Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by DanGuy48, Feb 11, 2012.

  1. DanGuy48

    DanGuy48 Mu-43 Regular

    With all of the advanced technology in these cameras WHY ON EARTH!!!!!! do they still have mechanical shutters. Talk about primitive! I've been playing around lately with some low aperture lenses (Celestron mirrors). Why should we even be concerned about shutter vibration? I know, force a long exposure. Come on Mr. & Ms. Camera engineers, Get with it !!!!!!!!!!

    Just needed to get that off my chest. Rant off.
  2. woof

    woof Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Oct 18, 2011
    The present.
  3. kytra

    kytra Mu-43 Regular

    Feb 28, 2011
    thanks @woof for the clarification, I was wondering the same but never took time to actually dig for an answer :)
  4. Promit

    Promit Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 6, 2011
    Baltimore, MD
    Real Name:
    Promit Roy
    People have been talking about a global shutter camera (especially on the Panasonic side) for a while but it hasn't materialized yet. With NEX getting an electronic first curtain and Nikon 1 having a fully electronic shutter, :43: is somewhat behind the curve.
  5. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    ...and image quality. Using an electronic sensor of the same overall size and design will introduce more noise and lower sensitivity, due to less of the sensor being photo-sensitive.
  6. speltrong

    speltrong Mu-43 Veteran

    May 8, 2011
    Northern California
    Not to mention a pre-recorded "kathunkclick" just doesn't have the same visceral appeal as an actual mechanical shutter. They'd have to install a fairly large speaker (increasing the physical size quite a bit and making the battery life worse) to even come close.

  7. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    It's more than that. My first DSLR, a Nikon D40, had an electronic shutter, as the mechanical shutter had a max speed of 1/90 second. Mechanical shutters mean that your sensor has more dynamic range, less blooming, and better high ISO performance, which are all acceptable tradeoffs in my book. I can solve a shutter shake issue with a better tripod (especially if I'm doing critical enough work that the shake from the shutter is causing issues), but there's no accessory in existence that will make my camera have better sensor performance.

    Nikon Electronic Shutter

    So Dan, instead of ranting and becoming accusatory towards the camera engineers, why not be inquisitory? After all, the teams of engineers that design a camera at Fuji, Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Olympus, Pentax, Leica, and Mamiya have collectively eons more experience and understanding about photography than you. If they were able to reduce cost and complexity of a device with such an obvious solution, they would have done so.
  8. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    That Nikon shutter article is an interesting read, but it leaves me wondering about "blooming." How long does it take for this blooming to clear? The shutters on mirrorless cameras are open all the time for viewing, closing only for a split second before exposure. Is this brief moment of darkness sufficient to clear the sensor? Do modern sensor designs not suffer from blooming? Inquiring minds want to know.
  9. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    Yes, the brief moment of darkness is enough to clear the sensor, electrical devices work in the order of milliseconds. Inadequate clearing before exposure is not what causes blooming. Blooming occurs from a sensor being overexposed during an exposure. For example, if my camera has an electronic shutter: I want to take a photo of a sunset and need to do a 1/500 second exposure (2 milliseconds). Well, even after that 1/500 second, the sensor continues to be exposed, let's say another 10 milliseconds before the readout can be fully sent to the processor. So, the sensor was exposed to 6 times more light than it needed, and once the pixel had a full reading, that additional light (that gets converted to an electrical readout) spills over to surrounding pixels, which gets spilled over to surrounding pixels, etc.
    Look at these fine examples I found:
    Flickr: Discussing What on earth is this? in Nikon D70/s Users
    Nikon D80 Camera Exposure - Full Review
    CMOS vs. CCD and sensor blooming - PentaxForums.com
    Fujifilm plans X10 firmware in response to 'white disc' concerns: Digital Photography Review
    Is that worth giving up a mechanical shutter? To me, heck no it isn't.

    Hamamatsu Learning Center: CCD Saturation and Blooming
    Blooming: Digital Imaging: Glossary: Learn: Digital Photography Review
    • Like Like x 1
  10. goldenlight

    goldenlight Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 30, 2010
    Real Name:
    I must admit it's a real puzzle for me how the darn things work at all. Sometimes I think it's better not to try to understand and just get on with using what we've got. In the old days the mystery of photography all came from chemicals, nowadays it's electronics. I suppose the big difference is that then new films were designed by chemists whereas now new sensors are designed by engineers and physicists. I'm neither, just the guy who presses the button. However, I probably press that button better than many of the guys who design the camera so I guess we all have our part to play. :smile:
  11. Hikari

    Hikari Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 26, 2010
    Well, I think you should just show them how to do it.
  12. Ned

    Ned Mu-43 Legend

    Jul 18, 2010
    Alberta, Canada
    Most of us have noticed by now that the new shutters on the E-PM1 and E-PL3 bodies close and reopen the shutter when the camera is turned on.

    I've often wondered if this has anything to do with clearing residual charge on the sensor as an extra "cleaning" method?
  13. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
  14. DanGuy48

    DanGuy48 Mu-43 Regular

    Just to be sure, if you're talking intrascene dynamic range, neither mechanical shutter or electronic shutter have any affect on that. Intrascene dynamic range is determined by noise floor and full well capacity of the sensor mostly, and those are characteristics only of the chip. If you're talking something other than intrascene dynamic range, then I'm not sure what you mean.

    I don't think we put enough pressure on the product development people in these companies. Fairchild and PCO Engineers came up with a better CMOS sensor for a very small market and it got built. There should be as few moving parts in these cameras as possible and I think the fact we still have mechanical shutters is that too many people just think that a camera has to have a shutter and this is what it is and we're delighted with all the other goodies they provide to us, so we don't see beyond the ( much appreciated BTW) distraction.
  15. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Yes and no ... some sensors are much worse than others and the actual mechanism is still not quite understood. In the case of astronomy type cameras in which the sensor is cooled the latent image can persist for many minutes.

    I've heard it explained as a type of 'leakage' from the bulk of the silicon but this effect can still be seen in thinned devices that have the bulk material removed.
  16. RobWatson

    RobWatson Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    sCMOS? $15k-20K for a camera. Really only good for very fast shutter times. Highly specialized stuff. The more specialized the niche he more impressive the specs seem but take the beasty out of the niche and its appeal fades very quickly.
  17. DanGuy48

    DanGuy48 Mu-43 Regular

    If I was an engineer, maybe I could, or would try myself. It seems to me that it should be possible to make an interline sensor (for example) that did not waste valuable sensor real estate by having dead rows for charge transfer, by moving those transfer spaces deep, rather than having them side by side. The Foveon sensor already makes use of different layers of the chip for separating different layers of color charge. I don't see why a similar approach wouldn't work to improve fill factor on an interline chip. That's just one example. Who would have thought, as another example, that i mentioned above, that a noisy old CMOS, with just a few high tech tweaks, could rival the best cooled CCDs in performance?
  18. DanGuy48

    DanGuy48 Mu-43 Regular

    No, it's not good only for very fast shutter times. It can replace a cooled CCD camera for low light level work and I have sold them for that purpose

    PCO / pco.edge

    Prices on these things are dropping off a cliff compared to 10 years ago. Andor is selling an electron multiplier camera for well under $20,000. A few years go I sold a Hamamatsu EM CCD for $43,000. The point I was making with this though is that sensor manufacturers are capable of producing much better tools for us. They just don't think they're needed.
  19. Luckypenguin

    Luckypenguin .

    Oct 9, 2010
    Brisbane, Australia
    Real Name:
    So, what exactly is the mechanical shutter doing now that is so wrong?
  20. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Real Name:
    Wearing out, causing lag, limiting strobe sync speed, being noisy when we want quiet, vibrating...