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Electronic shutter
I am curious why DSLRs use mechanical shutters rather than some type of electronic shutter. As I look at different models of DSLRs, I see differing expected shutter lifespans, 75,000 frames, 150,000 frames, etc. If the mechanical shutter is a limiting factor in the lifespan of a camera body, why is it used? Do point and shoot cameras have mechanical shutters? It seems that an electronic way of looking at the output of the sensor for a specified amount of time would work as well as a mechanical shutter..

I started thinking of this the other night and have been curious ever since. I'm sure that there is a very good reason for this as Canon, Nikon and the other manufacturers have excellent engineers on the payroll...

Comments (5)

With electronic shutters the sensor may be exposed to light. Even if the sensor is not given the command to capture data it can still be affected light. That effect can be seen in the photo taken when the sensor is given the command to capture data. Will you notice the difference? I don't know..

Better designed mechanical shutters have a longer lifespan...

Comment #1

I know very little about it, but I've heard that electronic shutters can cause blooming in highlights.Cheers, Craig..

Comment #2

Hanson2120 wrote:.

I am curious why DSLRs use mechanical shutters rather than some typeof electronic shutter. As I look at different models of DSLRs, I seediffering expected shutter lifespans, 75,000 frames, 150,000 frames,etc. If the mechanical shutter is a limiting factor in the lifespanof a camera body, why is it used? Do point and shoot cameras havemechanical shutters? It seems that an electronic way of looking atthe output of the sensor for a specified amount of time would work aswell as a mechanical shutter.I started thinking of this the other night and have been curious eversince. I'm sure that there is a very good reason for this as Canon,Nikon and the other manufacturers have excellent engineers on thepayroll..

To be accurate almost all modern DSLRs have an electronically controlled mechanical focal plane shutter. The main reason for this to avoid blooming. The Nikon D50 & D70 had an electonic shutter which governed speeds up to about 1/90th but thereafter they relied on CCD gating to open and close the circuits. The result was spill of light from one photosite to the next - blooming. The upside was a flash synch speed of up top 1/500th..

Chris Elliott.

*Nikon* D Eighty + Fifty - Other equipment in Profile.

Http://PlacidoD.Zenfolio.com/..

Comment #3

Hanson2120 wrote:.

I am curious why DSLRs use mechanical shutters rather than some typeof electronic shutter. As I look at different models of DSLRs, I seediffering expected shutter lifespans, 75,000 frames, 150,000 frames,etc. If the mechanical shutter is a limiting factor in the lifespanof a camera body, why is it used?.

Being cynical, I think it's because they can sell new bodies when the shutter fails. After all, the dSLR is just a product. But mostly it is because of the many lenses that fit dSLRs. The issue is that these lenses don't have a shutter in them..

Do point and shoot cameras have mechanical shutters?.

Yes/No..."point and shoot" is a broad classification and is sorta worthless. It's more of a lifestyle choice than a descriptive term to differentate between camera types..

As ONE example, Sony took the basic sensor they made for Nikon's D2X and converted it for use in their R1. It has a good electronic means of initiating exposures, but still requires a "shutter" in the lens to END the exposure. Otherwise, the light hitting the sensor during data readout would continue to kick loose electrons and cause "blooming"..

It seems that an electronic way of looking atthe output of the sensor for a specified amount of time would work aswell as a mechanical shutter..

Yes, it does seem that way. One advantage of a global shutter is that it doesn't "roll" the image across the sensor. A "rolling" shutter causes the image of a moving subject to be tilted...mostly noticed at high shutter speeds..

I started thinking of this the other night and have been curious eversince. I'm sure that there is a very good reason for this as Canon,Nikon and the other manufacturers have excellent engineers on thepayroll..

Ignoring my cynicism, the main reason is that w/o changing the design of their lenses, dSLR manufacturers would have to compromise the IQ (blooming). To properly use a semi-electronic shutter, the lenses need to have a "blinder" (that's half of a "shutter") and this is difficult to do with SLR lenses..

In the future, we may see an "EVIL" camera which will be more like a rangefinder in that the lens will have the blinder/half-shutter and will lack the pentaprism finder penthouse. It won't actually have a classical rangefinder! I would expect that this might arrive from either the old-line European camera houses or come out of "left field" from someone unexpected (Apple?)....

Many hoped that the R1 would signal SONY's entry into the EVIL market, but the bean counters got wind of it and bought KM. That crushed all hope. .

Or perhaps we can invent an electronic way to capture those excess electrons and keep them OUT of the stored image?.

Charlie DavisNikon 5700, Sony R1, Nikon D300HomePage: http://www.1derful.infoBridge Blog: http://www.here-ugo.com/BridgeBlog/'Experience: Discovering that a claw hammer will bend nails.Epiphany: Discovering that a claw hammer is two tools...'..

Comment #4

Thanks all, for the explanations. The link and the info about blooming helped clear it up for me...

Comment #5

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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