Shutter Speed Chart – 2021 Guide

Andy
| Last Updated: April 24, 2021

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Understanding your camera's shutter speed and learning how to control it is the best way to achieve proper exposure.

Even better, once you know the rules for correct exposure you can start breaking them in creative ways for more interesting photography. 

This guide will help you learn how shutter speed works and master the shutter speed chart. These tips will present you with artistic opportunities and enable you to achieve unprecedented creative control.

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Shutter Speed Chart

As a photographer striving to take esthetically pleasing photographs, you should select the right shutter speed to achieve proper exposure. The best way to achieve perfect shutter speed is by fine-tuning the exposure values before taking your shot.

This chart helps you understand where and when to apply various shutter speeds for that breath-taking shot. 

What is Shutter Speed? What Does Shutter Speed Do?

In photography, shutter speed is how long the camera shutter remains open to expose the camera sensor to light. 

Exposure affects the light information the sensor collects. It influences motion in a still image, meaning-it can freeze or blur motion in a still frame image. 

How Does Shutter Speed Work?

A slower shutter speed results in a long exposure, while a higher shutter speed creates a shorter one. During a long exposure, more light reaches the camera sensor. Even small tweaks to your shutter speed setting have a major effect on exposure value. A different shutter speed will dramatically change the look and feel of your photo. 

To freeze motion and avoid blurring, the minimum shutter speed must be faster than the movement in the natural scene. 

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What is Shutter Speed Measured In? 

You can measure shutter speed in seconds. The shortest shutter speed can measure down to 1/4000 of a second, whereas the longest can count up to thirty seconds. 

It means a slow shutter speed shows blurry motion and captures more detail in dim scenes, while a faster shutter speed freezes motion in a still image but needs brighter light for full detail.

How to Read Shutter Speed

Shutter speed numbers represent time in seconds or fractions of a second. 

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What Does a Shutter Speed of One Mean?

Longer shutter speeds start from one and above. Therefore, setting your image sensor to one means anything that moves in your scene will appear blurry in a still photograph. 

However, you can use this shutter speed in low light situations and night scenes.

What Does 1/30 Mean on a Camera?

A reading of 1/30 on a camera is still relatively slow because it is close to the shutter speed of one second. 

It may be suitable for capturing slower-moving target subjects during general photography.

What Does 1 1000 Mean?

1 1000 one-thousandth of a second is a super-fast shutter speed!  This shutter speed allows in less light and gives the effect of freezing motion in a picture. 

For this reason, it is suitable in brightly lit scenes to get darker images and when snapping photos of fast-moving objects. 

What Shutter Speed to Use?

So, which shutter speed should you use when you take pics?

What is the Best Shutter Speed for Outdoor Photography?

If you are shooting on a bright sunny day, you'll need to manipulate the light a bit. You will require a faster shutter speed of 1/1000 or more. 

Using faster measurements lets in less light through the lens aperture, producing darker photos. 

What is the Best Shutter Speed for Indoor Photography?

Capturing photos indoors means that you may be in a dimly lit scene. It might require that you expose the sensor to as much light as possible. 

You can reliably use a slower or longer shutter speed, like 1/100 or 1/60 seconds in such a situation.

What is the Best Shutter Speed for Night Photography?

Night photography means that the conditions are incredibly dark. It means that you will set your readings down further to reach a longer shutter speed. 

Doing so will allow you to let in as much light as possible. To avoid excessive motion blur, you can use a stable surface to hold the camera in place. 

What Is the Best Shutter Speed for Fast-Moving Subjects?

If you target speedy subjects, you can opt for a faster shutter speed like 1/1000 or more. 

It'll help freeze the subjects in your frame picture.

Comparison Overview

How does shutter speed affect other settings?

Shutter Speed vs Aperture

Differences

Shutter speed controls how long a camera's shutter stays open and provides a sense of motion in a still image. 

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On the other hand, an aperture is the size of the camera lens opening that controls how much light enters the camera. 

Similarities

Both aperture and shutter speed determine the degree of exposure of the sensor to light. They regulate the amount of light reaching the image sensor. 

Shutter Speed vs Shutter Angle

Differences

Shutter speed is an exposure tool in photography that freezes motion and captures motion blur in a still photo, while shutter angle helps shoot videos. 

The shutter angle determines how the camera calculates the shutter speed as you bounce between scenes to prevent you from doing the math. 

Similarities

Just like shutter speed, shutter angle allows videographers and filmmakers to regulate the rate of motion blur in their shots. 

ISO vs Shutter Speed

Differences

The primary difference between shutter speed and ISO is that the shutter speed deals with light reaching the sensor. On the other hand, ISO controls the camera sensor's sensitivity to light. It also introduces digital noise to the image. 

Similarities

The values of both ISO and Shutter speed affect the exposure rate and the quality of the image.

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Conclusion

A golden rule of thumb in photography is to shoot using the most suitable shutter speed. The best way to do it is by identifying the purpose of your shoot. What do you intend to capture?

Your intentions, mastery of the chart, and these tips should help you discover your artistic side.

People Also Ask

As simple as photography sounds, crucial aspects surrounding shutter speed influence your image. And the best way to tap into your exceptional photography skills is by grasping them.

Here, you'll discover the basics, even though it might require more practice to learn everything about shutter speed. 

What Do F Stops Mean?

Also known as the f-number, the f-stop is a camera setting that specifies numbers when changing the lens measurements on an image.

Common f-stops on reading on aperture scales include f/8, f/2, f/16, and so on. These values determine the amount of light that enters the sensor.

What is Shutter Angle?

Shutter angle is a rotary shutter that helps control the appearance of motion blur in a film. It also helps expose the film to light. 

Unlike the shutter speed that deals with still photos, a shutter angle helps the camera calculate the shutter speed while filmmakers bounce between scenes. 

Is ISO Shutter Speed?

No, ISO is not shutter speed, because it is not a component of exposure. 

Unlike shutter speed that controls how long light strikes the image sensors, ISO speed comes later as exposure compensation to brighten the images you already captured. A lower ISO rating is desirable since it creates a smoother image.

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What is a Good Shutter Speed for Handheld?

Setting your camera to a faster shutter speed is crucial if you want to capture sharp and exquisite handheld photos. 

Adjusting to a faster shutter speed means that your sensor lets in less light and doesn't capture movement. A shutter speed of 1/1000 or more is a good option. 

Using a slower shutter speed without some type of image stabilization will result in a blurry image.

Does Shutter Speed Affect Sharpness?

Yes, shutter speed greatly influences a photo's sharpness. For instance, a long shutter speed captures motion in subjects, causing motion blur. 

You can achieve a sharp image if you set your camera to a fast or shorter shutter speed. A slow shutter speed can capture camera shake, creating soft photos. 

What is a Slow Shutter Speed?

A slow shutter speed means that the shutter opens for a longer time, letting in more light. In return, slow shutter speed captures moving subjects and the blurring effect on a picture. 

This shutter speed can be a little over 1/60seconds to one and more.

Andy

Hi, I’m Andy. I’ve been taking pictures for just about as long as I’ve been old enough to hold a camera. I studied photography in community college after high school but was encouraged to follow a career path that was more stable. I do gigs here and there on the side but never took the leap to focus my efforts full-time. When Pam reached out to me through a mutual friend, I jumped on the opportunity to be a writer. Favorite type of photography: macro and street.