Impact of Video Shutter Speed

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Today’s Question: In a recent answer you addressed recommended shutter speeds when shooting video on a DSLR. I didn’t quite understand what you meant about the video having a “stuttering appearance” when playing back. Can you provide an example of that?

Tim’s Quick Answer: When I refer to a “stuttering” appearance in video captures, I mean that there is a lack of fluid motion within the video. You can see an example of this effect in a video clip included in a post on the GreyLearning blog here:

http://greylearningblog.com/stuttering-video-with-fast-shutter-speed/

More Detail: When you use a fast shutter speed in video, fast motion gets frozen, and the sense of motion gets lost to some extent. An object moving quickly across the scene will appear to jump from one position to the next, rather than smoothly transitioning across the frame.

Of course, with a relatively slow shutter speed for video there will also be more motion blur in general, which is not necessarily a good thing, depending on your intent.

The bottom line is that the shutter speed you use when recording a video can have a significant impact on the overall look and feel of your video, so it is worth giving careful consideration to which shutter speed you’re using when establishing your overall exposure settings for video.