How To Set Shutter Speed on Sony a7III?

How To Set Shutter Speed on Sony a7III featured photo

Do you want to capture light trails or sharp photos at night with your Sony a7III? One of the first steps to take is to learn how to adjust the shutter speed on your camera. In this guide, we will teach you how to do exactly that.

To set the shutter speed on the Sony a7III, you must change the shooting mode to shutter priority (S) or manual (M). Rotate the rear dials on the right side of the screen to adjust the shutter speed. The larger the bottom number, the faster the shutter speed. For example, 1/500 is faster than 1/30.

Besides the shutter speed, you must also change the aperture and ISO in manual mode to ensure the correct exposure. Below, we will share some tips on how to set the shutter speed properly. But first, we will teach you what shutter speed is and why change it.

What Is Shutter Speed In Photography?

What Is Shutter Speed In Photography

The shutter speed refers to the period the shutter remains open. The shutter is the curtain-like mechanism in front of the sensor. It makes a sound when you press the shutter button on the camera. 

Shutter speed is also known as exposure time because it determines how long the shutter is exposed to light. If the shutter is open for a long time, more light hits the sensor. The opposite is true when the shutter is open for a short period. 

Shutter speed is expressed in either seconds or fractions of a second. For example, a shutter speed of 1/120 means the shutter opens for one hundred and twentieth of a second. The Sony a7III lets you shoot up to 1/8000th of a second, which is extremely fast. However, this mirrorless camera also allows extremely slow or long shutter times (30 seconds up to hours) with the bulb shooting mode.

What Is The Importance of Shutter Speed? Why Bother Changing It?

What Is The Importance of Shutter Speed

The shutter speed is important because it is among the three aspects of exposure. Together with aperture and ISO, shutter speed controls the amount of light that reaches the image sensor. So, if you want to achieve the correct exposure for your photo, you must change the shutter speed. 

Another reason why you should adjust the shutter speed is to control the motion of your subjects. Use faster shutter speeds to freeze motion. Meanwhile, set the exposure time to seconds or slower to emphasize motion.

Shutter speed is also crucial for creating various creative effects in photography. Whether you want to capture light trails or the stars at night, changing shutter speed is essential.

When Should You Adjust The Shutter Speed On The Sony a7III?

Now that you know the importance of shutter speed, you may wonder when to change it.

The most common scenario to adjust the shutter speed is when shooting action or sports photography. By using a faster shutter speed, you can freeze the subject in the middle of the action. Or you can deliberately create motion blur by slowing down the shutter speed.

You should also change the shutter speed in low-light situations. You can make the shutter open for a long period to let more light inside the sensor. However, be aware of camera shake when using slow shutter speeds. That is why we also recommend changing the aperture and ISO to create a balanced exposure.

Adjusting the aperture is also crucial if you want to try light painting or use multiple exposures. You can achieve unique, artistic effects with the shutter speed.

How To Change Shutter Speed On Sony a7III?

How To Change Shutter Speed On Sony a7III

Changing the shutter speed on the Sony a7III is pretty straightforward. We have outlined the steps below to guide you.

Turn On the Camera

First things first, switch on the camera. Simply flip the power button to “On.”

Rotate the Mode Dial to “S” or “M“

Now, locate the mode dial at the top of the camera near the shutter button. Turn it to shutter priority mode (S) or manual shooting mode (M).

You can adjust the shutter speed with either of these shooting modes. However, they have several differences.

On shutter priority mode, you can set the desired shutter speed. The camera automatically determines the rest of the camera settings, such as f-stop and ISO speed.

If you use manual mode, you can completely control the aperture and ISO on top of the shutter speed.

Spin the Rear Dial to Adjust the Shutter Speed

After setting the Sony camera to the right mode, you can now change the shutter speed. Spin the rear dial located on the right side of the LCD screen. You can also rotate the front dial to adjust the shutter speed when using the shutter priority mode.

However, in manual mode, one of these dials lets you change the aperture or f-stop. The other knob, usually the rear one, controls the shutter speed. You can always change the functions of these buttons depending on your preference.

Review the Image

When adjusting the shutter speed, you must pay attention to the LCD screen or electronic viewfinder of your Sony a7III. Review the real-time changes in the photo made by the shutter speed. If something looks off, spin the rear dial again to change the shutter speed. 

Change Aperture and ISO When Needed

If you are shooting in manual mode, you must also adjust the aperture and ISO. Doing so helps you achieve the correct exposure. 

Rotate the front dial located on the front grip near the shutter button to change the f-stop. As for the ISO, press the right button (with an “ISO” label) on the rear wheel. Then, choose the desired ISO setting.

Take the Photo

Once you are happy with the image display, you can now take a photo. Press the shutter button, and you will hear a satisfying click. You can now view the picture that you have taken!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best shutter speed for the Sony a7III?

There is no single best shutter speed when using the Sony a7III. The ideal exposure time depends on the type of shot and effect you want to capture. The amount of available light in the scene can also affect the ideal shutter speed.

For example, in low-light situations, you want to set the shutter speed to 1/30 or slower. However, you may want to mount the Sony a7III on a tripod to eliminate camera shake.

In contrast, shooting in typical daylight conditions lets you use a shutter speed of around 1/125 to 1/500 of a second. This setting can capture still subjects with minimal motion blur.

To freeze the action or fast-moving subjects, bump up the shutter speed to 1/1000 to 1/4000 of a second.

But if you want to emphasize motion or capture light trails, use a shutter speed of 30 seconds or longer. Use a remote shutter release to control the shutter speed without pressing the shutter button.

How should I set my shutter speed when recording video?

Taking photos is different from recording videos. So, setting the correct exposure for video can be quite tricky. As a general rule, use a shutter speed double your frame rate to ensure smooth footage. For example, when shooting at the standard 24fps, set the exposure time to 1/50th of a second. However, if you capture video at 120fps, you can change the shutter speed to 1/240.

What is the shutter count of the Sony a7III?

Shutter count, also known as the actuation count, is an estimated number of times the camera’s shutter can be used before failing. The figure is not always accurate, though. Some cameras last well beyond the expected shutter life, while others may fail earlier for various reasons.

For the Sony a7III, the manufacturer states that it has a shutter count lifespan of 200,000. It falls between entry-level and professional cameras.


The shutter speed is an important aspect of photography. If you have the Sony a7III camera, it is easy to learn how to change the shutter speed and achieve creative effects.

Simply turn on the camera and rotate the mode dial to “S” or “M.” Spin the rear dial to adjust the shutter speed. If using manual shooting mode, you must also set the correct f-stop and ISO. Refer to the tips above for more detail.

Do you have other questions about setting the shutter speed on the Sony a7III? Feel free to drop a message via our website!