Test the Shutter Speed of Your Camera Using a TV or Monitor

Wondering whether or not the shutter speeds on your camera are accurate? Instead of taking it to a shop or buying expensive testing equipment, you can use an old television or CRT monitor as a simple shutter speed tester! Camera enthusiast Rick Oleson has an easy to understand diagram showing what you can expect to see from the screen at different shutter speeds. For a more technical explanation and tutorial, check out this article that appeared in a 1967 issue of Popular Science.

You already own a shutter speed tester [Rick Oleson]

  • will hall

    How do i test if the CRT is accurate? especially when you consider that I’ve not seen on on sale new for a long time

  • guest

    Haaa… I still use one as my main TV.

    And it will be accurate.

  • Spike

    CRT?  How quaint.

  • Alan Dove

    If you can’t find a CRT, there’s also a technique I’ve seen that uses a spinning record player to test shutter speeds. Of course, the only people who have those sitting around are the folks who still use CRTs.

  • Zerg

    CRT TV’s are a very solid & reliable technology.  It’s been around forever, and as a result they don’t have too many issues. 

    I still have a CRT that I bought in 1997 that still works perfectly, while my newer LCD HDTV (a newer, still working the bugs out technology) has needed to be fixed twice.

  • Rick_oleson

    There really isn’t a way for the CRT to not be accurate.  It’s just scanning the screen with a beam of electrons.  It also doesn’t matter if you’re doing this at 50Hz or 60Hz …. the band width will be different from one to the other, but it will still very clearly represent what your shutter is doing.