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Electronic shutter

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#1 Sylvain Girardot
Hi,
This question has probably already been discussed but I can't find it in the forum, sorry
Is there any problem with shooting a timelapse with an electronic shutter?
(I have a Sony A7rIII).
Thank you for your answers.
Sylvain
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#2 gwegner
No, it's not.
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#3 olav
Hi Sylvain

I have bought myself a used Sony A7Rii (they got really cheap when the A7Riii arrived) because of the pixelcount, but mostly because of the electronic shutter. I've heard some say that a shutter expectancy of 500 000 is more than enough for timelapse, but that amounts to about 5-6 hours of video. That would be like telling me that my new videocamera or GoPro will only last a bit longer than 5 hours and I don't think that is so good, but it may be pure psychological... ;-)

I do a lot of silly stuff with my equipment, experimenting, testing etc. but to know that I have to replace/repair my camera after 5 hours of timelapse content is not a so great i think.

There are some issues with electronic shutter regarding artificial light and wavelengths - I haven't really bothered any more than to find out that it won't affect my sunsets etc. Just google "electronic shutter vs mechanical shutter" and you will find some technical stuff on how electronic shutters can impact your photos in different ways according to different lighting, camera movement etc., but to me it seems that timelapse-type photograpy is not affected.

Olav
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#4 gwegner
5 hours of timelapse?! That's massive. If you consider that an average clip is 15 sec. and sometime takes you hours to shoot, you can do 1.200 timelapse sequences with your calculation. This will take you years.
I don't care about such numbers at all. My Nikon D750's are specified for ca. 150.000 shots and I never had to replace any shutter - and as you can guess, I do a lot of stuff including Northern Lights timelapse where I shot in intervalls of 1 sec or less.
I recommend to anyone not to care too much about wearing the shutter with timelapse.
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#5 olav
Well, I'm by no means a pro like you Gunther, and you propably know what you are doing much more than I am.

I do a lot of experimentation doing weird stuff. I reckon I shot about 30 000 Pictures this summer for timelapse, give or take a few. That's about 1 - 2 thousand a day. I Guess I'll be up on the limit a lot faster than you then.

To be fair, the number is actually higher in total since I use more camera's at the same time, as I generally use 2 - 3 timelapse rigs at the same time to get the most out of my time and efforts.

I also have a Canon 600D I bought used that went from 4000 shutter-actuations (when I bought it) to about 23 000 now. And that is over a timespan since april this year.


I think it Depends on how you use it. I certainly produce a lot of timelapses that are never ment to be shown Public, but are ment as a Learning/experimentation tool - but when I do this, I don't want to Count shutterlife. :-) So for me, Electronic shutter actually makes a difference.

But I agree With you that for the majority of users, or the occasional timelapser, the shutterlife propably won't matter.

Olav
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#6 gwegner
Any pro will be shooting lots of actuations. Most of them use DSLR. Any shutter that gets used will last longer then one that lies on the shelf. And DSLM introduce other problems, that DLSR don't have, for example battery consumption.
I can only recommend people not to care too much of their shutter lives, 99.9% of all timelapse shooters will never crash a shutter because of excessive timelapse shooting.
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#7 Kers
I have an d850 with an electronic shutter and a normal one...
The electronic shutter has advantages; no wear of the shutter/ no sound.
battery consumption is a bit more than the regiular shutter but not much more.
One extra benefit- the aperture stays closed without movement during the period.
Warning: shooting in the sun might ruin the sensor with electronic shutter- it may burn in deeply because it is open alle the time.
I can do a minimum interval of .5 sec with the normal shutter and 1 second with the electronic one...

cheers Pieter Kers


PS Gunther- would like to know how many photos you have made! totally with this camera.
it is in the exif...
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#8 olav
Hei Kers

Thanks for the input. It looks as we may hijack this thread somewhat, but some may find this interesting to read anyway.

Regarding sunburn and open shutter; I consider that a non-issue. Firstly, you really need a telephoto-lens pointing directly at the sun with long exposure times (>10+ secs) wide open (f2.8 - f4).

Normally I shoot my timelapses with a wideangle/fisheye and underexpose so I don't get blown out highlights as sensors usually are more forgiving in the shadows. I'm pretty sure I won't have to worry about sun-burning my sensor with electronic shutters. The shutter is anyway always open on mirrorless cameras and only closes when taking a picture. Some have electronic first curtain and some have mechanical ones for both. But when using the viewfinder and preparing the shot or inbetween exposures, the sensor is always exposed on mirrorless cameras.

Regarding what you say about the aperture staying it won't vary with Nikon using electronic shutter is interesting. Normally, on a Canon you'd do the "canon-twist-trick" with the lens or on a Sony with a Canon electronic adapter (i.e. Metabones). Maybe Nikon has something smart there because the Sony or the Canon does small changes in aperture from full to specified during each shot unless doing "the twist-trick".

On a side-note: I have a Panasonic GH2 that lasted about 85 000 clicks before it died (can still shoot video - so I still have it) and I also have a Nikon D80 that lasted for about 92 000 shots until it died. The Nikon sadly won't do any video though so I could replace the shutter or get rid of it. Replacing the shutter on a D80 doesn't make any sense, so I have it on the shelf for nostalgy.

Another thought about using electronic shutter is about selling your used camera. It's much easier to sell a camera that has like 4000 shutter actuations opposed to one that has 150 000 actuations. I bought a used Canon 5D mkII very cheap a couple of years ago excactly because it already had 90 000 actuations and is rated for 150 000.

Everybody can of course decide for themselfs, but electronic shutter is a must-have for me with timelapses. :-)
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#9 stefgodin
Hi guys, I shoot time-lapses 8K now with A canon 5DSR (in the past with 6D, 1dsMK3 and 1Dx for 4K ) but I want to use another body. I hesitate between Nikon D850 or Sony A7RIII. Both have electronic shutter that's right ? When you use electric shutter, the number of shoots don't increase in the body shutter count ? Is there a difference of exposure precision between electronic or mechanical shutter ? Thanks !

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