Camera basics: shutter speed

15 02 2011

Understanding shutter speed is extremely important if you have any intentions of becoming a photographer. It’s one of the most important concepts next to understanding aperture and ISO .

First off, the shutter. The shutter lets light into the camera. In the old days of film the shutter would open; allowing light to enter the camera, thus exposing the film. The same concept applies to digital photography, except replace the film with a digital sensor which takes the light and turns it into digital information.

Shutter speed is how fast the shutter opens, thus controlling how much light is hits the sensor. Shutter speed is measured in fractions of seconds the higher the denominator the faster (1/1000 is faster than 1/60).

The faster the shutter speed, less light will get in, making a fast shutter speed ideal for a super bright day. Slower shutter speeds, 1/3, will let more light in making them ideal for darker lighting conditions but be warned a slower shutter speed will pave the way for camera shake. Avoid camera shake by investing in a good tripod, so those sweet night shots will look their best. Also, slower shutter speeds will allow for motion in photos.

Here is an example of slow shutter speed


Using a shutter speed of 3 seconds and a tripod I was able to get the light trails from the fireworks, making the picture much more appealing.

Here is an some example of fast shutter speed.


I shot this using a shutter speed of 1/640 freezing the seagull in mid-flap.

So when you’re out shooting, make sure that you’re using the appropriate shutter speed for your image. Do you want a flowing stream or do you want an action shot frozen in time? Mastering shutter speed will help you get the most out of your DSLR.

Canon hits the 60 million mark

15 02 2011

Last week Canon celebrated the production of its 60-millionth lens, an EF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM.

Since Canon began production of their interchangeable EF SLR lenses in 1987 at their Utsnomiya Plant located in Japan they have expanded production to four more facilities including: Canon Inc., Taiwan, Canon Opto (Malaysia) and Oita Canon Inc. in Japan.

EF (Electro-Focus) is Canon’s version of auto focusing that is built into the lens and after eight and a half years of production EF lenses reached the 10-million mark. Then in April of 2008 they achieved 40-million units produced. Then in December 2009, EF lenses reached 50-million units, leading up to the 60-million mark in just 13 months.

(via Canon)