How to adjust shutter speed

How to adjust shutter speed

Shutter speed goes hand in hand with the aperture setting on your camera. They both influence how much light enters the camera & therefore the lighting of your photography. If you don’t know what shutter speed is, visit “ What is Shutter Speed? ” to learn more. In this photography tutorial we are going to focus on the how and not the why – how to adjust the shutter speed.

First off, as a beginner, your camera is most likely set to that oh so comfortable “auto” mode. We want to get out of our comfort zone and start understanding how our camera works and how to adjust the shutter speed. Switch to manual mode: twist your mode dial to the “M”. Once in manual mode you will be able to choose and control your shutter speed & Aperture.

How to adjust shutter speed

After you enter the correct shooting mode you’ll want to find your camera’s command dial (See photo below). Depending on the mode you choose this dial will either adjust your shutter or aperture settings. In manual mode it does either and in the case of this camera you use the +/- button to toggle between the two settings.

As you turn the command dial you can look through the viewfinder and see your shutter speed is being adjusted and the overall exposure is changing. This exposure is shown by a +0.0 style output. The higher the number the more overexposed you will be. You can also see your shutter speed & aperture settings by looking at your LCD screen. The goal (theoretically) is to have a perfect 0.0 exposure.

How to adjust shutter speed

Shutter Speed Measurements

Your shutter speed is measured as the time that the shutter is open. Your camera may be able to keep the shutter open for many minutes and be as quick as just 1/1600 second. Remember that the setting is typically a fraction of a second so the higher the number on the bottom of the fraction the faster the capture and the less light that gets into the camera.

Shutter Priority Mode

If shutter speed means the most to you (which it does in this tutorial) you’ll want to try out the shutter priority mode. The priority modes allow you to do half the work and the camera to do the other half. In the case of shutter priority mode we’re adjusting the shutter & the camera will adjust the aperture to be sure we have a good exposure. The shortcut for the shutter priority mode is shown as either an “S” or a “Tv”.

One More thing…Your Camera is Limited

Remember that a faster shutter speed is for fast action shots but can bring in less light while slow shutter speeds catches more motion which shows up on photos as blurs. This can be a cool effect , yet if not done properly you’ll have poor results. Keep in mind that your camera has limits.

If the shutter speed is 1/60 or slower (like 1/30) you should be using a tripod to avoid camera shake. If you have low light and want to make your shutter speed quick enough to avoid camera shake (1/100 or faster) you must keep in mind your aperture is only able to open so much. Standard apertures are limited to f/3.5 and even smaller when the are zoomed in so be aware that you may need a tripod to improve the lighting. It’s important to remember that your camera isn’t the only element in good photography.

If you’re confused about how to change the shutter speed on your camera, you’re not alone.

Camera manuals are hard to understand because they’re filled with jargon. Most cameras aren’t intuitive for users either.

There are so many menus, buttons and dials to deal with!

But if you keep your camera set in AUTO mode because it seems too difficult to change camera settings, you’re not doing yourself a favor.

This is even more true if you’re into sports or wildlife photography, or enjoy taking nature photos featuring seascapes and waterfalls.

Why Shooting in AUTO Mode Sets You Up for Disappointment

When you try to capture an action shot in AUTO mode, often you’ll see nothing but a blur.

That’s because your camera’s shutter speed wasn’t set fast enough to freeze motion.

To freeze motion, you want your camera shutter to open and close quickly. This means you need to be shooting at speeds of 1/250 of a second and faster – even all the way up to 1/2000 of a second in some cases.

Here are some outstanding examples of freezing motion with fast shutter speeds from my students T. Michelle Mullaly and Michelle Murell.

How to adjust shutter speed

Photo by T. Michelle Mullaly

How to adjust shutter speed

Photo by Michelle Murell

On the other hand, if you want to capture those soft, dreamy photos of seascapes and waterfalls or capture light trails in the night sky, AUTO mode doesn’t allow you to leave the shutter open long enough to capture motion.

To capture these kinds of shots you’ll need to slow your shutter speed down to 1/30 of a second or even slower.

A photo taken by my student Raahul Singh is a spectacular example of traffic light trails captured at night.

How to adjust shutter speed

Photo by Raahul Singh

Now it’s your turn! I’ll walk you through how to change your shutter speed in both manual and shutter priority mode.

And to make the process even simpler, I’ll give instructions for three popular entry-level cameras. You can follow along with your own make of camera.

How to Change Shutter Speed on Three Popular Cameras

How to adjust shutter speed

I’m going to walk you through how to change the shutter speed on three popular consumer-level cameras:

I recommend that new photographers start experimenting with the effects of changing their shutter speed by using Shutter Priority mode.

This is a semi-automatic mode that lets the photographer control the shutter speed, while the camera automatically adjusts the aperture and ISO for a perfect exposure.

But I also want to show you how to change your shutter speed when you’re shooting in manual mode.

First up, let’s look at how to change the shutter speed on a Canon Rebel.

Changing Shutter Speed Manually on a Canon Rebel t6

To change your shutter speed in MANUAL mode, turn the dial from AUTO all the way over to ‘M.’

This ‘M’ indicates MANUAL MODE. You’ll see an icon with fractions that appears on the display screen – these fractions indicate your shutter speed.

You’ll notice a dial right in front of the shutter release button.

When you turn this dial, you’ll start to see your shutter speed changing. Turn it one way, and your shutter speed increases. Turn it back the other way and it decreases.

Entering Shutter Priority Mode on Canon Rebel t6

How to adjust shutter speed

Next, let’s change your camera into SHUTTER PRIORITY mode.

Unlike other camera manufacturers, Canon uses TV (time value) to indicate Shutter Priority mode.

This makes sense because shutter speed is measured in increments of a second. These increments indicate the length of time between the shutter opening and closing to create the exposure.

Turn the mode dial on your camera from ‘M’ to ‘Tv’ to switch into Shutter Priority mode.

To adjust your shutter speed in Tv mode, turn the same dial as we used to change the shutter speed in manual mode.

Changing Shutter Speed on a Nikon D3400

To switch from AUTO to Manual mode on a Nikon, turn the mode dial to ‘M’ for MANUAL MODE.

Next press the shutter part way down to bring up the info screen on the back of the camera.

You’ll see the shutter speed indicated in the circle on the left side of the screen. Sometimes this screen automatically turns off so just press the button to re-engage the screen.

Turn the dial located on the back of the camera to change the shutter speed. Turning the dial to the right increases shutter speed and to the left decreases it.

Shooting in Shutter Priority Mode

How to adjust shutter speed

To change to SHUTTER PRIORITY mode, turn the mode dial on the top of the camera to ‘S’ for shutter speed.

Adjust your shutter speed by turning the same dial that you did in manual mode.

Changing Shutter Speed on Sony A6500

The Sony is a bit different than the Nikon and Canon because it’s a mirrorless camera. But it’s just as simple to change the shutter speed on this camera as it was on the other two.

Turn your camera’s mode dial (located on the back of the camera) to ‘M’ for manual mode.

The dial to change the shutter speed is also located on the back of the Sony.

When you change the shutter speed you’ll see the speed selected in orange. Just as with the other two cameras, turning the dial to the left decreases shutter speed and to the right increases it.

Shooting in Shutter Priority Mode

How to adjust shutter speed

To put your Sony into Shutter Priority, turn the mode dial to ‘S.’ Just like with the other two cameras, Shutter Priority allows you to adjust the shutter speed and the camera takes care of aperture and ISO for you.

Get Out and Practice in Shutter Priority Mode

Now that you understand how shutter speed affects your images, and have the knowledge to change your shutter speed…the only thing left to do is to have fun and practice your new skills!

Or, if you’d like a little more help before you take your camera out of AUTO mode, why not join my FREE training?

Turn your camera on and turn the mode dial to S so that it aligns with the indicator line “-” next to the dial.

Set the shutter speed of your choice by rotating the rear dial or the top dial on the Lumix camera. Turn the dial to the right for fast shutter speeds and to the left for slow shutter speeds.

How to adjust shutter speed

Once you set the shutter speed, you can select an ISO value based on how dark or bright your image appears on the LCD screen. Setting an appropriate ISO will ensure the image you take will have a proper exposure value(EV).

How to adjust shutter speed

Press the ISO button and rotate the rear dial to make a selection.

Even though the above-mentioned steps are for adjusting shutter speed on a G series Lumix camera, the underlying concept of how to change shutter speed is the same across the Lumix line-up.

The Lumix LX100 camera features a dedicated shutter speed dial that allows you to dial in the value of your choice.

Whether you’re looking to take more creative control on how you take pictures or manually adjust exposure on your Lumix camera, you must have a good understanding of the three fundamental elements of photography viz., Shutter speed, ISO, and Aperture. If you want to know more about how to use Shutter speed as a tool to make good pictures, then take a closer look at the following topics.



Exposure refers to the amount of light captured by your camera’s sensor and hence determines how bright or dark the image is. In a sense, a good image is considered to be one that has a decent exposure (balanced light) and sharp focus on the subject. Shutter speed, Aperture, and ISO are the fundamental components that comprise the Exposure triangle. ISO value determines the sensitivity of the camera sensor to light and Aperture refers to the amount of light that passes through your camera’s lens. Each of the three components is closely related to the exposure value, that if you alter one component you are most likely to alter the other two values as well. The key idea here is to find a balance of the three, to attain a good enough exposure of the subject you’re trying to capture. That is exactly what your camera does when you use one of its semi-automatic modes like the Shutter-Priority [S] mode or the Aperture-Priority[A] mode.

How to adjust shutter speed


Shutter speed refers to the amount of time the camera shutter is kept open thereby enabling the light to enter the camera’s sensor and it is measured in fractions of seconds. Typically shutter speed on the Lumix cameras ranges from 1/8000th of a second down to 60 seconds. A slow shutter refers to keeping the camera shutter open for 1/30th of a second or longer. Shutter speeds of 1/250th of a second or less are referred to as fast shutter speed. Although measured in fractions, the shutter speed menu only displays the denominator value like 4000, 2000, 1000, 500 and so on. Mostly we will be using shutter speeds that fall somewhere in the middle.

How to adjust shutter speed


Shutter-Priority [S] mode allows you to select a shutter speed and ISO value, while the camera sets the lens aperture. [S] mode is often used while shooting sports events or moving subjects. Whether you want to freeze the subject in action or you want to portray motion of the subject, use the Shutter-Priority mode [S] of your Lumix camera.

Here’s an example that shows the use of fast shutter speed to freeze action

How to adjust shutter speed

When you want to emphasize the movement in your subject, choose a low shutter speed value to create a motion blur through camera panning. The key to getting a sharp image against a blurred background is to pan at the same speed as that of your subject.

How to adjust shutter speed

Motion blur in your image is quite artistic, as it helps to communicate a sense of speed and motion in the subject.

The following example demonstrates the use of slow shutter speed(long exposure) to capture a night sky. Long exposure refers to shutter speeds of 1 second or longer. The camera must be mounted on a tripod while taking such images. Long exposure using slower shutter speeds can be used to capture stunning photos of fireworks, waterfalls, seascapes, nightscapes, milky way etc.,

How to adjust shutter speed

Here’s how you can use shutter speed to control the exposure of the scene.

How to adjust shutter speed

As you start experimenting with different shutter speeds and shoot subjects in motion, keep in mind that for fast moving subjects speed is the key. So choose your shutter speed accordingly. You also have to be aware of the motion blur that is introduced while working with slow shutter speeds. As shutter speed also determines the sharpness of an image, you have to make sure the shutter speed of choice is fast enough for handheld shots. With slow shutter speeds, any physical movements that you make while the shutter is open will result in a blurred/shaky image.

How to adjust shutter speed

Yesterday we talked about how your camera’s Aperture works. Today, we will focus on the second of the 3 important elements that make up the all important exposure triangle: Shutter Speed – a crucial setting to understand and use properly if you want to take great photos.

What is Shutter Speed?

Shutter speed is another way to let light into the camera and in my opinion, is a little more straight forward than aperture. The shutter is what “clicks” when you press the button to take a picture. Think of it like a little curtain in your camera body that opens to let light in and then closes to stop the camera from recording more light.

The speed the shutter opens and closes is what determines how much light the camera records. Shutter speed is measured in seconds and is typically shown as 1/30, 1/60, 1/125, 1/250, 1/500, etc. For example a shutter speed of 1/500 will open and close the shutter in one five hundreth of a second.

As you can see in the following example, I photographed the same subject 6 different times, while only adjusting my shutter speed setting for each photo. Notice the slower shutter speeds, here starting at 1/125 allow for more light to enter the camera than the faster shutter speeds. The fastest shutter speed demonstrated in the example below is 1/4000 which allowed very little light to enter, resulting in a very dark exposure.

How to adjust shutter speed

In general, because faster shutter speeds let less light into your camera they are used most often for daytime photography. And as you can guess, the slower shutter speeds that let in more light work best for night photography or photos taken in low light.

Tip: It is helpful to know that your camera typically shortens these numbers in the viewfinder. For example, your camera would show 1/100th of a second by just displaying 100 in the viewfinder.

How to adjust shutter speed

Shutter Speed Also Controls Motion!

Shutter speed is also used to control the amount of motion in a photograph. A slow shutter speed is often selected to capture movement in an image because a slow shutter speed and a moving object will produce some blur in your image. Faster shutter speeds are used to freeze motion/action without blur.

The infographic below is a great reference to help you remember which shutter speeds allow more or less light into the camera, which can cause blur or are good for freezing action, and which shutter speeds need a tripod or can be shot while hand-holding your camera.

Where to Start With Shutter Speed

You can determine the best shutter speed to use based on the subject you are shooting as well as the available light.

When photographing children, I try not to go below 1/125 or 1/250. To capture a person in mid-air, you’ll need a very fast shutter speed of at least 1/1000.

Holding your camera in your hands while shooting at slow shutter speeds will cause blur. So when I am photographing this way, I try not to let my shutter speed fall below my focal length number. For example, if I am using a 50mm lens, I would keep my shutter at 1/60. If I am using a zoom lens at 200mm, I would keep my shutter at 1/250.

How to Change Shutter Speed on Your Nikon Camera

Make sure you are in manual mode prior to following the instructions below.

To set your shutter speed on a Nikon Camera , depress the shutter release button until the meter is activated. Then, using your thumb, rotate the Main Command Dial.

How to adjust shutter speed

How to Adjust Shutter Speed on Your Canon Camera

Again, make sure you are in manual mode prior to following the instructions below.

To set your shutter speed on a Canon Camera, depress the shutter release button until the meter is activated. Then, with your index finger, turn the main dial on the top of the camera.

How to adjust shutter speed

Shutter Speed Example #1

Lets say you are photographing your child outdoors. They are running and playing and you are only going to have a split second of to get the shot. You need to make sure that your shutter speed is set at 1/500 or higher to get a sharp image. Your other settings will be set around this one.

How to adjust shutter speed

Shutter Speed Example #2

You are photographing a ride at the fair. You want to demonstrate how it is moving in your image by allowing the ride to be blurry. You will need to choose a slow shutter speed (around 1/30 or even slower around 1 second) and set up a tripod to keep the shot still and allow the slow shutter speed to blur the lights and motion.

How to adjust shutter speed

Congratulations! You’ve just completed day 4 of Mastering Manual!

But Don’t Stop Now!

Make sure to read the rest of our series to help you Master Manual Mode. If you’ve missed any of the posts, you can read/review them at any time by clicking these links!

Bonus: free downloadable Mastering Manual Cheat Sheet for use on the go!

How to adjust shutter speed

Gayle Vehar

Lightroom Instructor

Hi!! I am Gayle. I am a wife to my handsome husband and mom to 4 beautiful kids. In my spare time, I am a photographer and blogger at Mom and Camera. I have a passion for sharing my love of photography with others. I teach local photography classes and regularly share photography tips and tricks on my blog. I hang out there a lot—I’d love you to stop by and visit!

3. Press the <> button, choose adjustment of shutter speed or aperture value, and turn the <> dial to specify a value.

  • An exposure level mark based on your specified value is shown on the exposure level indicator for comparison to the standard exposure level.
  • The exposure level mark is shown in orange when the difference from standard exposure exceeds 2 stops. [2] or [+2] is displayed in orange in the lower right when you press the shutter button halfway.
  • After you set the shutter speed or aperture value, the exposure level may change if you adjust the zoom or recompose the shot.
  • Screen brightness may change depending on your specified shutter speed or aperture value. However, screen brightness remains the same when the flash is up and the mode is set to [ ].
  • To have the setting you did not configure in step 3 (whether shutter speed or aperture value) automatically adjusted to obtain standard exposure, hold the shutter button halfway and press the < > button. Note that standard exposure may not be possible with some settings.
  • With shutter speeds of 1.3 seconds or slower, ISO speed is [ ] and cannot be changed.

Two of the factors that determine exposure—and thus the brightness of your photographs—are shutter speed and aperture (the other important factor in determining exposure is ISO sensitivity, but in the discussion that follows we will assume that ISO sensitivity is fixed).

Shutter speed is the time the shutter is open. The faster the speed, the shorter the time the shutter is open, and the shorter the time the image sensor is exposed to light. The shorter the time the image sensor is exposed to light, the darker the resulting photograph. On the other hand, the slower the shutter speed, the longer the time the image sensor is exposed to light, and the brighter the resulting photograph.

Aperture (expressed as an f-number) controls the brightness of the image that passes through the lens and falls on the image sensor. The higher the f-number, the darker the image projected on the image sensor, and the darker the resulting photograph. On the other hand, the lower the f-number, the brighter the image projected on the image sensor, and the brighter the resulting photograph.

How to adjust shutter speed

Exposure is determined by the combination of shutter speed and aperture (f-number).

If you increase the f-number, you can still achieve optimal exposure by choosing a slower shutter speed. To put it another way, if you lower the f-number, you can still produce a photograph of the same brightness by choosing a faster shutter speed.

Shutter speed slowed in proportion to the increase in f-number

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  • ※ The illustration is an artist’s conception.

Shutter speed increased in proportion to the reduction in f-number

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  • ※ The illustration is an artist’s conception.

How to adjust shutter speedHigh f-number, slow shutter speed
How to adjust shutter speedLow f-number, fast shutter speed

Different combinations of shutter speed and aperture used to achieve the same exposure.

Sample Camera Displays

How to adjust shutter speedcamera information display

Shutter speed:

Speeds faster than one second are shown as fractions (e.g.: …1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250…). Some cameras may omit the numerator so that “1/125” becomes “125,” “1/250” becomes “250,” etc. Speeds slower than one second are shown by a double prime symbol following the value (e.g.: 1 ˝).

How to adjust shutter speedcamera information display

f-number is shown in steps of 1/3 EV, for example f/4, f/4.5, f/5, f/5.6, f/6.3, f/7.1, f/8 etc.

Unlike a DSLR camera’s mechanical shutter, the compact GoPro shutter is digital — there are no moving parts at work. Conceptually, there’s no difference in operational results: the slower the shutter speed (eg. 1/30s), the more light allowed in, the brighter the resulting image (exposure) and vice versa.

How to adjust shutter speed

GoPro’s shutter will open for a fraction of a second to allow light in and capture an image, then close it for the same amount of time. This is repeated as many times per seconds to match your frame rate.

By default, GoPro’s shutter speed is set to Auto, which means the camera will adjust its speed automatically, depending on its surrounding lighting conditions. Manual mode gives you somewhat more control over your shutter speed.

Faster shutter speeds (1/4000 seconds) are usually used for action shots or very bright scenes, while slow shutter speeds (1/30 seconds) are good for low light situations or to capture specific lightning effects like light trails or starlight.

To access manual shutter speed options, make sure to enable Protune in your camera settings, then select the “Shutter” from the menu.

(setting options might differ with different camera models)

How to adjust shutter speed

Now, depending on your lighting situation and what you’d like to achieve, choose the speed that most suits your setting.

Have you got an old GoPro? Check out the new GoPro HERO 9!

The iPhone camera has some limitations compared to an SLR camera. The aperture, with which the amount of light that falls on the sensor is determined, is not adjustable on your iPhone. And you cannot change the shutter speed and ISO on your iPhone either. The shutter speed, with which you control the exposure time, is not longer than 1/3 of a second on my iPhone 8 Plus. An SLR camera can even expose indefinitely (Bulb mode). And the sensor of an iPhone is much smaller and gets less light. Therefore you get more noise and the dynamic range is smaller. In this blog I will explain how to change the shutter speed on your iPhone.

How does the exposure of an iPhone work?

The exposure of a photo is determined by the ISO value, the shutter speed and the aperture. The ISO value indicates the sensitivity of the sensor to light. A high value gives more noise. In the standard iPhone camera app, the exposure time and ISO are not adjustable. The iPhone camera app will always try to take photos with a low ISO (minimum ISO 25) and a high shutter speed (maximum 1/8000). Low ISO produces low noise and a high shutter speed prevents motion blur. If the light is reduced, the iPhone will first extend the shutter speed to an exposure time, with which you still can take pictures hand-holding the iPhone without motion blur. Then the ISO will increase in steps up to a maximum of 2000 ISO. In dark conditions the photo will be taken with a long exposure time and a high ISO.

This video explains until 2:30 how the exposure of the iPhone camera works.

How to change shutter speed on iPhone and how to change the ISO

There are camera apps that give you more control over exposure with modes for shutter speed priority and ISO priority. The app automatically selects the correct ISO value at a manually set exposure time and vice versa. Camera apps are also available with which you can change the exposure time and ISO completely manually.

How to change shutter speed or ISO with the iPhone camera app Lightroom CC Mobile

Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile is my favorite camera app and free. With this app you can also edit photos. The camera app has five camera modes; Automatic, Professional, High Dynamic Range, Long Exposure (Preview) and Depth Capture (Preview). In camera mode Professional, you can set the shutter speed or ISO.

How to change the exposure time and ISO with the Camera mode Professional

Launch the Lightroom CC Mobile app and tap the camera icon at the bottom right for the camera mode. Then tap to the left of the shutter button and select the Professional mode.

Change the Shutter Speed ​​(Shutter speed priority)

The picture below shows the setting options of the Professional camera mode. Tap Sec for the slider that allows you to set the shutter speed. Drag the slider to the right to increase the shutter speed and all the way to the left for an automatic shutter speed. Next to Sec you see the automatically chosen ISO value of 2112. As you can see in the picture, this high ISO value causes a lot of noise.

How to adjust shutter speed

Shutter speed priority

Change the ISO speed (ISO priority)

In the example below I have set the ISO value to 500 and the automatically chosen shutter speed is 1/62 of a second. Drag the slider to the right to increase the ISO value and all the way to the left for automatic.

How to adjust shutter speed

ISO priority

Change the shutter speed and ISO value

You can manually set the shutter speed and the ISO value to determine the exposure yourself. In this example I selected a shutter speed of 1/200 of a second and set the ISO value to 640.

How to adjust shutter speed

The exposure is set completely manually.

How to use the shutter speed of your iPhone creatively

You can add special effects to your iPhone photos by using a long exposure time. In the blogs below I will explain how you can set a long exposure time with the iPhone camera app and special apps.

How to shoot with a slow shutter speed on iPhone

How to adjust shutter speed

Night photography on iPhone with a long exposure time

How to adjust shutter speed

Photograph a moving subject with a long exposure time on your iPhone

How to adjust shutter speed

Photograph light trails with your iPhone

How to adjust shutter speed


Many limitations of the iPhone camera app with regard to manual exposure settings can be solved with special camera apps. My favorite app is Adobe Lightroom CC Mobile (App Store) with which you can change the exposure time and ISO. You can read about the possibilities of this camera and photo editing app in this blog.

Also read my blog about HDR iPhone photography or go to the overview with all iPhone photography blogs.

In this video, we want to go through and actually show everybody how to adjust our shutter speed, our aperture, our ISO on a few different cameras and also how to do a couple other basic things like switch your lenses and so forth, basically how to adjust the exposure triangle.

Remember that we’re getting into manual mode, because if you’re in any of the assistant modes, well we can only control certain functions. If we’re in Aperture Priority, all we get is the aperture. If we’re in Shutter Priority, all we get is the shutter. If we’re in Program, we get ISO and certain things, but again we want to be in manual to have full control over everything.

Removing Lenses

Canon: There’s a little button that releases the lens and then turn it counterclockwise (to your right) to remove.

Nikon: It’s reversed on Nikon. The Nikon has the same button, but then I would turn to your left (clockwise). However, when I put it on, you don’t need to press the button. You just line up the little white dots and then pop it on (Canon has red dots). Twist it until you hear that snapping lock sound.

Oftentimes when you have the lens on your camera and if you get kind of weird malfunctions, it’s because the lens isn’t sitting properly on your camera, so you probably just have to reset, maybe dust off a few of the sensors or sometimes it doesn’t click in all the way. If you don’t click it in all the way, that is very dangerous because it can actually fall off. If there’s ever a lens issue where it’s not focusing or something like that, just check to make sure it’s snapped in and everything’s in place.

Shutter Speed

Nikon: I’m going to control my shutter speed with this back dial right here, and as I go to the right, you’re going to see the shutter speed increasing in speed. As I go to the left, it is decreasing in speed.

Canon: I have the dial up top over by my shutter release, and again now shutter speed is measurements of time. You’ll see a fraction, so 1/800 is pretty fast. Then I can go the other way to slowing down to maybe 1/5 of a second.

One quick note, generally these functions are going to move at default at about 1/3 of a stop. You can actually change it in the menu, basically an advanced menu, it’ll allow you to change how you want these adjustments to move. If you want them in increments of 1/3 or 1/2 or so forth. I just keep it default. I like having more options basically, so the aperture’s the same way.


Speaking of aperture, let’s move on to aperture right now. On this lens I have the 35 mm 1.8. the widest it can get is 1.8. Currently it’s set to F2, so at 2.0. what I can do on my Nikon is I have a little button right the top right here, and it’s kind of hard to see, but there’s a little aperture icon there. What I have to do is hold this button down. While it’s being held down, that’s when I can adjust my aperture. I’m going to hold that with my right hand and we’ll just adjust with the left. If I go to the left side, it goes wider. This is 1.8. that’s the widest it can go, and as I go to the right, it stops down and gets smaller and smaller. It gives me this nice little graphical display as it shows my aperture closing down letting less light in.

For Canon, it has the same icon, however, mine also says Av on it for aperture. As I hold that button down and I turn my dial, you’ll see, and actually we’re looking for the F number and that’s your aperture.

Now ISO is going to be a little bit different. These are basic entry level cameras, and so there are less dials on them. One of the reasons to get more advanced cameras is to have more dials, more functionality which makes it quicker to adjust things. Rather than holding multiple buttons down we’re just adjusting with an individual button.

Nikon: I’m going to bring my little D-pad over to the ISO sensitivity. I can adjust up and down, so to go to 200 ISO, I can go to 1/3 increments as well.

Canon: Using the ISO button and I can do my adjustment that way or I can pick the ISO on my screen.

Okay, that’s it for the basics. Now, let’s go ahead, and I’m going to show you guys an advanced mirror-less camera. This is the Sony A7R. It gives you more functionality. It makes things a little bit quicker to access, so for my shutter speed I have a dial right here in the back. It’s a thumb dial that will adjust shutter speed. You guys can see as I go up and down, it adjusts me shutter speed. Also I have a dial right at the top. This is going to adjust my aperture up and down. I also have this dial in the back, and this will adjust my ISO up and down. It makes it very, very quick to basically move from these different functions. Our 5D Mark III’s, they’re the same way. The more advanced the camera, the more they kind of make these functions accessible to you, but with a basic DSLR they’re trying to kind of keep things simple, keep the buttons to a minimalistic approach so it doesn’t look so overwhelming.

But that’s the thing, right? All 3 different cameras, they all have an adjustment, icon, button, dial for aperture, shutter speed, and ISO. Yeah, sometimes it might be a different location. Sometimes you might have to jump into a menu to access certain things, but they are there. Okay, that’s it. Be sure at this point if you don’t know how to adjust it on your camera, say a point and shoot that isn’t like what we just showed or if you have a different model that isn’t what we showed, well just go ahead and pick up your manual and just check out how to adjust your aperture, your shutter speed, and your ISO manually in your camera. That way you guys know going forward.