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Main / How to: How Shutter Speed work

Traditionally, the shutter speed is the amount of time that light is allowed to pass through the aperture. Think of a mechanical shutter as a window shade. It is placed across the back of the aperture to block out the light. Then, for a fixed amount of time, it opens and closes. The amount of time it is open is the shutter speed. One way of getting more light into the camera is to decrease the shutter speed -- in other words, leave the shutter open for a longer period of time.

Film-based cameras must have a mechanical shutter. Once you expose film to light, it can't be wiped clean to start again. Therefore, it must be protected from unwanted light. But the sensor in a digital camera can be reset electronically and used over and over again. This is called a digital shutter. Some digital cameras employ a combination of electrical and mechanical shutters.

Tutorial source: howStuffWorks

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