Rolling Shutter Effect

What is the Rolling Shutter Effect?

The Rolling Shutter Effect is a visual distortion phenomenon occurring when a camera captures images or videos. This effect manifests when the camera and the subject move at different speeds during the image capturing process. It’s especially prevalent in digital cameras where the image sensor scans the scene sequentially from one side to the other, instead of capturing the entire scene at once.

Understanding the Rolling Shutter Effect

The rolling shutter effect is a result of a camera’s image sensor operating in a line-scanning mode. When capturing a video or image, the sensor doesn’t gather all the data at once. Instead, it records the scene line by line. This process is fast but not instantaneous. If either the camera or the subject moves during this period, it may result in distortions or visual anomalies.

Types of Distortions

These distortions can take several forms, including:

  • Skew: The image seems to lean to one side, especially when the camera pans quickly.
  • Wobble: Vertical lines in the image appear to wave or wobble.
  • Partial Exposure: Only part of the image is exposed, typically seen when a flash is used.

How to Mitigate the Rolling Shutter Effect

While the rolling shutter effect can sometimes add a unique perspective to your videos, it’s generally seen as a distortion that needs to be minimized. Here are some strategies to do so:

  • Stabilize Your Camera: Using a tripod or a gimbal can help reduce camera shake, thus minimizing the rolling shutter effect.
  • Avoid Rapid Movements: Try to avoid panning or moving your camera too quickly.
  • Use a Camera with a Global Shutter: If possible, use a camera with a global shutter rather than a rolling shutter. A global shutter captures the entire scene simultaneously, eliminating any rolling shutter effect.
  • Post-Production Corrections: There are software solutions available that can help correct the rolling shutter effect during post-production.


While the rolling shutter effect might seem like an obstacle, understanding it can help you harness its potential or avoid its pitfalls. By using the right equipment and techniques, you can ensure that the rolling shutter effect doesn’t compromise the quality of your videos.

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