The amazing thing about tech today is how it “just works”. Few of us have any idea about what is going on inside, and there is no pressing reason to find out. But a DSLR is a little different — many of its innards are digital, but there is still plenty of amazing mechanical wizardry going on every time the shutter clicks. Under normal circumstances, this stuff isn’t visible, but the Slo Mo Guys decided to give us a front-row seat.
I would describe myself as a bit of a camera nerd, but even I didn’t realize quite what was going on inside my DSLR. Slowed down with the clarity of 10,000fps video, it is amazing to see that an exposure at 1/8000 of a second equates to the tiniest opening between the shutter blades.
Equally, anyone who takes video regularly knows of the weird effect that makes straight things warp when you move past them. But only when you watch footage like this does it becomes clear why it happens. Instead of taking each frame all in one go, the blades of your DSLR slide downwards, meaning the image is slightly newer at the bottom of the sensor than it is at the top.
Extra Time — Stay Focused Brings Focus Stacking to iOS
Focus stacking is a photographic technique used when it’s not possible to keep the entire subject sharp, by normal means. It involves combining multiple frames, each with a slightly different point of focus, to make a greater depth of field — particularly important for macro and landscape photography. It has always required some significant patience and editing time, but now, it just got a whole lot easier.
A new iOS app named Stay Focused brings the technique to iOS, and automates the process. Early reviews are favorable, and it is free to download, with modest in-app purchases required to unlock automated (rather than manual) stacking. You can check it out on the App Store here.