Canon T2i: Shutter Speed/Aperture?

Question by Sean: Canon T2i: Shutter Speed/Aperture?
I am a filmmaker that has begun to use DSLR cameras. I have a Canon T2i.

I have finally began to understood ISO, but I still need to figure out Shutter Speed and Aperture.

Firstly, Aperture. Would I be correct in saying that when I set my lens to f/5.6, it will give me a sharper image than at f/1.8?

Secondly, Shutter Speed. What is better, 1/60 or 1/4000?

I understand ISO and I kind of understand Aperture, but I have no idea how to work with the Shutter Speeds in video mode.

Thanks for the help!

Best answer:

Answer by fhotoace
“Secondly, Shutter Speed. What is better, 1/60 or 1/4000”

Lets talk about that part of the question. Which shutter speed do you think will freeze action?

What shutter speed do you think your camera uses when shooting at 24 fps? 30 fps?

Answer those question and you will be on your way to understanding shutter speeds.

Now to the first question. If your lenses largest aperture is f/1.8, will f/5.6 be sharper. Yes it will, but usually the sharpest aperture is two stops down from wide open, to THE sharpest aperture with that lens would actually be f/4. The least sharp are apertures that are f/22 or f/32. This is due to diffraction as the light goes through an aperture that is almost as small as the aperture leaves are thick

Here is how you balance the cameras ISO, shutter speed and lens aperture.

Video “shutter speeds”

Standard cine speed is 24 frames per second (fps):

The standard calculation puts the shutter speed at cine speed to be 1/50th second.

The standard video speed is 30 fps and the shutter speed is just about 1/60th second.

Do you see a pattern here? If you know the frame rate of the motion picture or video, you can double that number and place it under a 1 to get the approximate shutter speed. xx fps = 1/(2 *xx) shutter speed

Know better? Leave your own answer in the comments!

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2 Responses to Canon T2i: Shutter Speed/Aperture?

  1. Tyopax says:

    Yeaaaaah ok, so first things first. Aperture does NOT dictate how sharp an image will be. At it’s bare essentials, aperture or f-stop controls the size of the aperture in your camera as well as the depth of field. So a low f-fstop means a big hole in the camera which allow more light to enter, which makes it better for low light situations. As well a low f-stop such as 1.8 will give you a nice shallow depth of field to use in portraits and video, and gives a pretty hot blurred bokeh look.

    Ok and your shutter speed. This is the rate or speed in which your camera is able to capture / record motion. So sports photography, if you want to be able to see a player moving really fast you use a very high shutter speed. Or if you’re in a low light situation you use a slower shutter speed to allow more light to enter the sensor. So in a dark situation you have some options, drop the f-stop and crank the iso and / or lower the shutter speed. You said you’re not sure which shutter speed is best for video. Well, it really depends how smoothly you wish to record actions. Personally I always stick around 50 because it is double the standard 25fps setting of PAL, this also works great with low light. But say you want to the camera to be able to record a running scene clearly and capture all the motion, then crank it up.

    High shutter speed smoother motion, low shutter more light and less smooth motion.

    Low aperture (f/1.8) more light, sexy depth of field, high aperture (f/22) less light – for use outdoors no sexy DOF.

    I hope this clears it up for you a bit better.

  2. Conor Butner says:

    Okay I’m going to try to put this into simple terms. First thing I would do right now if i were you is go online and go to amazon and buy the book Cinematography: Theory and Practice by Blain Brown. Okay so you know ISO. As a film maker you goal is to use a low ISO. So you’re ISO and your f/stop work hand in hand. ALWAYS TRY TO KEEP THESE THE SAME THROUGHOUT THE WHOLE SHOOT. Also a rule that I have lived by is, 400 ISO inside, 100 ISO outside. But also something you should know is that on DSLR’s some ISO’s are what we call ‘Fake ISO’s’. It is because in film these ISO’s don’t exsist.

    Okay onto you f-number. Okay so think of it as your own eye. The higher you f/stop the deeper the depth of field. The lower the number the shallower the DoF is. Sharpness has nothing to do with it.

    Okay shutter speed. This is a very fun thing in film. Standard shutter speed for film is 1/48 of a second. But since Canon’s do not have 1/48 the closest is 1/50. Standard shutter speed for photograph is 1/60. The best example i can give you it this. Ever seen any Spielberg WW2 movies.

    Here At about 1.45 the shutter speed increases and it gives the choppier effect. It is because the shutter is opening and closing faster. Which means it is picking up more images.

    Okay so basically. All of this I have told you applies for 24 fps shooting. Really you shouldn’t be shooting in anything other than that. There is one reason to shoot in anything more thant 24 FPS. And that is to shoot in slow motion. Honestly, The T2i only shoots 24, 30, or 60. I wouldn’t shoot in any of them for slo-mo. I would do to at least 120 fps. Hopes this helps. If you need anymore help or have any questions feel free to shoot me an email at

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