What is Digital Camera Speed?

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Updated July 27, 2022

What is digital camera speed? It is the length of time the shutter remains exposed to light. The amount of light that gets to the camera sensor is proportional to the time of exposure. Professional advertising photographers who use mirrorless cameras work with shutter speeds of 1/8000th of a second or more. On the other hand, beginner photographers who are not keen on shutter speeds can use DSLRs with longer shutter speeds of 30 seconds.


  • In simple words, shutter speed is the amount of time it takes for light to get to your camera sensor.
  • Do not shoot without a tripod if you want to film using a shutter speed that exceeds the focal length of your camera lens.
  • If you want to shoot beautiful photos, use longer shutter speeds.

Shutter speed is an important aspect of the best digital camera, as well as ISO and aperture. Additionally, aperture settings can be found in the AV mode of a digital camera.  Other elements, like the aspect ratio of a digital camera and a four-thirds camera, are not quite relevant to this guide since they’re more related to image size and not shutter speed. Shutter speed is responsible for creating dramatic effects through blurs and freezing actions in action scenes. In addition, it is responsible for changing the brightness of the image.

Shutter Speed and Exposure

The measurement of shutter speeds under a second is in fractions of seconds. For example, 1/250 means four milliseconds. With each shutter speed, there is also exposure, which is all about the brightness of a picture. Your sensor will receive a lot of light with shutter speed, making the final photo bright. But when the shutter speed is fast, a small fraction of light will be collected, developing a darker photo.

On a sunny day, you can use a fast shutter speed to avoid overexposing your photo to a lot of light. But, on the other hand, use a long shutter speed for the camera sensor to collect a lot of light for an image in a dark room. That is the reason why people use tripod stands to avoid motion blur when shooting. Another good way to get better pictures is to find out what digital camera photo size is and how it affects the quality of your pictures.

Insider Tip

Shutter speed is responsible for creating dramatic effects through blurs and freezing actions in action scenes.

Slow, Long, and Fast Shutter Speeds

Slow Speeds

When photographing birds, the only way to freeze them as they fly is by setting a fast shutter speed that may be 1/2000th or faster. But what if you want to do general photography of objects that are moving slowly? You can use a shutter speed of 1/200th second or longer without motion blur.

Long Speeds

Anything above 1 second is a long shutter speed. Shooting at that speed requires a tripod to capture sharp pictures. Long shutter speeds are ideal for low-light or late-in-the-night photography. However, if you shoot a moving object with long shutter speeds, the picture will be blurry.

Insider Tip

On a sunny day, you can use a fast shutter speed to avoid overexposing your photo to a lot of light.

Fast Speeds

The speed is between 1 second and 1/100th second is what is known as relatively slow speeds. They are easy to notice because of the introduction of blurs due to slight shakes when capturing photos. Moreover, these shakes depend on the imaging lens you are using. For instance, lenses like the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 have vibration reduction technologies that help photographers shoot at very slow speeds without camera shakes.

You won’t find the vibration cancellation technology in other lenses. So, you have to determine the shutter speed not to introduce camera shakes in your shots; this is the reciprocal rule. So, the bottom line, you need to learn how to take photos without shaking. This is especially true if you want to use a digital point-and-shoot camera. You can always find out what a digital point-and-shoot camera is if you want to shoot pictures secretly.


What does the term ISO mean in photography?

The necessary amount of light in a shoot depends on the sensitivity of the medium in use. It is the same for film and digital sensors. The expression of this sensitivity is what is known as ISO. Previously, the popular reference title was ASA.

What is Auto ISO?

Auto ISO was introduced to digital cameras to help photographers take care of noise balance. When the Auto ISO setting is ON, it works to push up the ISO for you to get the best picture, especially if the shutter speed slows down. “ISO Sensitivity Auto Control” for a new camera allows you to customize the limit to as high as 800 or 3200. Moreover, you can also determine the shutter speed you want to use. This setting provides photographers with great flexibility when taking shots. A good understanding of how the ISO works will help you set your camera to take the best pictures.

What does it mean to have a shutter speed of 30?

It means that you are shooting with a slow shutter speed of 30 seconds. Generally, shutter speeds range from as fast as 1/4000th to 30 seconds. You can use 30 seconds on lower light settings or when you want to record motion blurs.

STAT: A shoot that needs a high-speed camera to capture fast-moving quality images with exposures below 1/1,000 seconds requires electronic shutter speeds faster than 250 frames a second. (source)

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