The impact of the Canon 5D firmware update: Shutter speed control

While people keep talking about the creative freedom given by the manual control over aperture, no one is talking about the shutter speed. The only time you hear people talking about it is in the context of the 24fps fiasco, wishing have a 1/48 sec shutter duration.

Well, it makes me sad. Shutter speed is such a creative tool! While you might not perceive the differences between a 1/30 and 1/60 shutters, the new firmware enables us to crank it up to 1/4000sec which is a big difference in look.

At 1/4000sec, each of the 30 frames per second will be sharp. In fact, it will be unnaturally sharp in the case of fast moving subjects. This may be the look you are looking for. If it is not, you will need to introduce some motion blurring in your post processing workflow.

If you don’t have access to [after effects], you can slow down the shutter by reducing the amount of light that is coming in, resulting in a blurry image. I am sure you already guessed how it can be done: by using a stack of ND filters as we have been doing pre firmware update to control the aperture. The difference is that you won’t be neutralizing light to increase the aperture but to slow down the shutter.

Note: while reading my post, it occurred to me that I own a very good photography book which goes in great details about how one can use the shutter speed in creative ways in still photography: Understanding Shutter Speed. It’s from the same guy who wrote Understanding Exposure. Not as much of a classic and mandatory reading as the Exposure one but still worth a read for anyone who wants to learn photography.

About Tommy

Photography allows me to be what I want to be, to be where I want to be, and to do what I want to do ... I'm not professional photographer and I don't need a title, I love to take photographs and that is what I do, I love to learn and I always try to do it better ...

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