How a DSLR Shutter Works

You probably know everything there is to know about your DSLR, including the way the shutter mechanism works. But have you ever had the opportunity to look at it in its bare form? The way the system works without the clutter of the rest of the components and contraptions added to the camera? Chris Marquardt let’s you dive right inside your camera to watch the functionality of the shutter mechanism. It’s not exactly poetry in motion, but it’s still gratifying to watch for all the shutterbugs out there:

The shutter mechanism is composed of a number of electro-magnets, wires, curtains, and springs. There are two curtains that make up the shutter mechanism.

DSLR shutter mechanism

Curtain 1

how a camera shutter works

Curtain 2Both curtains get cocked and held into position using springs and electro-magnets.

shutter details

When you press the shutter release, the first curtain is released and travels across the sensor surface to expose it to light coming through the lens. The second curtain starts to move after a delay, depending on the exposure setting after a short (or long) delay.

After the exposure is made the curtains reset to their original position, ready for the next shot.

Just in case you’re wondering, the shutter used in this demonstration is from a Canon 1000F.

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