Have you ever wondered how to take a picture of light trails left by cars? Want to take pictures of the night sky that look great?

In this short guide, we’ll talk about how to change the shutter speed on Sony a7iii and why you might want to. We’ll also talk about what the shutter speed is and when you should change it.

Let’s dive in!

How To Change The Shutter Speed On Sony a7iii?

Rotate the Mode Dial to “S.”

The first thing we need to do is turn the mode dial on top of the camera to “S.” This means “priority of the shutter.”

In this mode, you can change the speed of the shutter and, by default, the ISO. Unless you switch to “M” mode, the camera will keep controlling the aperture on its own.

Turn With the Back Dials:

Now that your camera is in the right mode, you can just turn one of the dials on the back of the camera to change the shutter speed.

Note that when the mode dial is set to “M,” which means “manual,” one of these dials will change the shutter speed and the other will change the aperture.

What is Shutter Speed?

So, what does “shutter speed” mean? The idea is pretty simple: it’s just how long the shutter of your camera stays open.

When the shutter is only open for a short time, less light gets into the camera. Keeping it open longer lets more light in.

You can shoot as quickly as 1/8000th of a second (which is REALLY fast) or as slowly as 30 seconds with the Sony a7iii. But the camera also has a “bulb” mode that lets you use a remote shutter/timer to open and close the shutter for a very long time.

Why Would I Want to Change My Shutter Speed?

Capturing Action: When you learn how to change your shutter speed, you can do a lot more with your photos.

First of all, if you want to take a picture of something moving quickly, like a car or a person riding a bike, you’ll need to make your shutter speed shorter (faster).

Using a fast shutter speed (1/1000s, for example) lets you take clear, sharp pictures of things that are moving quickly.

On the other hand, if you slow down your shutter speed and use a “panning” technique (following the subject while the shutter is open), you can blur action and show a lot of movement in an image.

Photos with a long exposure: You might also want to speed up your shutter if you want to take pictures in dark places or of moving lights.

If you’ve ever looked at a picture of car lights moving down a road, you’ve probably wondered, “How did they get that?” A long shutter speed is an answer.

For these kinds of shots, you need to put your camera on a very stable surface. Most of the time, you’ll want to buy a good tripod, but sometimes a table or other solid surface will do.

Practicing With Shutter Speed: Play Around and Have Fun!

Now that you know how shutter speed works in general, the best way to learn it is to go outside and practice.

You can practice in many different ways, but here are a few of my favorites.

When There isn’t Much Light:

Start by taking pictures anywhere it’s dark and you want to get details. When you take a picture at night, the image will usually be completely black. However, if you open your shutter speed, more “information” and details can be sent to the camera sensor.

Go outside when it’s dark, set up your tripod, and try to take pictures of your house or the city/streets around you. This is a very simple exercise.

Change the shutter speed and keep taking pictures, and you’ll start to get a feel for what settings you need for different scenes.

Light Trails:

Second, when I use long exposures, my favorite thing to do is take pictures of light trails from cars.

Set up your tripod near a bridge or a busy intersection. Choose a slow shutter speed (you may need to make it even slower if there isn’t much traffic), and then press the shutter button as a lot of cars go by.

Even though this works best at night (because it’s already dark), you can also use an ND filter to take long exposures during the day (to block light).


Lastly, you might want to try astrophotography. Getting a good picture of the night sky is very hard and, to be honest, depends a lot on your equipment, but it’s also very rewarding.

Some people may find this hard to do because light pollution in big cities makes it almost impossible to see the stars. But give it a try if you live somewhere where the sky is clear.

Most of the time, you’ll need a wide, bright lens like the Sony FE 20mm F1.8, a tripod, and a remote shutter (to avoid any potential camera shake).

Astrophotography is a pretty hard topic, so I’ll send you to my friends at Lonelyspark. A lot of what I know about taking pictures of the night sky I learned from them.

Bottom Line:

It is very important to know how to change the shutter speed on Sony A7iii.

Why? The speed of the shutter can make or break your video. If it’s too fast, the motion will freeze, and if it’s too slow, the images will be blurry.

Some things to think about are how bright your room is and how your target objects move.

Lighting is very important. In this situation, you need to use a faster shutter speed. Not so when the room is dark. A slow shutter speed is needed for this.

One more thing: when taking photos with your hands, use a fast shutter speed to keep your hands from moving.

At least 1/160 is a good speed.

Don’t forget to think about whether the things in the picture are still or moving. Use the right shutter speed settings for each situation, as we’ve talked about above.


How Fast is Too Fast For a Shutter Speed?

A fast shutter speed is 1/125 or more. When it’s at 1/1000, it’s even better.

Since a fast shutter speed lets less light into the sensor, your photos will be darker.

And because your pictures will be frozen, there will be a lot of change to the way they move.

Because of this, you should not use a shutter speed that is too fast.

How Many Sony A7iii Shutter Counts Are Too Much?

Go for fewer shutter actions if you can. It would be best not to open the shutter more than 50,000 times.

In fact, you should not go above 60,000. Even so, a modern camera’s shutter may be able to be opened and closed about 200,000 times.

What is a Good Shutter Speed For Portraits?

When taking portraits, 1/200 is a good shutter speed. This speed is perfect because it keeps images from being blurry.

Portraits look best when the shutter speed is fast.

For example, if you’re taking portraits in a well-lit room during the day and don’t need a flash, a 1/200 shutter speed would be fine.

This is great for shots you take by hand.

But for a tripod, use a shutter speed of 1/15.

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