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1/500 Shutter Speed

written by: Shane Burley•edited by: Amy Carson•updated: 12/28/2010

Here is a look at what the 1/500 shutter speed is in digital photography and how to work with it.

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    What is Shutter Speed

    There are a lot of different terms that are specific to photography and digital photography that will relate both to the assumed functionality of the camera and the final image. Shutter speed, as one of these, negotiates often with the ISO and the iris for how light and dark the photographic image will finally be. What shutter speed actually refers to is the time that the film stock had to be exposed from the light, or how long it was open for that. It means relatively the same thing in digital photography even though we are no longer dealing with physical film. When choosing the shutter speed that you want you have a few things that you have to negotiate so that you end up with the image that you want, and there is a reason to be driven from one extreme to another. Here is a look at the 1/500 shutter speed in digital photography.

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    Using a 1/500 Shutter Speed

    In basic terms, the lower the overall shutter speed the lighter the image will be. At the same time, the lower the shutter speed the more blurry the image could be based on movement of the camera and movement of the subjects in front of the lens. The standard queue is that if you are going to be shooting at a 1/60 shutter speed or below then you will have to have a tripod to stabilize the camera, and you may not want to actually photograph moving subjects. A 1/500 shutter speed is far above this, and so you may feel free to have much more motion in your camera positioning and to photograph moving objects. The 1/500 speed is going to be a good option for reasonably moving objects so as to capture them in a still position without any blur in the fiinal image. If you are trying to capture a car going at an illegal speed down a road, then you may want to go even higher than the 1/500 shutter speed, and really slow objects may actually not need something as high as a 1/500 shutter speed. What you can be sure of is that normal photographs that capture reasonable movement or approximately still subjects will be perfectly matched for the 1/500 shutter speed.

    What you have to note is that 1/500 is actually on the higher side of shutter speed choices, and therefore you will see a significant amount of darkening because the shutter does not stay open for as long of a period of time. To counteract this you are going to have to open up the iris quite a bit, which will also lower your depth of field. You may have to end up compensating for this by adding more available light or changing the camera position altogether. You can also try to deal with this by going to a higher ISO reading, but this will also add grain to the image.

Shutter Speed

Here is a series of articles on different types of shutter speeds in digital photography.
  1. 1/8000 Shutter Speed
  2. 1/60 Shutter Speed
  3. 1/500 Shutter Speed
  4. So What Can a Fast Shutter Speed Achieve in Photography?
  5. 1/1000 Shutter Speed