Why do we have mechanical shutters?

Started Jul 28, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Why do we have mechanical shutters?
Jul 28, 2014

I know why we used to have them, but why do we have them today? Seems to me, the sensor can start the capture and stop it whenever it wants to.  In addition, this also seems that it would allow shutter speeds faster than 1/8000s.

So what practical purpose do they serve today?  I can think of only one.  It's a protective barrier to keep the sensor clean when not in use or when changing lenses.  Aside from this, to me, it's an archaic carry-over from the film days.

I find it weird that some mirrorless cameras have mechanical shutters.  The default position for them is shutter open.  So when a picture is taken, the shutter must close, open, close and then open again...and that's for just 1 picture.  This must decrease the life expectancy of the shutter by half.

Which mirrorless cameras lack mechanical shutters?  I'd like a shutter in a mirrorless who's sole purpose was to protect the sensor when changing lenses or powered off.  At all other times, it's open...and does not close between shots.

So what do we gain by having a mechanical shutter?  Please help me understand.

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