Shutter speed is the length of time that the light is allowed to enter into the camera through the hole and it has a longer time therefore on the sensor. Handily this has not changed since we used film as the sensitive film 'paper' got more exposure due to length of time it was allowed exposed to the light. It is measured in fractions of a second and so a 1/250 is longer than 1/2000 s.
It needs to be used in harmony with your other settings especially ISO and Aperture.
For the beginner take advantage of the semi automated Shutter Priority Mode on your camera.
As a beginner you may get a poor shot if you try to set a shutter speed in manual mode, so take advantage of the automation that your camera may have.
As an example I took out the HX60 today and photographed my daughter on the swing - I got some great out of the box shots that my old compact could not have achieved.
In summary I will get a good feeling for how shutter speed can work with ISO and Aperture, I am an intermediate user of compact cameras and I hope you have enjoyed learning along with me. Next time I will write about ISO and Aperture and again explore the modes on the HX60v the camera I chose to explore how to take better photos.
A more in depth source of information on special modes was found and used in the making of this article. Click here to check that out. http://digital-photography-school.com/aperture-and-shutter-priority-modes/