How Does Shutter Speed Affect Video?

Shutter speed not only affects the exposure of your video, it also affects the look and motion blur of your movie.

When talking about video, many people refer the “cinematic” or “videoish” looks. Cinematic is in. Everyone wants to make sure their videos look like they came from a Hollywood backlot. One of the most basic methods of changing the look is by controlling the shutter speed.

We all know the effects of shutter speed on stills, from long exposures more than eight seconds to 1/250th flash sync to 1/2000th action shooting. This flexibility isn’t available with video, however, as the slowest possible (though not necessarily available in-camera) speed is the reciprocal of the frame rate. So what should you be thinking about when adjusting your shutter speed? Here are five things to focus on:

1. 24 or 25 Frames per Second

If you’re shooting for that filmic look, you should ideally be shooting at 24 frames a second (or 23.976, as is often the case on HDSLRs). If you’re looking to shoot for TV, shoot at 25p (that is, 25fps, progressive scan) in PAL countries and 30p in NTSC countries. Usually regional firmware variants enforce this distinction anyway. Why does the frame rate matter? That takes us to point two:

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