What Is Flash Sync Speed and Why Does It Matter to Your Photography?

If you are new to artificial lighting, it can be a bit overwhelming trying to understand how all the technical terms and processes come together to create a successful photo. One of the most important concepts is flash sync speed, and this excellent video will show you why it matters and how to work with it.

Coming to you from Gavin Hoey with Adorama TV, this great video talks about flash sync speed and how it affects your work when you are using strobes. Modern shutters generally consist of two curtains that travel across the sensor to allow or restrict light from reaching it. At slower shutter speeds, the full sensor is exposed before the second curtain begins to close. However, past a certain shutter speed, the second curtain begins to travel across the sensor before the first curtain has completed its trip, meaning only a small slit of the sensor is exposed at anytime. The point at which this begins to happen is called the flash sync speed. Because a strobe flash is essentially instantaneous, the entire shutter needs to be exposed simultaneously when the flash fires, or you'll end up with black bars across the frame. If you aren't working with a strobe that features something like high-speed sync as a workaround, it's crucial to understand this concept. Check out the video above for the full rundown. 

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1 Comment

Mark Peavy's picture

Nice review! Only In more recent times is the final option available. 20 years ago raising iso only resulted in unusable images. Thank you digital cameras!