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shutter lag is a myth (up to 100ms)?
Old 01-24-2017   #1
aizan
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shutter lag is a myth (up to 100ms)?

just heard this on npr: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/23/511267...xperience-time

the next time someone complains about shutter lag, but it's less than 100ms or so, maybe they should have stuck with it a little longer for their brain to adjust.

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BURDICK: You know, your brain - our brains do a lot of work to kind of hide what you might call reality from us. So, you know, every time you type, for instance, on a computer keyboard there's actually about a 35-millisecond delay between you pressing a key on the keypad and that letter appearing on the screen. But as far as your brain is concerned, it happens instantaneously. There's no gap. It's actually been shown that your brain can sustain about a tenth-of-a-second delay between your action and its consequence.

SIEGEL: You still think it's instantaneous.

BURDICK: You still think it's instantaneous. David Eagleman, a neuroscientist who's now at Stanford, rigged up this experiment where he had a mouse and you could move this mouse around to various spots on the screen. You'd click the mouse and it would move to the next spot. And what he did is he sort of trained you to expect a 100-millisecond delay between your click and the thing moving. And after a while, you just didn't notice it. And then he removed the 100-millisecond delay. And the weird thing is once that delay is removed, your brain is so expecting a 100-millisecond delay that it seems as though the cursor has moved before you've clicked the mouse.

SIEGEL: In effect, during that earlier clicking our brain is calibrating to make that feel like now, like instantaneous.

BURDICK: That's exactly right, yeah. And your brain is doing this calibrating all the time. And it can be fooled. And when I did it, I have to say it was funny and really eerie.
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Old 01-24-2017   #2
tunalegs
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This explains all those moments in life where it feels like you've said "oops!" before you just locked your keys in your car.
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Old 01-24-2017   #3
Richard G
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Yep. This is how it is possible to use an SLR.
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Old 01-24-2017   #4
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This means if you used the old Fuji X100 long enough and then switch to a modern DSLR, you have the perception that you took the photo before you pressed the shutter button? Cool.
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Old 01-24-2017   #5
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While that may be the case it only helps in static situations. Shutter lag is real an you can train yourself to compensate part of it but when you have to react to something that is going to happen onpredictable you cannot compensate. So yes for landscape, maybe for portraiture, no go for sport.
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Old 01-24-2017   #6
pluton
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You can easily test the lag of yourself plus the camera by photographing a digital stopwatch display. From checking a Fuji XE-1, a Nikon D800, and a Leica M9, I learned that the human part is longer than any camera tested, and, curiously, that the D800 was faster than the M9!
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Old 01-25-2017   #7
Steve M.
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NPR is my go-to source for camera technology, and I favor AOL and the Discovery channel for philosophy and their excellent French cooking recipes.

My Leica R5 had so much shutter lag that I am still waiting for its shutter to fire 6 years after selling it.
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Old 01-25-2017   #8
icebear
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If you are able to nail a shot of a moving object nearly every time you are shooting something where shutter lag is relevant, then you camera has no significant shutter lag. If nearly all of these shots show you missed it, then the camera has a significant shutter lag. Provided your finger response time is up to speed.
This is the only relevant judgement about shutter lag.
Whatever "experts" measure or tell you about their brain
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Old 01-25-2017   #9
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Regarding the 1/10s delay, you're brain may adjust, but you missed the decisive moment. In a related test, I wrote a visual-reaction program on my computer where it presented a visual cue and measured the keyboard response delay. The cue was presented at random intervals to defeat human anticipation. Delay was about 250ms, which is photographically significant for many subjects that move.
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Old 01-25-2017   #10
David Hughes
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But the brain isn't adjusting, it's ignoring...

Regards, David
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Old 01-25-2017   #11
jamesbf
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Ha thats interesting!

Why don't we take this one step further (Slightly unrelated) - I once read an article on anticipation in the streets and the idea was to set your camera to a have a 1 second delay (Or two?) If you shot every day for 2 weeks like this, I'm sure it would really help train you for the streets! Some sort of Street photography boot camp
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Old 01-25-2017   #12
mpaniagua
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Quote:
Originally Posted by David Hughes View Post
But the brain isn't adjusting, it's ignoring...

Regards, David
Yep thats how brais work. It check the info and if it think is irrelevant, it ignores it. Same with the smells, the nose can smell a lot more aromas than we are aware of, but the brain ignores a lot of it, as to no overwhelm itself from info.

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Old 01-25-2017   #13
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Interesting results. In practice I have many times gone from slow devices to faster ones, and have only found an improvement. I cannot teach myself to accept slow as fast. Perhaps this simply requires that the user thinks they are using the same device under same conditions.

Shutter lag, of course, is not a myth.
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Old 01-25-2017   #14
willie_901
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With cameras configured to employ a high-level of automation (typically digital cameras these days) it is possible to experience shutter delays much longer than 100 ms.

Operating these cameras with automation functions disabled is another story. Then the '100 ms delay' is obtainable.

Unfortunately many brands have ineffective manuals and it can be frustration to discover how to minimize shutter delay. One mis-set, non-obvious menu parameter can have a significant impact.

Typically the newest cameras have faster on-board electronics. This does reduce shutter delay. Automation algorithms run faster. The same goes for AF lenses. AF lens focus drives are much faster today compared to a few years ago. Together these newer technologies greatly reduce shutter delay even when there is a high-degree of automation at use.
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Old 01-25-2017   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by aizan View Post
just heard this on npr: http://www.npr.org/2017/01/23/511267...xperience-time

the next time someone complains about shutter lag, but it's less than 100ms or so, maybe they should have stuck with it a little longer for their brain to adjust.
Unfortunately, this is unmitigated nonsense when applied to shooting a moving subject.

Cheers,

R.
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Old 01-25-2017   #16
Mark C
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Roger Hicks View Post
Unfortunately, this is unmitigated nonsense when applied to shooting a moving subject.

Cheers,

R.
I'm sure people can adjust to some extent relatively predictable subjects, but I'd be surprised to find it was automatic and didn't require conscious effort.

The place where I started noticing shutter lag was facial expressions. My film cameras were Leica M's and Nikon SLRs. I tend to shoot unposed pictures, often people in conversation or activity. When I got my old Sony A100 I started to notice that I'd shoot a job and think I'd really nailed it, then have frame after frame of odd expressions and closed eyes. I realize you can't entirely avoid that, and I'm sure I've lost some edge, but it was just crazy that I suddenly went to an astoundingly high failure rate. Only then did I start looking into shutter lag, and found the old Sony's were about the worst in that regard. I think this was at least partly related to their old in body stabilization. I believe they are much better now, but stabilization does seem to take a toll.
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Old 01-26-2017   #17
David Hughes
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Hi,

Fully auto cameras have to do a lot, stabilise, focus, sort out exposure etc. Best to turn it all off and then fire away...

Some of the manual focus horrors are caused by fly by wire.

Regards, David
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Old 01-26-2017   #18
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The Hasselblad H series has a programmable extra mirror delay, to mitigate the barn door of the mirror slamming. From zero it goes to 25, 50,100,200 ms, I have seen 150ms quoted as the shutter lag, the shutter being in the lens is almost vibration free compared to a focal plane shutter certainly in a MF camera.
I can only tolerate adding 25ms, over that it just feels clunky and if I pick it up after the M2 it feels forever but then it's not a street shooter.
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Old 01-26-2017   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mark C View Post
I'm sure people can adjust to some extent relatively predictable subjects, but I'd be surprised to find it was automatic and didn't require conscious effort.

The place where I started noticing shutter lag was facial expressions. My film cameras were Leica M's and Nikon SLRs. I tend to shoot unposed pictures, often people in conversation or activity. When I got my old Sony A100 I started to notice that I'd shoot a job and think I'd really nailed it, then have frame after frame of odd expressions and closed eyes. I realize you can't entirely avoid that, and I'm sure I've lost some edge, but it was just crazy that I suddenly went to an astoundingly high failure rate. Only then did I start looking into shutter lag, and found the old Sony's were about the worst in that regard. I think this was at least partly related to their old in body stabilization. I believe they are much better now, but stabilization does seem to take a toll.
I am not sure what you and Roger Hicks are saying here. This adjustment to shutter lag is indeed automatic. It has to be. The nervous system of human beings of 1.8m are quite slow, much much slower than electronic devices. If you are used to a Leica M2 for photographing children and then switch to an OM2n you will get a lot more turned heads and closed eyes etc. If you shoot with the OM2n exclusively you will find it is perfectly fine for children. This applies to any subject, including moving subjects. This same anticipation which is acquired with practice is known to good baseball hitters and fielders of long hops. Batsmen at cricket make adjustments to their stroke in a time quicker than their nervous system could react to what they see in real time: they anticipate, not because that is a clever skill to acquire, but because it is the only way to make the required adjustment. Indeed, just watching cricket is interesting in this regard. I took my much younger brother to a game and he didn't see a single wicket fall. It was over before he saw it. More games sitting in the stands and he saw every one.
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Old 01-26-2017   #20
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An inelegant but effective solution is to use a mirror-less camera with a newer on-board data system and a high-speed storage card.

Current electronic shutter technology is essentially useless because they exhibit banding when modulated light sources are present (LEDs, fluorescents and some arena lighting) and often produce unpredictable spatial distortion with moving subjects.

Approximately 5 fps with a mechanical shutter is not unusual. Neither are 'unlimited' bursts of JPEGs (no buffer delay) or bursts of 30 - 40 losseless compressed raw files. Using expensive SDXC cards (UHS-I or UHS-II) significantly reduces raw buffer delay periods. These speeds assume a well-charged battery.

So except for the first frame (which will suffer from human reaction time and shutter delay) one can pick one of the many frames recorded and not miss a thing. The limits of anticipation are less significant.

Of course this is not new. Sports photographers have been doing this forever. If they didn't they'd starve to death. What is new are the technologies to minimize buffer write times (raw) or eliminate them (JPEG).

As far a shutter wear goes... don't worry about it. New technologies improve digital imaging at a rapid pace. Most of us will switch cameras before we reach the shutter mean-time-between-failure point.

Editing images is another matter altogether. You have to choose among a large number of images to find the one you would have selected if your reflexes and shutter delay were extremely fast and short respectively. This is tedious.
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