What shutter speed to use for panning?

Started Feb 13, 2013 | Discussions thread
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: What shutter speed to use for panning?

Shutter speed only matters to either freeze or to keep some motion blur of the subject being panned. For example, you may be panning an airplane with propellers. In this case, you may want to select a shutter speed that does not completely freeze the propeller movement but maintains a certain amount of motion blur to indicate it is in fact flying.

Your panning speed itself, would be dictated by the speed of the subject you’re trying to capture. Here is an example where my choice for shutter speed was largely dictated by the relatively low lighting conditions with indoor rodeo (I noticed camera metering between 1/125s to 1/160s at ISO 1600, f/2.8). This was also my first attempt at action photography with my A55 and assumed 1/160s would be good enough (and it turned out to be, most of the time). This horse was going full blast at this point (center of the arena). My panning speed was simply based on tracking the horse, regardless of the shutter speed.

BTW, I had the luxury of EVF for this image. I suspect LCD would have also worked, but EVF (or OVF for those who use DSLRs) makes it easier as the movement is more natural and fluid... more so if you can shoot with both eyes (an advantage I give to LCD at times).

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