22 May Electronic shutter, rolling shutter and flash: what you need to know

Source: DP Review

The rolling shutter effect is usually seen as a damaging defect but even this can be used creatively, with enough imagination.
Photo by Jim Kasson, Fujifilm GFX 50S

Click! goes the camera and in that fraction of a second the shutter races to end the exposure. But, although it’s quick, that process isn’t instantaneous. Whether you’re syncing a flash, wondering why banding is appearing in your image or deciding whether to use your camera’s silent shutter mode, the way your shutter works has a role to play. This article looks at the different types of shutter and what effect they have.

At their most basic, cameras capture light that represents a fragment of time, so it shouldn’t be surprising that the mechanism that defines this period of time can play a role in the final outcome. It’s not nearly as significant as the exposure duration (usually known as shutter speed or time value), or the size of the aperture but, despite great effort and ingenuity being expended on minimizing it, the shutter behavior has an effect.

Mechanical Shutters

There are two main mechanical shutter technologies: focal plane curtain shutters and leaf shutters. The majority of large sensor cameras and nearly all ILCs use focal plane shutters while the majority of compacts use leaf shutters.

Focal plain shutters

Focal plan curtain shutters are what you probably think of when you think about shutters. At the start of the exposure a series of horizontal blades rises like a Venetian blind and, to…

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