors prevent camera sync speeds from being faster?

This came up tangentially in another question. A camera's sync speed is the fastest shutter speed for which the first shutter fully opens before the second shutter begins to close. This is important ...
8
votes
3answers
751 views

Why do two different cameras using the same settings produce photos with different exposure levels?

Please refer to this photo: The image on the left was taken with a Panasonic GH2, a micro-4/3rds camera with a crop factor of 2, and the right one was taken with a Nikon D700, a full-frame camera. ...
7
votes
5answers
2k views

How “slow” can I take a picture at a boxing match?

I'm to take pictures at a boxing match, probably under low lights conditions. My plan is to set the camera on a fixed shutter speed, and the let the camera automatically set aperture and ISO. But ...
7
votes
5answers
1k views

What are the benefits and costs of an image stabilized, slower lens vs a non-IS faster lens?

I am going thru a trade off decision between a 24-70 f2.8 lens and a 24-105 f4 IS lens from Canon. My dilemma is that the 24-105 focal length better matches my needs, but the f2.8 would occasionally ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

What configuration would limit my DSLR's shutter speed to 1/200?

I'm using a T4i with a 100mm f/2.8L (with macro twin flash). In manual mode, I could select any shutter speed down to 1/4000. However, when shooting the DSLR would set it back to 1/200. Does it depend ...
7
votes
3answers
3k views

At what shutter speed threshold does a tripod start to matter?

I use a Nikon D7000 with a prime 35mm/f1.8 lens. I usually shoot at the highest aperture with 200-1000 ISO, holding the camera steady and taking 6 or more shots in the hope of at least one coming out ...
7
votes
6answers
1k views

Does high shutter speed make up for no tripod?

I take a lot of macro pictures, so using a tripod can be very inconvenient at times. And when I'm so close to an insect I find my hands shaking a lot even though I try to be as stable as possible. So ...
7
votes
2answers
856 views

What's the use of a very fast shutter speed, faster than 1/4000?

I am planning to buy a new DSLR and am comparing two models. One of them has a fastest shutter speed of ¹⁄₄₀₀₀th of a second while other has a limit of ¹⁄₈₀₀₀th. I know that a fast shutter speed will ...
7
votes
2answers
458 views

What shutter speeds should I use for cars in motion and slow-sync flash?

I'm an amateur with a Canon EOS 400D/Rebel xti. I know that any given shot requires it's own recipe for shutter speed, ISO and aperture, and I'm aware of the triad of those three. I typically shoot ...
7
votes
3answers
1k views

Does the shutter speed and focal length rule of thumb apply to cropped sensor cameras?

So, the rule of thumb for shutter speed is that it shouldn't be less than 1 / focal length. Well, that's straight forward on full frame cameras, but what about cropped sensor cameras? Is it going to ...
6
votes
4answers
731 views

Analysis of a macro shot with very fast shutter speed

Recently I came across a macro photo here, with this properties: Focal Length: 105mm Shutter Speed: 1/3200 sec Aperture: f/4 ISO/Film: 200 So I am looking for possible reasons as to why ...
6
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4answers
6k views

What does “long exposure” mean?

Very often, when people are talking about photography, they use the expression "long exposure". Here's a quote from a recent answer: A tripod and long exposure were required for this shot. Where ...
6
votes
7answers
9k views

What are some common ISO, aperture, and shutter speed settings for street photography?

I recently purchased a Panasonic GF1 with the 20mm pancake lens. It's by far the nicest camera I've ever owned and I'm really excited to learn the basics of digital photography (primarily street ...
6
votes
6answers
2k views

How does aperture size or shutter speed affect color temperature?

With all other parameters assumed constant, does aperture size or duration of exposure have any effect on the resulting color warmth or vividness? (Even slightly.) While answering please also ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

Should I prefer raising ISO or lowering the shutter speed in a low light condition?

Example: 1. A "still" object/scene. 2. Night time. 3. The only light source you have is: a tubelight on a wall. Provided, you want sharpness all around so you won't maximize the aperture. Flash ...
6
votes
4answers
640 views

Does the same aperture at a shorter focal length allow for faster shutter speeds?

I was about to ask why the new Canon 24-70mm F/2.8L II doesn't have IS, but then I came across the answer to Why there is no Canon 50mm *IS* lens? and it got me thinking... (The short version of the ...
6
votes
2answers
823 views

What is the relation between shutter speed and exposure compensation in aperture priority?

I was using a manual focus lens with canon 600D and notice something in aperture priority mode. When I was applying the exposure compensation of -2EV, I had a shutter speed of 1/20 sec and when the ...
6
votes
1answer
178 views

Best film and shutter speed for Mansfield Skylark

My daughter picked up an old Mansfield Skylark camera at a yard sale. Can anyone recommend a film type/speed and shutter speed for overcast daylight conditions? The shutter speeds are simply 'B' ...