If you’ve ever tried to photograph sport or capture action sequences you’ll know that you sometimes need to call upon your camera’s maximum shutter speed to freeze these fleeting, dramatic moments in time. So which camera is best for the job? In this quick buyer’s guide we’ll explain which camera has the fastest shutter speed and also suggest a few cheaper options that are also built for speed.

The camera with the fastest shutter speed: Sony A9

The Sony A9 was announced in April 2017 and blew its competitors away in terms of maximum shutter speed, thanks to advances in electronic shutter capability.

The Sony A9 offers a maximum shutter speed of 1/8,000sec with its mechanical shutter, but you can push that up to a whopping 1/32,000sec by employing its electronic shutter.

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What is an electronic shutter?

Good question. Advances in image sensor technology have allowed for some amazing things, one of which is the development of what’s called the electronic shutter.

In a nutshell, an electronic shutter is basically your camera’s sensor taking a snapshot at a fraction of a second. It needs a fast readout speed to be able to achieve natural looking images and fast shutter speeds.

Also called a ‘global shutter’ or a ‘hard shutter’, what happens is, rather than a traditional rolling shutter, your camera’s sensor will expose all of its photosites for a very tiny fraction of a second.

Which camera has the fastest shutter speed from a mechanical shutter?

Again, the Sony A9 comes out on top here, but it has neighbours. Refinements to mechanical shutters in recent years has enabled many manufacturers’ flagship cameras to achieve fast shutter speeds of 1/8000sec.

You’ll find shutter speeds of 1/8000sec in cameras like the Nikon D5 and Olympus OM-D E-M1 Mark II, as well.

But with electronic shutters are really pushing what’s possible with cameras. As we said, on the Sony A9 you can set a shutter speed of 1/32,000sec when the electronic shutter is active, while the mirrorless medium format Fuji GFX 50S can capture images at 1/16000 sec with the electronic shutter.

Other cameras with fast shutter speeds

Nikon D5
Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000sec

Canon EOS 7D Mark II
Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000sec

Fuji X-T2
Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000sec (extendable to 1/32,000sec with the electronic shutter)

Panasonic GH5
Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000sec (extendable to 1/16,000sec with the electronic shutter)

Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II
Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000sec (extendable to 1/16,000sec with the electronic shutter)

Samsung NX1
Max Shutter Speed: 1/8000sec

Olympus OM-D E-M10 Mark II
Max Shutter Speed: 1/4000sec (extendable to 1/16,000sec with the electronic shutter)

Panasonic G80 / G85
Max Shutter Speed: 1/4000sec (extendable to 1/16,000sec with the electronic shutter)

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