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Thread: tricky shutter speed question on 600d video

  1. #1

    Default tricky shutter speed question on 600d video

    I have been trying to film the swallows drinking in mid air (kind of skimming over the water. Thing is I thought I would need a fast shutter speed. So I chose 1/1000. I know lifelike film is around 1/50th but these guys move so quick it would all be blur

    Any tips on what would have been better. If I were there again (or they had hung around) I would have tried 1/500th and lowered the iso .. this was at iso 800...but that is just hunch. What shutter should you use on very fast little birds? I use 1//60th for birds and wildlife nearer by but what should I chose for this type of shot.

    Here is what I got. Its "ok" (caught the moment and all that) but advice gladly excepted...After all its a learning curve..

    swallows drinking amazing slow motion footage.mp4 - YouTube


  2. #2


    This is a very trick thing to do with a normal camera. I have done some experiments around this issue without any great success. What you really need is a special camera that can shoot at a fast frame rate to get the shot your looking for.

    However in the real world where we can't just go out and buy a super fast camera that can shoot 10,000 fps, we have to compromise and find the balance of slow enough shutter speed to get the image to look smooth and fast enough to get the image to look sharp. I have an example of a very high shutter speed which I then did some post work on which shows why a fast shutter speed when played at normal speed looks juddery. You will see at around 30 secs when the bird is coming in to land on the bird feeder the camera only captures about half a dozen different positions of the bird over a distance of around 2 feet. If this had been shot with the normal shutter speed of 1/50 the bird would have just been a long blurry streak.

    As you can see when slowed down the image is sharp but doesn't have not smooth motion. There are post production techniques that can help with this such as software called Twixtor which I've seen very good results from but never used. So, I think you are on the right lines with the fast shutter speed to get the sharp image but need some post production work to get the video to look it's best. If you Google "Twixtor video" you will get plenty of examples of what can be done like this one.

    Hope this helps.

  3. #3


    What you say makes a lot of sense. Realistically we have to use what we have. Some of the twixtor vids look good but I think extreme slow mo gets tiring to watch ?
    maybe its just me. Glad to see someone else has experimented with same type of subjects...
    I tried slowing mine down more which has helped a bit..

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