What Does the Shutter Speed Setting on My Camera Mean?

"Shutter Speed" refers to the amount of time it takes to open and close the shutter, the device that moves to allow light to fall on the camera sensor. It controls the amount of light which passes through the aperture before it reaches the image sensor.

• The faster the shutter speed, the less time light has to reach the sensor.
• The slower the shutter speed, the more time light has to reach the sensor.

Below are some images taken with 2 different shutter speeds. The one on the left at 0.8 seconds and the one on the right at 0.004 seconds. The one with the slower shutter speed on the left is more blurry because the water droplets moved during the 0.8 seconds that light was reaching the sensor. The one with the faster shutter speed on the right is more clear because the water droplets barely moved during the 0.004 seconds that light could reach the sensor. Increasing or decreasing the shutter speed allows for creativity and various effects in your photos.



Every camera is different, so for specific instructions, such as how to change the shutter speed, refer to your camera's manual. To download a free manual, click here, enter your camera's model number, and then select your camera from the list. Click on the manual to download.

Email a Friend