Camera Shutter Speed Dial Definition


The shutter speed on a camera is set using the shutter speed dial. Shutter speed determines how long the shutter will remain open while recording a photograph.



  • On older cameras, the shutter speed dial with marked calibrations is located on the outside of the camera body. On digital cameras, you view a shutter speed readout from an LCD panel or through the viewfinder.

Selecting Speed

  • On older cameras, you turn the calibrated dial to select your desired speed. On digital cameras, you also turn an exterior dial, but must watch the LCD panel or viewfinder for the shutter speed readout.

Stopping Motion

  • To stop motion, you need to shoot with a minimum of 1/60 of a second. With fast moving objects such as birds or sports figures, a much faster shutter speed is necessary.

Capturing Motion

  • On occasion you don't want to stop motion, as with photos of flowing water. To get a soft and fluid feel to the water, you need to shoot with a very slow speed.

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  • "Complete Digital Photography," Ben Long, 2009
  • Photo Credit Image by, courtesy of Hamed Saber Image by, courtesy of Amir Kuckovic Image by, courtesy of Derek K. Miller Image by, courtesy of Okko Pyykkö Image by, courtesy of Mike Baird Image by, courtesy of Diego Silvestre
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