Ever wondered what’s really going inside your DSLR’s mirror box and shutter mechanism when you hit the shutter button to make an exposure or record some movie footage? Wonder no longer.
Gavin Free of The Slow Mo Guys YouTube channel recorded the shutter of his Canon 7D in action with a Phantom Flex high-speed movie camera, laying bare the once-mysteries of flipping mirrors and sliding shutters.
Now we can actually see the root cause of rolling shutter aka jello effect as well as the mirror shake sometimes seen when shooting with a DSLR camera handheld at slower speeds. Seeing is believing and seeing is also knowing. When the unknown becomes the known, it feels less beyond our ken.
Mr Free’s ultra-high-speed footage also throws light on the amazing engineering that lies at the heart of those optical, mechanical and electronic wonders that we take so much for granted, our stills and movie cameras, whether they be the digital or analog variety.
The jello effect is one of those things we’re warned to avoid at all costs. Its skewing of reality can be… disturbing. The title sequence for Haven, the TV show set in Stephen King’s fictional world of the supernatural is all the better for a jello-rolled shot of tombstones grabbed from a passing car. In documentaries and most other genres? Not so much
If jello is a problem for you, try applying plug-ins like CoreMelt’s Lock & Load in your NLE. Rolling shutter cum jello is the natural consequence of the mechanical and electronic shutters our DSLRs and DSLMs aka mirrorless cameras use instead of the global shutters found in professional camcorders. Anti-jello measures like Lock & Load are well worth keeping in your moviemaking toolbox.
In the same way, vibration from mirror shake – I call it “mirror slap” – is a common byproduct of using a single lens reflex. Its one of the reasons I’ve opted for mirrorless cameras for my stills photography as well as moviemaking nowadays. Thankfully, recent versions of photo-editing packages like Photoshop have shake reduction functions built-in.
I recently needed to explain all this to a colleague. One run-through of The Slow Mo Guys’ ultra-high-speed footage got it across in seconds. Their movie, Inside a Camera at 10,000fps, has another benefit. It has sold me on the benefits of shooting slo-mo and now I’m looking for opportunities to dip my toes in the water at the slow motion low end, with my Panasonic GH4.
Watch the Canon 7D Shutter at 10,000fps
Via Photography Bay:
This video from the Slow Mo Guys shows us a great look at the shutter movement inside the Canon 7D at a range of shutter speeds, all the way up to 1/8000s.
Inside a Camera at 10,000fps – The Slow Mo Guys
Gav shows you how insanely quick the inside of a DSLR camera moves when it takes a picture, by filming it at 10,000 fps.
(cover photo credit: snap from Photography Bay)
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