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What do shutter speeds do?
Your camcorder shoots 30 frames of video each second. For each frame, the shutter between the lense and the CCD (the imaging device that collects the video before relaying it to the tape) opens and closes to let in light. The amount of time the shutter stays open determines how bright or dark an image is. The longer the shutter stays open, the more light reaches the CCD.

The shutter speeds are the amount of time the shutter stays open for each frame of video. A shorter shutter speed allows less motion blurring in bright conditions, while a longer shutter speed allows recording in lower light levels.

One side effect of a longer shutter speed is more motion blurring. Since objects have more time to move while the shutter is open, they tend to get blurry on each frame of video. Increasing the shutter speed allows objects less time to move each time it opens. This can make the video appear sharper during action shots. However, too fast a shutter speed can make the video appear a bit jumpy, like a stop motion movie.

One handy use for adjusting shutter speeds is when you have TV or computer monitors in the shot. Syncing up the shutter speed to the scan rates of those devices can help prevent the images on them from appearing to roll. A shutter speed of 1/30 of a second is good for TVs, while 1/60 of a second works for most computer monitors. Different computers can be set for different refresh rates, so you may have to experiment to adjust the camera correctly. If you don't have a compatable shutter speed on your camera for a computer monitor, you can usually change the refresh rate of the monitor to sync it up.

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