D7000 - Shutterspeed Rule of Thumb

Started Nov 3, 2010 | Discussions thread
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D7000 - Shutterspeed Rule of Thumb
Nov 3, 2010

The ancient Shutterspeed Rule of Thumb says that for shooting handheld you need a shutterspeed that is erqual to 1/'focal length'; otherwise you'll see camerashake. This is obviously very user dependent, for steadiness differes between shooters and there should be a 'number of cups of coffee' factor in there as well.

Anyway, in the recent past users found that with DX cameras you need a faster shutterspeed. The rule of thumb for those is 1/'focal length' x 1,5. However, this has obviously nothing to do with the sensor size, but with the pixel pitch. The smaller the pixels, the easier you'll see camera shake or movement blur because the a fragment of the subject more easily moves from one pixel to another when you shake the camera or move the subject.

Having too much time on my hands I took a few minutes to try and calculate a new rule of thumb that includes pixel pitch. I took the D700 (pixel pitch 8.4 microns) as the standard for which you can still use the 1/'focal length rule' and used the experience of D2x/D300 shooters that found their shutterspeed should be 1.5x faster. The new rule i came up withlooks like this:

1/('focal length' x (8.4/'pixel pitch'))

Suppose I use a 300mm lens:

  • D700: 1/(300 x (8.4/8.4)) = 1/300

  • D3x: 1/(300 x (8.4/5.9)) = 1/427

  • D90: 1/(300 x (8.4/5.42)) = 1/465

  • D7000: 1/(300 x (8.4/4.78)) = 1/527

So what do you think: realistic?

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Philip

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