Understanding the Rolling Shutter Effect
In the world of photography and videography, the rolling shutter effect is a common phenomenon that can cause distortion and unwanted artifacts in captured images or videos. Understanding what the rolling shutter effect is, its causes, and potential solutions can help photographers and videographers minimize its impact and produce better quality content. In this article, we’ll delve into the intricacies of the rolling shutter effect and explore ways to mitigate its adverse effects.
What is the Rolling Shutter Effect?
The rolling shutter effect refers to the distortion that occurs when capturing fast-moving objects or recording videos with cameras that utilize a rolling shutter mechanism. Unlike global shutters, which capture an entire frame simultaneously, rolling shutters scan the image sensor line by line, resulting in exposure variations across different parts of the frame.
Causes of the Rolling Shutter Effect
The rolling shutter effect occurs due to the time it takes to read data from the image sensor. The process involves scanning the image sensor from top to bottom (or vice versa) rather than capturing the entire frame simultaneously. This time difference between scanning lines can lead to various distortions, particularly when capturing fast-moving subjects or when the camera itself is in motion.
The Rolling Shutter Effect in smartphones
The rolling shutter effect occurs in digital cameras, including smartphones, because they do not capture the entire image in one instant. Instead, they scan the scene from one corner to the opposite corner.
Although the scanning process is very quick, if there is movement within the frame that is faster than the scan, the camera captures different parts of the moving object at different times. As a result, when these captured portions are combined in the final photo, it creates the rolling shutter effect.
Below, some examples: