Videomaker – Learn video production and editing, camera reviews › Forums › General › Video and Film Discussion › shutter speed › Shutter speed in its simpl
Shutter speed in its simplest terms means what it says. It is the amount of time that the shutter remains open when shooting video or a picture. In regards to video, the faster the shutter, the clearer the picture becomes (in a way) because you are taking shorter snapshots of the moving objects thus resulting in less motion blur. Motion blur is the smearing affect you get when you move a camera real fast when shooting. Whats happening is that while your shutter is open and your camera is moving (or the talent), it wants to capture everything that has happen during that 1 quick snapshot opening. Now when you crank up the shutter speed you are taking faster consecutive snapshots which will start to take the motion blur out of play.
Example: If you filmed a golfer swinging a golf club at 60fps you would see nothing but a blurry fan like affect from the club when he swings. Now for the sake of discussion, if you set the shutter speed to like 300 FPS (just made this up), you would start to see the club as it moves during his swing and would look a lot smoother and clearer. The picture looks clearer because there is less motion blur going on in regards to the club but actually the guy standing there will look just as clear whether you filmed him at 60 fps or 300 fps because he isnt moving fast. Ive seen really expensive high speed cameras actually show a golf ball compress as the club hits it. I dont even have a clue as to how fast the shutter speed was going for that.
NOW something else comes into play. Its your Fstop or aperture. This is the lens opening. To make it simpler, just remember that the faster the shutter speed the more light youll need because you have to remember that the film media is designed to capture the image which is basically a reflection of light off of the objects in front of your camera. That film needs a certain amount of minimal light so it can register or record the image. If you crank up the shutter speed, that allows less time for the film to record the image. To offset that all you have to do is open the iris (aperture) to allow more light in during that split second. It gets kind of complicated now because you have to use certain combinations and settings when fooling around with shutter speeds and F stop settings. I recommend searching on the Internet and you will be able to find articles pertaining to the different lens settings that are available.
Now to answer your question, if you are just doing normal shooting, normally your default settings are good enough. All of the camera lens settings are more or less for effect or for compensating in a particular situation.