How To Change Shutter Speed on the Sony a7III?

How To Change Shutter Speed on the Sony a7III featured photo

If you recently bought a Sony a7III, you are probably excited to use it to capture photos and videos. That excitement quickly fades, though, when you realize you don’t know how to change the shutter speed. As Sony a7III users ourselves, we know how intimidating it can be for beginners, so we’ll help you set the shutter. 

To change the shutter speed on the Sony a7III, make sure your camera is switched on. Spin the mode dial to the “S” or “M” setting. Then, turn the rear dial until you achieve your desired shutter speed.

This article will guide you step-by-step on how to change the shutter speed on the Sony a7III. We’ll also teach you how shutter speed affects the final image. Plus, we’ll answer other questions related to this camera setting.

How To Change the Shutter Speed on the Sony a7III?

Follow the steps below to set the appropriate shutter speed for your Sony a7 III camera.

Turn On Your Camera

Turn On Your Camera

Before doing anything else, you must turn on the Sony a7III. 

To do this, locate the on/off switch on top of the mirrorless camera. Simply turn the switch to the “On” position to start the device. 

Rotate Mode Dial to “S” or “M”

Rotate Mode Dial to S or M

Once the camera is on, look for the mode dial on top of the Sony a7III. This button is where the various shooting modes, such as Manual or Automatic, are located.

To adjust the shutter speed, you can rotate the mode dial to “S” or Shutter Priority. This mode lets you change the shutter speed while the camera automatically sets the other settings, such as ISO and aperture. 

You can also switch the dial to “M,” which stands for Manual mode. As its name suggests, it lets you manually control all camera settings, including the aperture and shutter speed.

Turn the Rear Dial to Change the Shutter Speed

Turn the Rear Dial to Change the Shutter Speed

After choosing the appropriate shooting mode, you can now change the shutter speed.

Use the rear dial near the AF-On button of your camera. This knob lets you adjust the shutter speed.

Turn the shutter speed dial to the left for slower shutter speeds, typically up to 30 seconds. You can set it for 30 seconds or longer with a remote shutter release. Doing so prompts the camera to enter the bulb mode, allowing the shutter to remain open for extended periods.

Move the rear dial in the right direction to increase the shutter speed. Use a 1/60s as the minimum shutter speed when shooting a fixed subject handheld. If you’re capturing moving objects, adjust the speed to 1/250 or faster.

In manual mode, you must also manually adjust the aperture value and ISO speed for a balanced exposure. 

What Is the Shutter Speed for a7III?

Knowing how to change the shutter speed is useless if you don’t understand its definition.

So, what does the shutter speed mean exactly?

Also known as exposure time, it describes how long the camera shutter remains open. 

The shutter is the thin device inside the camera. It allows light to pass through and hit the sensor, which forms the image.

If the shutter is open for a short time (faster shutter speed), less light enters the camera sensor.

The opposite is true when the shutter stays open for a longer period. Slower speeds mean more light gets in the Sonyu camera sensor.

You can shoot as fast as 1/8000th of a second on the Sony a7 III. Such a high shutter speed can seemingly freeze rapid-moving subjects, such as birds and cars.

You can also slow down the shutter speed to 30 seconds or longer in bulb mode. Doing so helps you capture subjects in low-light environments. However, low shutter speeds can introduce a lot of unsightly blur in the picture if you’re not careful. Always use a tripod to minimize camera shake unless you deliberately want this effect for a creative look.

How Does Shutter Speed Influence the Image?

How Does Shutter Speed Influence the Image

The shutter speed affects the exposure of an image or how bright or dark it looks. A slow shutter speed means the shutter is open for a long time. That allows more light to enter the sensor. In contrast, a fast shutter speed limits the amount of light hitting the sensor, leading to a darker image.

Besides exposure, the shutter speed also influences how you perceive motion. For example, if you take a photo of a waterfall using a slow shutter speed, it creates a flowing effect on the water. In other words, it adds motion blur, making the water appear silky. But if you increase the shutter speed, the water seems suspended or frozen in time.

In most cases, a shutter speed between 1/60 and 1/250 of a second is ideal for everyday photos. It ensures a sharp and focused image when capturing a static or a slow-moving subject.

Use slow shutter speeds (1/30 of a second or slower) if you want to capture motion blur deliberately. These are ideal for fireworks, light trails, car tails, and waterfalls, among other objects.

When Should You Change The Shutter Speed?

By now, you understand the importance of shutter speed in photography. Still, you may wonder when is the right time to change the shutter speed.

Below are some instances when you need to adjust the shutter speed.

Low-Light Situations

Low-Light Situations

You must change the shutter speed if you’re shooting at night or in other low-light situations. If there is minimal light in the scene, the subject and scenery may be unrecognizable.

Decrease the shutter speed to 1/60 or slower to get enough light inside the image sensor. However, make sure to use a tripod when shooting at a lower shutter speed. Doing so can minimize the risk of camera shake in low-light or nighttime photography.

Action Scenes

Action Scenes

If you want to capture a sharp photo of a moving object in the middle of the action, you must adjust the shutter speed. 

A shutter speed of 1/250 is ideal for walking subjects. If the person is moving faster, increase the speed to 1/500th of a second.

Those who want to freeze extremely fast-moving objects must use very high shutter speeds. 1/2000 or 1/4000 seconds are suitable for racing cars and birds in flight.

Long Exposure Photos

Long Exposure Photos

Long-exposure photography requires you to adjust the shutter speed to 30 seconds or slower.

Since the shutter remains open for extended periods, the sensor captures light in a blur. Think of a moving vehicle leaving bright streaks on the road or water waves appearing smooth. 

In long-exposure or slow-shutter photography, only bright paths are clearly visible in the image. For example, stars in the night sky leave light trails.

However, when using very slow shutter speeds, you’ll want to mount the camera on a stable surface. These can be a sturdy tripod, a table, or a shelf. Doing so can prevent camera shake, which leads to blurred images.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the shutter speed limit for the Sony a7III?

The maximum shutter speed of the Sony a7III is 1/8000th of a second. If you’re using an external flash, the fastest shutter speed you can use to sync with the flash is 1/250. 

Meanwhile, the default slowest shutter speed on the Sony camera is 30 seconds. Shooting in bulb mode enables you to keep the shutter open for longer periods, from a few minutes to several hours.

What shutter speed is too fast?

A shutter speed is considered fast if it freezes the action of the subject. In general, a 1/125 shutter speed is already fast. Super fast shutter speeds are 1/1000 seconds and higher. These can stop action and let less light inside the sensor.

What shutter speed is ideal for portraits?

If you’re capturing portraits handheld, you want to set the shutter speed to 1/200th of a second or faster. Doing so eliminates blur that can cause loss of detail.

You can decrease the shutter speed to 1/30th of a second when using a tripod. However, keep in mind that the subject can move or blink. So, it is best to use a relatively fast shutter speed for a sharp, focused portrait photo.


If you recently bought the Sony a7III, you’re still probably unfamiliar with its settings. One of the first things to learn is how to change the shutter speed because it affects the image exposure. 

To adjust the shutter speed, turn on the camera. Switch the shooting mode dial located on top of the camera to Shutter priority or Manual exposure. Then, rotate the rear dial to achieve your desired shutter speed.

Do you have other questions about the Sony a7III? Drop by our blog for more tips on how to use this mirrorless camera!