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09-19-2015, 11:12 PM   #1
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High shutter speeds are a waste of time?

I posted a question here recently about how the shutter works, and it just forms a variable-width slot which moves across the frame.

So speeds like 1/3000 are illusory when it comes to freezing motion!

I have found that once you get to say 1/800 there is NO further advantage in going faster if the reason for the high shutter speed is camera movement.

Does anyone make cameras with a shutter which really opens for just 1/3000?

09-19-2015, 11:17 PM   #2
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
Does anyone make cameras with a shutter which really opens for just 1/3000?
QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
it just forms a variable-width slot which moves across the frame.
No, you have it right. Faster than the flash synch speed a focal plane shutter is no longer wide open across its whole opening for the entire duration of the exposure.
09-20-2015, 12:54 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
I posted a question here recently about how the shutter works, and it just forms a variable-width slot which moves across the frame.

So speeds like 1/3000 are illusory when it comes to freezing motion!

I have found that once you get to say 1/800 there is NO further advantage in going faster if the reason for the high shutter speed is camera movement.

Does anyone make cameras with a shutter which really opens for just 1/3000?
Your title is misleading. You can't shoot wide open on a sunny day without a fast shutter speed.
09-20-2015, 01:00 AM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistlefoot Quote
Your title is misleading. You can't shoot wide open on a sunny day without a fast shutter speed.
Isn't that one use for neutral density filters?
Anyway, the OP specifically mentioned this was about freezing motion.

09-20-2015, 01:01 AM   #5
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Shutter speeds of 3000 and higher are more to limit the amount of light integrated on the sensor, as Mistlefoot wrote, with a fast lens wide open on a sunny day. That's a good point, I often wondered why some are saying the D750 spec max shutter speed of 1/4000 while D810 max shutter speed is 1/8000. For freezing action, I would say that 1/800 is enough, I've shot fast running horses at 1/2000, even a bit higher would have helped.
09-20-2015, 01:16 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
I posted a question here recently about how the shutter works, and it just forms a variable-width slot which moves across the frame.

So speeds like 1/3000 are illusory when it comes to freezing motion!

I have found that once you get to say 1/800 there is NO further advantage in going faster if the reason for the high shutter speed is camera movement.

Does anyone make cameras with a shutter which really opens for just 1/3000?
You can freeze faster motion with a slit shutter at 1/4000s than at 1/125s, your inference is not correct. The area that is exposed by the shutter is exposed for 1/4000s and will be sharp. There will be no image blurr, but some amount of distortion. Blurr looks different from distortion which is often not even recognized. You cannot capture the explosion of a balloon over the whole image frame as too much is happening in short time, but you can capture runners quite OK.
Fast shutter speeds were initially realized for faster X-sync speeds - 1/60s, 1/125s, 1/250s. Meaning again that you were able to use a flash in daylight conditions.

There are cameras with much faster "shutter speeds" better said shorter integration times, but these are quite specialized. If you want to freeze something really fast in an image use a flash and minimize surrounding light.
09-20-2015, 03:19 AM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by peterh337 Quote
I posted a question here recently about how the shutter works, and it just forms a variable-width slot which moves across the frame.

So speeds like 1/3000 are illusory when it comes to freezing motion!

I have found that once you get to say 1/800 there is NO further advantage in going faster if the reason for the high shutter speed is camera movement.

Does anyone make cameras with a shutter which really opens for just 1/3000?
I respectfully disagree. When shooting fast sports with a long lens (and you typically will need a long lens for that) you will see a significant difference in sharpness/freezing action between shots taken at 1/800th or 1/2000th. Yes, as others have stated, you will introduce a little "distortion" as different parts of the shot will theoritically be taken at a different point in time, but still the overall impression will be significantly sharper.
09-20-2015, 03:51 AM   #8
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If you want to really freeze motion you'd need a flash. The duration of a flash at full power may be something like 1/1000th of a second, and at 1/16th power it may be 1/10,000th of a second. Depends on the flash, of course.

Not very practical in most situation, though.

09-20-2015, 03:55 AM   #9
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We need an electronic shutter which sensitises the entire sensor in one go instead of line by line, which means you can have super fast and silent shutter speeds with no distortion and no moving parts. Is anyone working on one?
09-20-2015, 06:07 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
We need an electronic shutter which sensitises the entire sensor in one go instead of line by line, which means you can have super fast and silent shutter speeds with no distortion and no moving parts. Is anyone working on one?
The "global shutter" needs more transistors/photo site, so it reduces the sensitivity. New stacked sensors may have the extra transistors on the back side, I don't know, but it will be expensive in the near future. Canon had this feature, and it allowed 1/500 flash sync speed, but intruduced blooming effect. Video cameras has global shutter.
09-20-2015, 06:10 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by officiousbystander Quote
We need an electronic shutter which sensitises the entire sensor in one go instead of line by line, which means you can have super fast and silent shutter speeds with no distortion and no moving parts. Is anyone working on one?
Sony has fully electronic shutters on the latest A7 cameras. They call it Silent Shutter. It is still a work in progress since even on the A7RII flash and several other functions are not available with it.
09-20-2015, 07:18 AM   #12
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I shot the Blue Angles sometime last year. I found that 1/4000 was too slow for them. Needed 1/5000 to freeze the motion.

I shoot film too, and man, do I ever miss shutter speeds higher than 1/2000! When you're shooting in bright day light at f/2.2, 1/2000 doesn't get it done--and certainly 1/800 isn't going to work. Sure, ND filters can be used, but they're a hassle to take on and off. If I want to do 2-3 shots at f/2 and then go back to f/5.6, it's a pain. High shutter speed takes care of everything I need for me.
09-20-2015, 07:26 AM   #13
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Like the others, shooting small birds, there is definitely a difference between 1/1000 an 1/2000. There can be a bit of distortion if the subject is moving, as the slit moves across the frame. But more freezing the subject definitely happens.
09-20-2015, 07:42 AM   #14
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Sony RX10 II and RX100 IV with stacked BSI 1" sensors might show us what to expect from larger sensors in the future.
Very fast shutter speed (1/32000)
4K video
Up to 1000 FPS in video (in lower resolution)
Faster readout with minimal "rolling shutter".
09-20-2015, 08:28 AM   #15
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Don't forget that the shutter is a slit - so if the moving object is ''thinner'' than the slit then there will be less apparent distortion. Also, I would have thought that panning would helptoo, depending on the direction of movement of the shutter.

Whatever, I'm just making this up as I go along, really.
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