Is there any detrimental effects to using a high shutter speed for let's say a still picture, provided there is abundance of light. Does it produce better pictures or makes them worse?


The key is that shutter-speed is not independent of anything and is related to other exposure parameters.

To increase shutter-speed without under-exposing one must either open up the aperture or raise the ISO:

  • A wider aperture is often softer and will therefore reduce image quality. It can also be sharper if you were past the diffraction limit and improve image quality.
  • A higher ISO generally adds more image noise thus reducing image quality. Except if you were using an Expanded ISO setting below the sensor's native ISO, in which case you will get better dynamic-range.

Increasing shutter-speed without changing other parameters results in darker image. Darker images show more noise because the signal is lower and therefore so is the Signal-to-Noise (S/N) ratio.

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Well, assuming that the lens can open up enough to compensate for the faster shutter speed, the only thing that happens is that you get a shallower depth of field than you might ideally have wanted to use. (I am assuming here that you balance the equation by opening up the lens, rather than by upping the ISO, which is an altogether more expensive operation in terms of image quality!) If you have not focused on the correct point of interest, or if your autofocus is a bit off, this could in turn mean that your subject falls out of focus entirely.

Plus, as Itai mentions, most lenses are noticeably less sharp at their widest-open aperture than stopped down a bit, which would affect picture quality.

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Put another way, you generally set the shutter speed when you need to capture movement. The general rule is you set your aperture according to your desired depth of field, your shutter as fast as it needs to be based on the amount of movement and the ISO (sensitivity) to whatever is needed to make the shot work.

The higher the ISO, the noisier the image, so if the shutter can be slower, it is generally going to result in a better image quality at a fixed aperture. If you are shooting free-hand or something that is moving however, there will be practical limits on how slow you can make your shutter.

Generally, when taking a photo in the real world, you have to make decisions to balance the depth of field you want, the amount of noise that is acceptable and the amount of sharpness you want on things that are moving. Thus, you balance those three parameters accordingly.

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Simply put......No.

A high shutter speed unto itself does not have any detrimental effect on your pictures.

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  • Does a low shutter speed affects the image quality then? Or will this essentially mean less noise? I'm shooting stills in dark surroundings with a tripod and a trigger, and have done that for a while. But I never really want to bring the shutter speed way down because I have an idea that it affects my picture quality wise. Is this true?? Or can I go way more crazy than I thought? – Simon May 18 '19 at 14:51

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