Check Out This Little-Known Sony Mirrorless Hack

If you're a full-time videographer or even a photographer shooting video on the side, you're aware of the many creative uses for shutter speed. But if you're also a Sony user, you might not be aware of a lesser-utilized creative "hack" your camera offers.

Depending on how many frames per second the camera is set to, videographers typically stay at an either 1/50 or faster shutter speed. In a new video from Advancing Your Photography, our friend, Fletcher Murray, reminds us that Sony video shooters can get creative at a 1/10th shutter speed for video shooting.

Slowing your shutter speed down to 1/10th second can produce a variety of effects, depending on subject matter and movement. In the video above, Murray notes that a slower shutter can produce an "illusion of speed," not dissimilar to the blur effect achieved when the same shutter speed is applied to action/movement in photography. Murray then proceeds to show how the movement of water is smoothed out at slower shutter speeds, another analogous effect seen in slow shutter speeds with still photography.

Just last month, I was playing around with exposure while capturing b-roll at a local racetrack. I decided to see what the approaching cars would look like at 1/10th of a second. By panning along with the subject (car), I was able to use the slow shutter to create motion blur in the background without the subject even traveling very fast.

Next time you find yourself on a video shoot, get creative with the motion and try a slow shutter if it feels appropriate. What's your favorite subject to experiment with shutter speeds on? Your own video examples and ideas are welcome in the comments section.

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20 Comments

michaeljin's picture

Ummm... no?

Jon Wolding's picture

I don't get the negativity here...

This is a useful technique I've missed having on many cameras.
I used to be able to do 1/15 (possibly 1/12?) on the HVX200... really cool for doing quasi-timelapse video (slightly sped up) where the camera is in motion. It smooths out motion trails in a way that can't easily be faked in post (but please tell me you know of a post technique for this).

Very few cameras allow you do shoot greater than 360º shutter angle - most cameras won't let you shoot below the framerate (ex. at 24fps, slowest shutter speed is 1/24).

michaeljin's picture

Can't speak for anyone else, but the examples in the video look like crap so if it's a "useful technique", I've yet to see a good example of its use. Granted, I'm not a video guy so I'm just going by what I was shown in the video.

Scott Mason's picture

"Useful" would be subjective, since the setting is basically for artistic effect. It can appear a bit cheesy, sure, but again that's all subjective judgement.

michaeljin's picture

If we're going by that standard, is there anything in the world that ISN'T "useful" in some fashion?

Scott Mason's picture

Yes: nit-picking the internet.

michaeljin's picture

Welcome to the world wide web.

Wes Jones's picture

I like it. Will have to try it on my next project.

Should I write an article about how you can print your own black and white...then add toner to tone the print....then call it a Hack?

michaeljin's picture

You can also hack your coffee to be sweeter by adding sugar to it.

Stephen Nolly's picture

Wouldn't this be easier to do with Motion Blur in post? And also not bake in an effect that makes the footage unusable for anything else?

Black Z Eddie .'s picture

It's very dizzying.

Why is this an exclusively Sony "hack", and I say hack ironically because its not, it's a technique.

Scott Mason's picture

Read the article; therein lies your answer!

Ummmm......still not seeing why Sony is the only camera system that can perform this. My XH1 lets me set a 1/10 shutter speed and has IBIS so what am I missing?

Scott Mason's picture

Are we talking 1/10th in video mode or still photography?

Video. And Sony cant be the only system with this capability.

Scott Mason's picture

As far as I know, Sony (and apparently Panasonic) is the only major consumer camera platform that allows this setting, but correct me if I'm wrong.

It's definitely not available on Nikon or Canon.

Nobody told you about it because it looks like crap...at least in the example given