Re: Why a mechanical shutter?

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by TheRealSteve, Sep 12, 2010.

  1. TheRealSteve

    TheRealSteve Guest

    On Sat, 11 Sep 2010 21:38:40 +0200, Alfred Molon
    <> wrote:

    >I understand that there are compact cameras with small sensors with
    >electronic shutters, so why you can't use electronic shutters with a
    >DSLR? Would allow extremely fast flash synch and would eliminate one
    >mechanical part making the camera cheaper and more reliable.


    Short answer is that a mechanical shutter allows for better light
    gathering performance for the same sensor size. More space on the
    sensor substrate can be allocated for larger light gathering pixels if
    you don't need to waste the space for the electronic shutter
    circuitry.

    Steve
    TheRealSteve, Sep 12, 2010
    #1
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  2. TheRealSteve

    TheRealSteve Guest

    On Sun, 12 Sep 2010 20:12:42 +0200, Alfred Molon
    <> wrote:

    >In article <>, TheRealSteve
    >says...
    >> Short answer is that a mechanical shutter allows for better light
    >> gathering performance for the same sensor size. More space on the
    >> sensor substrate can be allocated for larger light gathering pixels if
    >> you don't need to waste the space for the electronic shutter
    >> circuitry.

    >
    >Maybe that is not the reason. The same was claimed years ago here when
    >discussing live view sensors. But nowadays most sensors offer live view
    >and still have much better light gathering capability than years ago.


    I guess the answer is you don't get something for nothing. Live view,
    electronic shutters need extra circuitry at the pixel that takes up
    space which could otherwise be used for light gathering. An
    equivalent sensor without that stuff would have better light gathering
    performance. But it's probably a small enough difference that
    manufacturers feel it's worth it so they don't get left behind on the
    marketing sheet.

    Microlenses can help make up for the extra circuitry, though they are
    not perfectly transparent and don't perform very well as pixel sizes
    get really tiny, like less than 2um. The microlens has to be more
    agressive the more it needs to compensate for less and less areas of
    the substrate devoted to light gathering. More agressive microlenses
    may degrade off-axis performance. So even if you can compensate for
    the total overall loss in light gathering due to more non-light
    gathering circuitry on the sensor, doing so can cost you in other
    areas.

    Also, in regard to your Ken Rockwell quote, he seems to have it
    backwards. It's CMOS sensors that make it easier to have electronic
    shutters, live view, etc. Because it's easier and much cheaper to put
    the extra circuitry on a CMOS sensor than a CCD sensor.
    TheRealSteve, Sep 13, 2010
    #2
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  3. Alfred Molon <> wrote:
    > In article <>, TheRealSteve


    >> Short answer is that a mechanical shutter allows for better light
    >> gathering performance for the same sensor size. More space on the
    >> sensor substrate can be allocated for larger light gathering pixels if
    >> you don't need to waste the space for the electronic shutter
    >> circuitry.


    > Maybe that is not the reason.


    That's an interesting statement. Please supply your own
    conspiracy theory here.

    > The same was claimed years ago here when
    > discussing live view sensors.


    Live view can be done --- and is done --- with a rolling shutter
    at slow speeds. The results are usable for live view, and for
    video within limitations. OK, completely static subjects would
    be fine, too.

    > But nowadays most sensors offer live view
    > and still have much better light gathering capability than years ago.


    Does that indicate that they would not have even better light
    gathering capabilities if they hadn't live view?

    -Wolfgang
    Wolfgang Weisselberg, Sep 15, 2010
    #3
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