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Sony VX2100 / PD170 / PDX10 Companion
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 02:55 PM   #1
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High Shutter Speed

Just curious...

Just what is a shutter speed of 1/10000 used for? And, for that matter, anything above 1/1000?

I am asking because in my 35mm, Minolta 101 days, 1/1000 was the highest shutter speed on my camera. I used that on very bright, sunny days and for fast action shots.

So... why so high? Anything past 1/1000 boggles my mind!
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 03:33 PM   #2
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Quote:
Just what is a shutter speed of 1/10000 used for?
Nothing.
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 04:42 PM   #3
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IN all my years of doing video (20) and 12 years prior to that doing stills I only used a very high shutter in still work for things like sports or if the outdoor conditions made me.
Video, I've used a shutter speed of more than 125th a few times but generally stick to good old 1/60th and adjust my aperture. Again if outdoor conditions warrant I'll boost the shutter but it seems like 98% of the time I use 1/60th and if need be I'll flip one of the ND filters on the 150.
When I'm shooting a wedding which is about 85% of my work today, I really don't have time to fiddle with shutter/iris/ etc. So I keep it simple. 1/60th shutter, adjust iris as needed and if necessary, flip on an ND filter. Works for me, maybe not for someone else.

Don
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Old April 2nd, 2004, 05:52 PM   #4
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Try this:

Set your camera up close to a roadway and looking across the roadway. Start it in auto mode when a car comes by. Take a look at the resulting image. It will be blurry.

Start increasing the shutter speed (reducing shutter 'open' times). If you need crisp shots of the vehicle, the faster speeds will get that for you.

So, what would 1/10,000th of a second buy you?

Think of an object moving at, say, 240 mph at right angles to the field of view of the camera. We know 60 mph is 88 feet/second. So 240 mph is 352 fps. At a shutter speed of 1/10,000th of a second, the car would travel about 0.42 inches. That's still going to be a bit blurry depending on the distance from the camera to the car.

So if you are looking across the back straight at Indianapolis next month, you should be able to get a reasonably clear image of the car. Of course that assumes that the frame, which is still running at 30 fps, happens to occur when the car is in the visual field.

Somebody please check my math.
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 09:23 AM   #5
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Boy, these days, wonder if somebody would get uncomfortable enough to call the cops if you show up with a camcorder anywhere public, much less a "roadway" or a large building in a big city.

Glad I am not a middle-eastern-looking professional videographer, too bad for them.

Pretty soon the government is going to require background checks and 30-day waiting periods for camcorder purchases, no more B&H.

And of course, straw purchases will be illegal (no more "surprise present"), subjected to a penalty of 5-year imprisonment.
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Old April 3rd, 2004, 10:41 AM   #6
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I use the very fast shutter speed when analyzing my golf swing. It makes it possible to get a sharp image of the club during the downswing when the club is really moving fast. The golf training professionals do the same thing, but they use a camera that takes a lot more frames per second. This allows them to get a lot of shots during the downswing, rather than the few that you get with the 60 fields/sec defined by the NTSC standard. Of course you normally need to do this outdoors as the fast shutter speed greatly reduces the amount of light that hits the sensor.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 09:52 AM   #7
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Use the very high shutter speeds when you use the VX as a motor-drive stills camera Linda. It can be fascinating to review footage of water (waves, waterfalls etc) shot at 1/5000th sec, and the VX's low-light ability makes this entirely possible.

Point your camcorder at your TV and adjust the shutter speed upwards and see what you see.

tom.
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Old April 6th, 2004, 09:55 AM   #8
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Oh, I forgot to say. I can set my Canon flash gun (stobe to a lot of you folk) to shoot at 100Hz, so it appears to be giving out a continuous stream of light. I suspect many flash guns can do this, and it allows you to get some very wierd effects when your VX2k is set to 1/10000 sec. So Frank G, I see your 'nothing' as a bit abrupt :-)

tom.
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