DSLR camera shutter in action

Craft & Design Photography & Video

P^2 captured this very awesome video of a DSLR’s exposure process –

First attempt at capturing high-speed motion. This is a Pentax K200D shutter, as seen by a K100D and a high-speed strobe. Timing is provided by a few lines of C bitbanging a PC parallel port (in DOS, with interrupts disabled, natch).

Stop action and rapid recycle provided by the “winder mode” on a Metz 45-CT5, with its 90 microsecond flash duration, and <0.5s recycle time for the hundred shots it took to do this. Acquired shot-to-shot "frame period" is about 1 ms, and this is playing back at about 100x slower than realtime. The K200D shutter speed here is 1/180s.

K200D shutter video

6 thoughts on “DSLR camera shutter in action

  1. Silverman says:

    This guy created a scrubbable version of a similar thing with captions for the various steps:


  2. Daniel Miller says:

    This type of shutter gets even more interesting at the higher speeds. At a certain point (the maximum rated flash sync speed – typically 1/250 or 1/500) the curtains can travel fast enough to leave the entire sensor uncovered. The 2nd curtain will begin travel while the 1st is still obscuring the bottom part of the sensor. Essentially, it becomes a horizontal slit traveling downward over the sensor.


  3. Daniel Miller says:

    Oops, I meant, “the curtains CAN’T travel fast enough to leave the entire sensor uncovered.”


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