How to Film Snowboarding with a DSLR – Our Top 10 Tips

The Numbers Count: Shutter Speed

This image from Wikipedia shows how shutter speed effects still images. The speed is fastest on the left and slowest on the right.

Last but not least is shutter speed. Not to be confused with the frame rate (which we covered in point 7 of the first part of this series) this is the amount of time the sensor captures each frame for. It’s measured in tenths, hundredths or thousandths of a second.

Longer shutter speeds give a more ‘cinematic’ look to video, incorporating motion blur into each frame and making the clip look smoother and richer. The best for this effect is half the length of the time between each frame, so for 24fps this is roughly 1/50th of a second and 1/100th at 50fps. However, depending on your ISO and f-stop settings, this might make your picture too exposed so you might have to shorten your shutter speed.

Bearing all of this in mind, you’ll need to choose which setting is most important to you for each shot and adjust the others accordingly. Getting the right settings for your shot is a delicate balancing act, and more often than not requires some compromise, but the artistic choices you’ll learn to make, often on the fly, will be the making of you as a cameraman.


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