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shutter delay on digital cameras

bod emrys Avatar
9y, 7m agoPosted 9 years, 7 months ago
I've got an olympus 3MP digital camera that I've had for a couple of years, it's OK but when you take a picture there's a delay of a second or so before it takes a picture - this renders it useless for action shots.

Now I'm looking to get a new camera and want to know whether many cameras have this fault, if so how do I know which ones so that I can avoid them.

Any help appreciated :thumbsup:
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bod emrys Avatar
9y, 7m agoPosted 9 years, 7 months ago
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#1
Almost forgot - because of this delay it is impossible to take a number of shots in quick succession, an ability that I would like on a new camera.
#2
If you have different settings on your camera i.e. distance shots, portrait etc. then the shutter speed is slower.

I got my g.friend a Fuji [url]www.fuji.co.uk[/url] SLR type camera for £180 that has got really good reviews. £500 on amazon. 9600 model I think.
#3
timwishart
If you have different settings on your camera i.e. distance shots, portrait etc. then the shutter speed is slower.


Do you mean if you are using those settings or just if the camera has them?
1 Like #4
All cameras have some shutter lag, i.e the time from pressing the shutter button to the moment the camera open the shutter. dSLR usually have it in the region of a few milliseconds, prosumer cameras have between a 0.1s to 1s and most point-and-shoot camera have the lag >0.5s

It really depends on the model. All the cameras on dpreview.com have the shutter lag tested (there is always a table in every review with the relevant numbers).

There is also another factor - the shot to shot time. This is the time it takes the camera to store a picture to its memory and gets ready for a new picture. Again, dpreview has all the numbers that might interest you.

Now, considering that the camera you've got is pretty old, it's a pretty safe bet that if you buy a new one (doesn't matter if it's p-a-s, prosumer or dSLR), you'll very likely see a big improvement in both the shutter lag and the shot-to-shot times.

I hope this helps.
#5
kemot1984
All cameras have some shutter lag, i.e the time from pressing the shutter button to the moment the camera open the shutter. dSLR usually have it in the region of a few milliseconds, prosumer cameras have between a 0.1s to 1s and most point-and-shoot camera have the lag >0.5s

It really depends on the model. All the cameras on dpreview.com have the shutter lag tested (there is always a table in every review with the relevant numbers).

There is also another factor - the shot to shot time. This is the time it takes the camera to store a picture to its memory and gets ready for a new picture. Again, dpreview has all the numbers that might interest you.

Now, considering that the camera you've got is pretty old, it's a pretty safe bet that if you buy a new one (doesn't matter if it's p-a-s, prosumer or dSLR), you'll very likely see a big improvement in both the shutter lag and the shot-to-shot times.

I hope this helps.


You've been a big help, thank you.
I'm off to check out dpreview now. Rep left
#6
if your buying a DSLR make sure you get a good fast memory card CF EXtreme or similar. On cheaper cameras it makes less of a difference.

Oh, and dpreivew is a cracking website - well recommended
#7
My camera is terrible, It was a 5mp "bargain" i got for £50, Useless unless i take perfectly still shots and the camera isn't moved a fraction!

I think DSLR is the way to go for fast moving sports shots etc.
2 Likes #8
What sort of camera do you have in mind?

As mentioned above, SLRs have very low shutter lag as they operate more like a traditional film SLR camera - in normal operation (aside from cameras with liveview enabled such as the Olympus E-330 and Panasonic L1) a mechanical shutter is closed and the mirror is down. Then when the shutter release is pressed the the mirror moves up, the shutter opens for the exposure time you have set and then it all closes again. Combined with an optical viewfinder(you tend to have a slight delay with an electronic viewfinder) which gives you a through the lens view showing you exactly what is coming into the camera.

From your post I'm guessing you're probably not after an SLR as they are more specialist - although they do take good pictures the bodies are larger, lenses generally cover smaller focal ranges and it's quite a bit more expensive.

For normal, non SLRs (usually referred to as point and shoot) there is no mechanical shutter or mirror - the camera sensor is constantly being exposed which is why you get a live preview (something that is not available on most SLRs). When you press the shutter release, the camera takes the input from the sensor averaged over your exposure time and saves it which is why there can be a delay as the camera processes the data. Newer cameras are definitely better but there are some that are better than others as you'll see when you read through reviews.

Although the shutter lag is only the time between the half press and full press of the shutter, there are some other factors to bear in mind, primarily the auto-focus. When you half press the shutter the first time, obviously the camera takes some time to focus which some cameras do well, some not so well. The faster you can focus, the quicker you are ready to take the picture. Most cameras now have a variety of autofocus modes, if trying for fast shooting I'd narrow the focus down to just use the centre of the frame or similar - the more there is in the scene for the camera to focus on, the more chance it will lock onto the wrong object forcing you to refocus.

Another aspect of the focus system is the aperture - the lower the F number, the more light the lens lets into the camera which in turn makes it easier for the autofocus system. The aperture is not constant - when the lens is zoomed out (at its lowest focal distance) you have the widest aperture giving you the most light and the highest shutter speed. However, when the camera is zoomed right in the aperture can be a couple of stops slower which means less light getting into the camera, lower shutter speeds and possibly less responsive autofocus. As an example, the Panasonic LX2 has a fast F2.8 aperture at its 28mm setting but at 112 it's just F5 which means there's less than half the light getting to the sensor.

Hope this helps,
John

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