Skip to comments.Vanity, digital cameras
Posted on 05/19/2011 1:01:38 PM PDT by R. Scott
I'm looking for a digital camera with no delay between shutter click and capture. Most have a 1-2 second delay. My grand daughter is into acrobatics and my daughter wants to take good pictures. Any help is welcome.
Go into the menu and turn off the sound. You’ll be surprised how much it cuts back on the shutter lag.
You’re going to want something fairly decent for indoor action shots. Definitely go with an SLR.
Get a digital SLR rather than a point and click digital camera. Learn how to use the menu settings and set it for action shots.
There is virtually no lag if the camera is used properly which is different from the old film cameras.
Old file cameras took their picture as soon as the shutter button was depressed with only the servo-mechanical connection lag of 1/100ths of a second. At partial depression of the shutter button, they did a meter reading.
What is slowing your daughter down is that the digital camera focuses and sets its meters at half depression of the button and then she lets off the button and reclicks it when she wants that momentary shot. Have her practice with keeping the button half depressed and finishing the push at the moment she wants to capture the action. The lag will virually dissappear.
Perhaps, as mentioned above, the artificial sound generated to mimic shutter mechanical sounds plays a part, but the issue I suggest is the real crux of her problem.
“no shutter delay” on google turns up some interesting hits (without the ‘no’ you’ll get another set of good hits.)
How much can you spend? An entry level DSLR doesn’t cost much more than a point and shoot but will be far more capable.
ping for gymnastics camera
My child recently participated in a track meet; I set my Nikon 5000 to take multiple shots with each push of the shutter button. 3-4 frames per second.
The time between pictures is also controled by the time set by the camera for a post-shot display of the picture taken. Cut that down to its minimum or none and the camera will have little delay between shots.
A DSLR is really the way to go for your application.
Add in a decent lens that will work well indoors and you’re going to decide it’s not worth the money.
Point and shoot cameras don’t auto focus or meter very fast so you’re kind of stuck there. Did you try holding the button down on your current camera halfway? Once you do, it finishes focus/meter and then there’s very little lag for the shutter. It’s just hard to do consistently.
Could be the flash winding up. Wonder if there is a difference when the flash is not used or turned off?
Canon EOS Rebel
(FWIW - I refuse to buy any Canon product because in Texas, Canon discriminated against Texas CHL [concealed handgun license] holders -- and/or against employees who even APPLIED for a CHL -- until the legislature made the CHL database private information not available for snoopers to go pull and publish lists of CHL holders' information.)
Hope you weren’t looking for a point and shoot. What you’re demanding absolutely necessitates a DSLR, and not the lowest end model from any manufacturer. I normally recomend the Nikon D3000 for those looking to take the plunge into a DSLR, but honestly, no one who is intent on taking action pictures is going to be happy with a $600 camera. That caveat goes double since she’s trying to take action shots indoors. It’s going to take a good body with good glass to fit that bill.
Sorry man, but those are horrible choices for action photography. Just not enough camera.
“The lag will virually dissappear.”
Not enough for action photography. She needs a camera specifically made for action photography.
The newer ones have articulated lcd's and video which is very good. I'd look at Canon first, the Rebel models are cheaper and excellent. I was looking at a Canon 500D myself but decided to wait, had almost all the features of the full dslr series plus video.
The Canon 40D was a really nice model, too, and should be a lot cheaper now, but it doesn't have video or an articulated lcd, does have a large, bright lcd.
The lens you choose is just as important as the camera. If you can afford it, choose one from the L series that has good zoom capabilities and just buy the body.
Nikons are very good, too, just that when I got mine, Canon had a better choice of lenses that were cheaper. But they take great photos in the right hands. Amazon is an authorized Canon dealer, and you can catch them on good price days. Stay away from iffy places. b&h photovideo is reputable. Buying on the internet will save you on sales tax unless you live in a state that collects them, and local camera shops will probably not offer any discounts.
I would suggest getting a decent Canon off Craigslist for $50 - $100, and install CHDK (Canon Hackers Development Kit) on it.
It will give you all the features of a high-end Canon, including shutter without the price.
I use it on a $25 A530 for time-lapse. It works great.
(PS - Canon picture quality is as good as it gets.)
Exactly. For action, I wouldn’t go any lower that a Nikon D90, or a Canon EOS 50D.
Don’t rely on me. (I’d recommend a Sony DSLR, which is really a Minolta.) I rely on published lab tests for recommendations, never on the guy on the next bar stool.
I agree but it depends on how sophisticated a photographer she is and how willing she is to expand into fast lenses (f-2.8 or better), etc.
For the casual photographer who is trying to get by with a “point and shoot” fixed-focus type camera, these lower end DSLR models are such a leap forward as to be amazing.
I am able to do quite a bit with my D50, though I have not plunked down the $1800 to $2000 to get a good f-2.8 200mm zoom lense necessary for shooting good action shots for evening sports events or indoors.
Check your camera to see if it has a burst mode where it will take several photographs in rapid succession.
If these events are all indoors, she’s going to have be concerned with more than just getting a fast enough camera. She needs professional advice getting a fast camera shutter, a fast lens, a fast flash system, and she also needs to do some testing to look at the trade-off between a fast ISO setting and resolution, plus the trade-off between a fast lens and depth of field.
Good cameras but I’m sold on Sony. I can use all the great Minolta lenses back to 1985.
One tip for point and shoot cameras. Most of that lag you are seeing is probably the camera checking and setting focus and aperture. You can preset that by half depressing and holding the button. Then when your daughter is midair, complete the button press. Even a slow digital camera will complete the shot almost instantly.
I have the D90. Using a fast lens in bright sunlight, it is still not fast enough for action photos. Try photographing hummingbirds and you’ll see what I mean. Those birds can hear you press the shutter and are gone before the shutter even opens. I have hundreds of pictures of hummingbird butts.
Define little. The hands on difference between a low end DSLR that struggles to do 3 shots a second and a midgrade DSLR that can do 6 is amazing. A point and shoot? It's all marketing. In the real world you might as well measure it in shots per minute once you toss out the poorly metered or focused shots.
And these are consumer grade cameras. If your shots really matter, ie you expect more shots to be usable than not, nothing shy of a $2500 DSLR is going to cut it. If you're actually getting paid for it and you REALLY have to depend on the camera to deliver, $5k and up. Action photography is more challenging than non-photographers can imagine, and folks get in over their heads easily with cheap equipment and just give up. It's the number 1 hobby killer for photography.
I have a Sony 12+ mega-pixel DSLR that does a 7 second burst of pictures with almost no delay. Go on dealnews.com every day and scroll down to the camera section. You’ll find a lot of great deals there.
When I need to take action shots, I use the video on the camera, then use Picasa to view it. There is a “take snapshot” button you can use to grab pics from the video. I mostly use video now rather than try to get the timing and focus right quickly. With video, it is already focused.
I will agree that a proper DSLR is the answer, but the issue of how to properly use the shutter button on any digital camera is still something to master.
Getting a more sophisticated camera is only the answer if the cost, complexity and the user willingness to learn is factored in.
I have some variety of point and shoot digitals, but when I am serious I drag out my Nikon D90 and one of the its lens suited to the task. A Nikon D3100 with the kit zoom lens will set them back about $600.00 and a D5100 about $900.
But there are people that just find the tool too complex and if they learn the proper tricks to best use the tool that they are already comfortable with that often solves the problem.
...is for all practical purposes an SLR. What you see on the screen is exactly what the picture is going to look like.
It’s rough shooting action at night or indoors. I have a good f-1.8 prime but being a prime, it’s not great for action.
I had the opportunity to use a real action camera recently, the Nikon D3s. Even the difference between the s model (made for action) and my D3 is amazing. I’m really of the opinion that indoor action is at minimum pushing thousand dollar mark.
Listen to what they're saying about indoor shots. You need a very fast lens to stop action. I have a lens with f2.8 and can use it indoors with no flash, available lighting, kids playing, older people dancing. it's a 24-70 2.8L with no IS. You can always use the popup flash but then there are other problems. I have one that slides in the flash shoe on top; to use those you have to plan ahead, can't just grab a shot. Even better is a bracket that elevates your flash. You will see professionals using them at weddings, and they use a lot more expensive cameras called full frame, not for beginners.
It took me awhile to learn all this, and I know you won't know what a lot of this "camera talk" means. I won a prize on the pelican shot.
“Even a slow digital camera will complete the shot almost instantly.”
No. There are huge differences among cameras. You can turn off the autofocus and the autoexposure and the camera shutter lag will still be the limiting factor. Action photographers require cameras designed with exceptionally fast circuitry. This is why sports photographers don’t take pictures with a cheap point-and-shoot camera. You have to have the right tool for the job.
You’re probably right. I have a D3, and I don’t consider it to be a true action camera. I’ve used (but not owned) a couple of really good mission specific action oriented cameras, and if you’re shooting hummingbirds you’re just about guaranteed to need one.
Btw, maybe you should just go avant guarde and rent some gallery space for a one man show of hummingbird butts. You might get rich over night.
It is for no purposes a DSLR or comparable in any way.
I agree that artificial shutter sounds are killers to bird shots.
Fast focus can help and a Nikon AF-S 70-300mm f/4.5-5.6 VR ($520) has faster focus for action shots and will be a telephoto equivelant to a 450mm on a 35 mm camera. Many women will find a long telephoto on a 35mm all too heavy and cumbersome if they didn’t grow up shooting a 35mm — I know my wife (super intelligent — but little time or patience for electronics) doesn’t care for my Nikon even though she used an old Canon back in the film days.
I second the CHDK Idea, but you have to get a Cannon camera that is at least Digic II and is supported (they have a list of supported cameras and working options for each). The 520 is decent enough, but all of the DSLRs are much better. To each their own I guess, but at least CHDK and a cheap camera won’t break the bank. I’ve gotten plenty of good action shots on a lesser model Cannon point and shoot camera (mostly by anticipating, timing and some luck) - I’ve also missed a lot of them as well.
List for the low end cameras. Most of these are in the 300 to 500 msec range. That’s pretty slow. Lots of differences even for a given brand. You have to shop by model.
You won the prize for the wrong photo. The bird is nice, but the dancers is a much better shot. I’m digging the nice bokeh. It really makes your subjects stand out.
Another vote for a non-cheap DSLR. Nikon DX40 serves me well, no noticeable lag. Point-and-shoot pocket camera won’t cut it.
So you can tell the difference between a photo shot with a DSLR and point-and-shoot?
Other than be reading the metadata, I mean?
I looked long and hard at them all, took me a year and a half to take the plunge. I almost went with Minolta, and was impressed with Sony, but one model that year had serious problems.
In the end, I was torn between Canon and Nikon, and went Canon. I have a pro friend who used a Fuji dslr which Nikon lenses will fit on. Jaw dropping shots. Fuji's are known for great color and skin tones.
They all have their strengths and weaknesses. The pros I've watched shoot with Canon full frame.
The Canon Rebel EOS line. I have one. That’s why the ads show them shooting a tennis player in action. In sports mode, if you hold the shutter button it takes bursts of snaps at three per second. The first one is almost immediate. Be careful: you have to buy memory separately. For about $30 bucks I got a memory card that can hold about 2000 medium resolution (2MByte) exposures.
I think (but I am not sure) that you really do need an SLR to get a fast camera, otherwise it has to recover from the charge left in the sensor array from the display image.
BTW, the Cannon EOS line (and I got the bottom of the line) has really good color depth, wonderful lenses and all round good optics and performance. I took pictures of jack-o-lanterns on Halloween and you could see more background detail in pictures than with the naked eye. It works fine in auto mode, but the advanced modes allow to do a lot more by trading exposure time for depth of field, that sort of thing. It also allows access to the raw pixels if you want to do things like integrating (piling up) successive exposures or fancy signal processing. (Otherwise it saves the pictures as JPEGS which are highly compressed.)
A really fine instrument.
As a father of 3 competitive gymnasts I have had the same problems. What I found was the Sony Cyber-shot is an excellent camera for this type of photography. I have the DSC-HX1 and for the last two seasons have been getting some fantastic still shots. It also will take HD video which is so good that I’ve been able to pull stills from the video feed. It has a sports setting that allows for ease of use, or you can actually set the exposure, aperture, and shutter speed for the more adept camera user.
The best part is that I can set it for different high speed shot settings. It has a mechanical shutter so there is no delay and I can set it to take as much as 10 shots per second. I’ve found that a 3 shot per second burst is just right for gymnastics though.
Hope this is helpful.
You’ll notice the lag if you step up. Your camera has around 100ms shutter lag. Better than a point and shoot, but it’s there. Mine has about 37ms shutter lag, and you’ll never notice it unless you use a camera that has about half of that, and they exist. I did, and now I kinda hate my camera. Well not really, but it was humbling.
Hope you can chime back in and give us some more specifics as we are now down to bickering about what one factor is the most important when its obvious the we need some direction as to whether a tool change or technique change is the item she should try first.
Many issues make up how action shots are captured. From the comments you can see that electronic generation of the “click sound” is a factor, the camera focusing and setting exposure is an issue that impacts ten fold if the shutter isn’t kept partially depressed and even when it it the digital cameras all take signifigant fractions of a second to actaully open the shutter.
To top all that off, a bright gym for gymnastics is still indoor and at a distance and in a setting where flash won’t reach and will distract so light gathering and ASA setting for exposure needed to “stop action” is a major factor.
Does she want to spend money for better shots or is she looking to first improve what she has? If the later look at all the shutter usage issues and all the related camera setting (like high ASA) for fastest shutter settings her camera will accomplish.
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