Best Shutter Speed for Video - B&C Camera

The video production industry may be more complex than the photography world, and this industry comes with a whole new whirlwind of technicalities, gear to buy, and buzzwords. Where should you even begin? The best first step is understanding the difference between frame rate and shutter speed. Some people might even confuse the two since they have similarities and play hand-in-hand.



What is the Best Shutter Speed for Video?

The answer to that question depends on what frames per second (FPS) you're using:

  • If you are shooting footage at 24 frames per second, set your shutter speed to 1/48th or 1/50th of a second.
  • If you are shooting footage at 30 frames per second, set your shutter speed to 1/60th of a second.
  • If you are shooting footage at 60 frames per second, set your shutter speed to 1/120th of a second.

By following these guidelines, you can create videos with smooth motion and minimal distortion. 


If you are one of those people who frequently confuse the two, then this article is perfect for you. And don't worry. You aren't the only one who might be mixing up these two buzzwords. However, you will need to completely understand frame rate and shutter speed before diving any further into the video production game. You don't want to get too ahead of yourself.


This article will cover a few things. I will go over the following topics:

  • • What the frame rate is in video production?
  • • What shutter speed means?
  • • And, last but not least, cover the most frequently asked questions.


What is a Frame Rate in Video Production?

The frame rate in video production is the number of individual photographs in every second of the video, and frames per second are also called FPS. In video production, the most frequent frame rate that you will see is 24 frames per second, 30 frames per second, and 60 frames per second. 

We wrote an entire article dedicated to frame rates, you can read it here: Beginners Guide for Video Frame Rates


Understanding Shutter Speed

The shutter speed is the time each individual frame is exposed to. When talking about video production instead of basic photography, the shutter speed is typically in fractions of a second. The number you choose when selecting your preferred shutter speed directs you to that fraction. Confusing? Maybe? Let's use numbers for an example:

  • If your shutter speed is set to 60, each frame rate is exposed for 1/60th of a second.
  • The shutter speed is 70, and the frame rate is exposed for 1/70th of second.
Hopefully, that clears it up a bit!


Here's a tip for best shutter speed for video: 

You need to set your shutter speed to double the number of frames per second in your video. Here's a number example for you: if you choose to record your video at 30 frames per second, then you will need your shutter speed to be set to 1/60th of a second.


What is the Shutter Speed vs. Frame Rate?

As I mentioned earlier in this article, the shutter speed and frame rate can easily be confused. It can easily be mistaken that if you shoot with a shutter speed set to 1/80th of a second, you are shooting 80 frames per second. However, that is not true. Most video producers shoot around 24 frames per second - this can also be at 25 or 30. And the shutter speed means that you expose each frame individually for 1/100th of a second.


What Happens with a Fast Shutter Speed vs. Slow Shutter Speed?

The result will be crisp and transparent frames when you use a fast shutter speed (example: 1/500th of a second). However, they will look choppy when you replay the video you took. On the flip side, when you use a slower shutter speed (example: 1/40th of a second), the end result will be blurry frames with smooth playback.


Unless you are going for a creative and unique look for stylistic purposes, you should always set your shutter speed to double the number of frames per second. Shutter speed will play a crucial role in how the overall look of your video will turn out, especially when you are recording people or things with motion. 

However, experimenting with your subjects and the particular camera you decide to use is a must!


This article should have helped you understand the difference between frame rate and shutter speed and how the two are intertwined. Understanding all the technicalities of your camera and video production will only increase your skills and make you a better producer, especially if this is something you would like to have a future in the industry.


If you are interested in reading more articles about video production/recording, the best cameras, and the different accessories you need, check out these articles:


Related article: Beginners Guide for Video Frame Rates

Related article: Best Shutter Speed for Portraits

Related article: Best Camera Settings for Video

Related article: What Does a Director of Photography Do?


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