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Super Slow Motion Shows How an SLR Camera Shutter Works

I'll never get tired of slow motion. Things are easier to explain, and they just look cooler. Check out this great slow motion video that takes you inside an SLR shutter system.

The single lens reflex (SLR) camera was an awesome innovation, because it allowed the photographer to see exactly what the lens was seeing, as opposed to twin lens reflex and rangefinder cameras, where the viewfinder image differs from that captured by the lens. It takes some trickery to pull off the SLR system, and seeing it in action is a treat. What's interesting to note is that in the faster examples, the second curtain begins to close before the first curtain has completely traversed the shutter. This typically begins to occur around 1/250 s and is exactly why flash sync speed exists: because there is no time when the shutter is completely open, firing the flash at any point will cause the light to be blocked on part of the sensor. The video also gives a quick breakdown of the rolling shutter phenomenon and why this can cause leaning objects and play some interesting tricks with the timing of events in video. Check out The Slow Mo Guys for more!

Alex Cooke's picture

Alex Cooke is a Cleveland-based portrait, events, and landscape photographer. He holds an M.S. in Applied Mathematics and a doctorate in Music Composition. He is also an avid equestrian.

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Gavin and Dan of Slo Mo Guys are awesome. Plus, Gavin is a creative lead at Rooster Teeth, so, that's another plus. Always support those fellas!