Don’t confuse “shutter angle”


Don't confuse "shutter angle" (or shutter speed) with frame rate. You mentioned you were shooting for "European settings/pal."  The PAL format specifies a frame rate of 25 frames per second (fps); U.S. (NTSC or ATSC standard) specifies 30 fps.  If "laptop footage was jolting, as if camera speed was too slow…" I suspect this was a mis-match between the frame rate the footage was shot and the rate it was played back.  You didn't specify if you were viewing the footage in a media player or in an editor – any professional editing software should be able to convert whatever frame rate the footage was shot into whatever rate your final project needs.

BTW, "shutter angle," if we're talking about video cameras, is actually a misnomer. It is a relic (like me) from the days of film cameras with rotating shutters. The shutter was made by cutting a metal circle in half (180 degrees) and spinning it in front of the film. While the half-circle was clear of the film, light exposed the frame; when the half-circle covered the film, it was advanced to the next frame…etc. This happened every 1/24th of a second (24 fps), so half of that (180/360) was a 48th of a second exposure time.  If you had 2 disks overlapping each other, by varying the amount of overlap, you could adjust how many degrees of the circle were left open, thereby changing the exposure time. I.e., adjusted to a 90 degree shutter, you got an exposure time of 1/96th sec. (90/360 x 1/24).  So technically, today's camera makers should more accurately simply talk about shutter speed rather than "shutter angle" – it's just a nod to those of us who started out in film cameras.

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