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Old Feb 13, 2003, 2:20 PM   #1
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Default shutter speed : newbie question

I'd just like to know what exactly is the shutter speed and what does that do ?

if you increase or decrease it, what will happen in the quality of the pics ?

thanks to the helpers
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 2:44 PM   #2
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You need to buy or read a manual on photography.
The shutter speed is one of the two main mechanical factors that affect how much light reaches the sensor. The other one is Aperture.
Shutter speed is the one chosen to freeze or blur action, or to complement the aperture setting to obtain a correctly exposed image.
Aperture is used to change depth of field at a set focal length, or to complement the chosen shutter speed to obtain correct exposure.
The other factors that affect how much light reaches the sensor are: how wide the glass is, how clear the glass is, how far from the sensor the glass is, how many pieces of glass make up the lens, if there is a fixed prism between the glass and the sensor.
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 2:47 PM   #3
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thanks
so the more the shutter speed is in terms of seconds , the best the quality of the pic will be ?
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 2:52 PM   #4
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Olivier21

Go to www.shortcourses.com there are some tutorials that will help with you learning camera techniques.
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 3:03 PM   #5
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You'll get a lot of replies for what you can do! Digicams work differently to film cams. But very simply, the faster shutter speed (1 divided by an increasing number) lets in less light, so the picture gets darker. A slower shutter speed (1 divided by a decreasing number) lets in more light so pictures will get brighter. so, 1/80th second is slower than 1/1000th of a second and lets in more light.

Shutter is half the story. Cams have APERTURE or 'f stops' This also controls the amount of light. Imagine a small hole behind the lens, a big hole (small f number e.g f 2.8) will let in more light than a small hole (e.g f16).

These 2 controls work together to brighten or darken pictures according to the amount of light. So on a very dark day you can expect to have a slow shutter - but if it's too slow your camera will blur 'cos you can't hold it still. plus you can have a small f number (aperture) like say f 3.5 to get the correct picture brightness.

It sounds like you have a few things to learn and there are photography courses on the 'net. If you are using your cam in AUTO mode it will try to adjust the APERTURE and SHUTTER for you. The best way to learn, is to look at what the cam sets these at for a scene and write them down, then go to MANUAL and experiment by changing them, and take some more pictures, write down your settings. Now look at the results on your pc. monitor
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 3:22 PM   #6
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thanks to all of you
Indeed, I need to learn a lot since im new to this !


cheers!
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 3:44 PM   #7
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Well, you have two thirds of the story - there is still the ISO setting which determines "sensitivity" (and noise). Higher ISOs mean more sensitivity (and more noise) so less light is needed.

Do some reading. There are many books and web sites that address the issue of getting the correct exposure which is what all three factors are about - f/stop, shutter speed, and ISO.

At this stage, you should probably avoid anything that mentions "The Zone System" :-)
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Old Feb 13, 2003, 3:56 PM   #8
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The question you raised seemed to also ask if the shutter speed was related to image quality. Well, the answer to that is yes AND no.
If your camera is mounted on a tripod, taking a picture of a stationary object, then the shutter speed will not adversely affect the sharpness of the picture.
If your camera is hand-held and/or is taking a picture of a moving object, then it MIGHT affect the sharpness of your picture.
You might also choose a slower shutter speed to INTENTIONALLY blur either the subject or the entire picture.
Image sharpness and image quality are not necessarily the same thing. I've seen quality images that were quite blurred.
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Old Feb 20, 2003, 2:03 PM   #9
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Generally, faster shutter speed means sharper pictures when hand held. A lot of soft pictures result from having too low a shutter speed and trying to work too fast when taking the pictures.

It is a complicated subject with a lot of factors. When you use a higher shutter speed you need to go to a wider aperture to compensate for it. In low light situations you may find that the widest aperture still gives you a slow shutter speed to capture the right exposure.

Confused? Not at all unusual for photo beginners at first. Read all you can, take courses, etc. It takes time, so relax and enjoy the process.

By the way, if you use a tripod whenever possible, your stuff will be sharper than anybody else's and they'll be asking your secret.
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