Photo tip #12 Shutter Lag.
Posted: 27 January 2010 .
What’s “shutter lag” you ask? Shutter lag is the time it takes the camera to fire the shutter from the time you push the shutter button. In the early days of point and shoot digital cameras this was pretty bad. Although shutter lag times have shortened considerably, I am told that it will never go away with a point and shoot, and it still annoys the heck out of people.
So the question begs, “which camera have the shortest shutter lag times?” Well you can check out this website: http://www.cameras.co.uk/html/shutter-lag-comparisons.cfm . Although I think this is useful, I am not sure how the reviewer derived his numbers. So can you trust them? If this reviewer was using a constant measuring device the answer is yes. If not, then the table is useless. But you be the judge. Further, the manufacturers are NOT posting any numbers related to shutter lag. What they do post is the time from frame to frame. Seriously folks, who cares? Let’s face it, how many of us will be using our point and shoots to do high speed photography of any sort? How often will you be shooting junior or sparky run across the play ground?
Second question, “are there ways to overcome shutter lag?” The most common advice given is to “pre-focus”. One of the reason we get shutter lag is that the camera has to focus and then fire. So if press down the button halfway then it will focus without firing. And then when you are ready you can fire, and off it goes. Now this is only somewhat useful. For the average point and shooter, we are shooting people standing still or an object standing still, so what’s the need for pre-focus? On the other hand we do often like to track junior crawling across the floor…. but that means that junior is moving right? So where ever you had pre-focused on, is gone. So play with it and see if you can make that work, but I certainly have not figured that out. Honestly I just resort to my Digital SLR, no shutter lag.
Speaking of which, a D-SLR does not generally have shutter lag. They generally can track and object and continue to focus much much better than a point and shoot