Silent shutter for shooting wildlife

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by mcasan, Dec 4, 2015.

  1. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Anyone yet tried silent shutter for shooting wildlife or other larget where you want minimum sound? I am wondering if electronic shutter will be fast enough for larger mammals without motion artifacts. I can understand that the electronic shutter may not be fast enough to shoot BIF.

    Any and all feedback is appreciated!
     
  2. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    This is something that is best done by test rather than analysis (let alone guessing), because there are numeric characteristics for electronic shutter mode that have to be know for an educated guess, along with effects of lens field of view and camera to subject differences. I would suggest taking pictures of things like cars from the side of the road or highway to get a feel for the electronic shutter.
     
  3. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    Never had an e-shutter but it should be faster then the mechanical one, up to 1/16000. But these shutter speeds are almost impossible to use with long tele zooms where the apertures are quite limited,. You are lucky if you get 1/1000 or more.

    If you are worried about rolling shutter that is a different thing and matters only for moving subjects. Each pixel gets a 1/16000 exposure time but from the first to the last row can pass some time, I do not know about the E-M1, could be 1/10s. So it's like taking a slow sequence of 3456 pictures, from top to bottom.

    Then I wonder if animals are going to be annoyed by the shutter sound much more then by your presence (noise, smell, etc.).
     
  4. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Silent electronic shutter may make more sense in landscape, macro, architecture and other still-life. Minimum chance of a moving subject artifact. Will likely have to stick with good old mechanical shutter for wildlife, BIF, sports...etc.
     
  5. TJC-MFT

    TJC-MFT Mu-43 Regular

    36
    Dec 4, 2013
    Cheboygan, Michigan
    Tom Cadwalader
    Help me understand this.
    For silent shutter the camera uses electronic shutter the same as it would for video.
    When not using electronic shutter, we would be of course using the mechanical shutter, in this instance are all of the pixels active at the same instant or are they still firing top to bottom by row still ?
    Inquiring minds want to understand this better
     
  6. Klorenzo

    Klorenzo Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 10, 2014
    Lorenzo
    I'll do my best to explain this, please correct me and expand as needed.

    Before taking a shot the sensor "pixels" need to be reset to "black". So the shutter close, the whole sensor is reset and then exposed for the correct amount of time.

    This is how a typical mechanical shutters work:



    Ignoring the mirror flip-up there are two curtains moving, notice that for fast shutter speeds both curtains move at the same time creating a moving slit.

    Pixels are like buckets, they "collect and store the received light" and the final level is read in a second time. When the shutter movement ends you have your picture.

    Instead with electronic shutters it should work like this:
    - shutter is already open
    - each pixel row get reset sequentially and immediately start to record the new image
    - a few next rows are reset
    - when enough time has passed it reads the values currently stored in the first rows

    Of course here you can not reset the whole sensor at once because the bottom pixels would get more light than the top ones.

    So it's like:
    - reset row 1
    - reset row 2
    ...
    - reset row 10
    - now row 1 is cooked and can be read and stored before it gets completely overexposed
    - etc.

    This means that shooting at 1/1000s the whole "shot" last longer even if each individual row is exposed for only 1/1000s.

    If you could reset, expose and freeze the whole sensor at once you'd have a "global shutter" that is the holy grail of electronic shutters (CCD sensor did this).

    Make sense??

    Video is another thing. On m43 cameras the shutter never moves but you use only a fraction of the available pixels (like 2MP for 1080p). So you read some and at the same time you reset the near ones and switch back and forth to build each frame. Something like that, I'm not so sure about the details.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2016
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  7. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    There is a difference in how CCD and CMOS sensors read out pixel values. There is a good Youtube piece here: The Science of Camera Sensors. Note this pertains to video, where no mechanical shutter us used, but does cover the rolling shutter effect, after it gets past how film works.
     
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  8. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Finally reprogramed an E-M1 today. I have had my MySets setup for landscape, HDR, wildlife, and BIF. This time the second one is for macro focus stacking instead of HDR. All were setup with silent mode electronic shutter. Using the electronic shutter along with 2 second timer should definitely minimize movement for landscapes and macro/bracketing shots. I will try to shoot some tomorrow to see just how well electronic shutter works for wildlife. I have a feeling it will not well for BIF. Nice that silent mode high speed is 11FPS while with the mechanical shutter high speed is 10FPS.
     
  9. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Basically, if there is movement, then don't use Silent Shutter unless you want the distortion effects that it can create. In reality, the E-M1 shutter isn't noisy (the E-M5 is quieter though), especially when compared to the (Olympus) E-30 DSLR. That was noisy! If the wildlife subject is still & you really want silence, it is also a good idea to shoot with the lens wide open so the noise of the aperture blades aren't heard either (in Silent Shutter mode).
     
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  10. TonyVentourisPhotography

    TonyVentourisPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Nov 1, 2015
    Silent mode is actually silent...but I think the cameras are silent enough without the mirror. Mechanical shutter is probably better for wildlife due to the movement thing. You are also limited to ISO 3200 in electronic shutter mode. Generally if wildlife is in good light...but I've had plenty of times where to keep 1/1000 I've had to go to ISO 4000 and 5000. Another option would be to maybe use some kind of casing or covering over the camera. That can limit sound escaping too far from the camera. I would be more concerned about my body and the environment around me as I tried not to move making more noise than my camera.
     
  11. Phocal

    Phocal Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jan 3, 2014
    I've had deer look directly at me each time I took a photo more times then I can count. But they were really close so I knew they would hear it, after I would take a shot they would go back to what ever they were doing. Never had it spook one away.
     
  12. TonyVentourisPhotography

    TonyVentourisPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Nov 1, 2015
    Yeah I have too. Animals have such better hearing than we do! I definitely prefer the shutter sounds of these cameras to clunking SLR mirrors though! That sound definitely carries!
     
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  13. Earl Fleck

    Earl Fleck New to Mu-43

    3
    Nov 29, 2015
    EarlFleck
    Masan,

    Would you be willing to share your MySets with a newbie? Earl
     
  14. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Boy is this gonna cost you!

    MySet 1 for landscape: aperture priority, ISO 200, Auto WB, F8, evaluative metering, all AF points on, 2sec timer, silent single shot
    MySet 2 for macro: aperture priority, ISO 200, Auto WB, F8, evaluative metering, all AF points on, 2sec timer, focus stacking on, silent high speed
    MySet 3 for wildlife: aperture priority, ISO 400, Auto WB, F4, center weighed metering, block of 9 points on, silent high speed, C-AF TR
    MySet 4 for BIF: aperture priority, ISO 800, Auto WB, F4, center weighed metering, block of 9 points on, silent high speed, C-AF TR

    New for me is using MySet 2 for stacking macro instead of HDR. I rarely did HDR. The changes in MySet 3 and 4 is the use the silent electronic shutter. If I get artifacts, I will move those back to mechanical shutter. Silent electronic shutter should be just fine for landscapes and macro. Should be very low chance of a movement artifact.
     
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  15. TonyVentourisPhotography

    TonyVentourisPhotography Mu-43 Regular

    68
    Nov 1, 2015
    Are you programming the misers to the mode dial so you can just turn the dial to switch between the presets? or do you set them to custom buttons?
     
  16. mcasan

    mcasan Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 26, 2014
    Atlanta
    Personally I use the defined MySet creation and storage area which is the first Shooting menu, just below Card Setup. I don't try to assign them to other buttons or levers. Trying to use the Mode Dial sounds like our previous life of using Canon 35 bodies that have C1, C2, and C3 on the dial. Using the E-M1 Menu structure I can leave the Mode Dial locked to Aperture mode and quickly change between the MySets with my right thumb. Selecting one of them from the Menu structure is fast enough for me.
     
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