why shutter makes noise?

Discussion in 'Sony Alpha E-Mount Cameras' started by alaios, Apr 3, 2014.

  1. alaios

    alaios TalkEmount All-Pro

    Jan 11, 2013
    Hi I wanted to ask why the shutter on the body makes noise.
    Is not electronic?

  2. Bimjo

    Bimjo Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Oct 28, 2011
    Washington State
    There is still a mechanical shutter that has to move and that makes noise. While there is (in some cases) an electronic first curtain shutter, the closing action is still mechanical.

    Could they eliminate the physical shutter completely? Probably, but us old farts like to hear the shutter going off, especially since we can't hear the beeps/bleeps and other dog-whistle noises these modern cameras make.

    Cell phone cams don't have mechanical shutters, but most have the option to make a noise to tell you the pic has been taken.

    Kinda like the typewriter key noise on my iPhone/iPad. Useless, but some people like it.
  3. flash

    flash TalkEmount Rookie

    Apr 11, 2012
    You didn't state which model, but no, most NEX cameras have actual shutters. Some have electronic first curtain shutters but the second part is still mechanical.

    I had a fully electronic shuttered compact once. It had a setting to make a fake noise so you knew when the picture was actually taken.

  4. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    In order to have a fully electronic shutter, you need to two things:

    1) Reset the sensor (zero out the photon counts) at the start of the exposure
    2) Read the photon counts at the end of the exposure without then going up further.

    An electronic first curtain accomplishes #1. If the sensor can't be reset fast enough, you can't have an electronic first curtain.

    #2 is the hard part. The photo wells continue to collect data if the sensor is still exposed to the light. And the processor isn't fast enough to read all the data instantaneously. So a shutter mechanism is still used to hide the sensor while the data is read. Once complete, the sensor can be reset and the shutter re-opened for live-view or another exposure.

    The race for more and more megapixels makes it harder and harder to develop a shutterless camera. You could do it today with a fast processor and small MP count, but no one would want it.

    What really needs to happen is for someone to develop sensor technology that can be reset as well as stopped without losing the current photon count.
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  5. rdfisch

    rdfisch TalkEmount Regular

    Nov 13, 2013
    Northern NJ
    I realize I may get flamed for bringing this up, but I can't help but think of the camera in my iPhone ... while certainly no comparison to "real" cameras", it IS amazing what it can deliver. I can't imagine it has a mechanical shutter (I may be wrong ... I truly don't know). I realize it is ONLY 8 MP, but if they can accomplish this in a phone, I would have to think that if it were a priority (benefit and/or cost), a suitable totally electronic shutter in a NEX class camera would be eminently doable.

    Another aspect of this subject is that I remember in the early days of cell phone cameras there was some talk of requiring a shutter noise that could not be disabled so that clandestine shots would be more difficult. I guess this was forgotten about since it was too difficult to implement/enforce.
  6. Jazzer

    Jazzer TalkEmount Veteran Subscribing Member

    Nov 6, 2012
    New York
    I believe the Panasonic GX7 has an option for a silent shutter. What did they do there?
  7. dbmiller

    dbmiller TalkEmount Top Veteran

    Mar 2, 2012
    New England
    More than likely a trade off between having one and the "rolling shutter" effect. Would be interesting to see how well it works while panning or with fast moving objects.
  8. serhan

    serhan TalkEmount All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2011
    Recent Panasonic cameras, gm1, gx7, g6, gh3, gh4, etc have all silent e-shutter, but the read out speeds from the sensor are slow eg 1/10-1/20 sec or so. Therefore the rolling shutter is not good for fast moving subjects and also fluorescent lighting. However I found it very useful for general daily use.
  9. WestOkid

    WestOkid TalkEmount All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 25, 2014
    New Jersey, USA
    I don't know how Panasonic does it, but Nikon 1 v1,v2,v3 have both an electronic shutter and a physical shutter. In high speed burst, it uses electronic to achieve 60 frames per second. On the flip side, the flash sync speed is much slower when using the electronic shutter.

    Sent from my Nexus 7 using Tapatalk