Reason for slow flash sync speed

Started 4 months ago | Discussions
Schwaeble
Regular MemberPosts: 265
Like?
Reason for slow flash sync speed
4 months ago

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

SQLGuy
Senior MemberPosts: 2,593Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to Schwaeble, 4 months ago

Schwaeble wrote:

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

Since the newest announced E-mount camera is the A6000, and is not a top line E-mount camera, I'm guessing that Sony holds back a few things.

The A7 is also E-mount, is higher placed than the A6000, and has 1/250th max synch speed.

Most mirrorless cameras, including all E-mounts, have shutters, and those shutters still need to be fully open for X-sync. It's not the mirror that's responsible for limits on max X-sync, it's how quickly the shutter can open (if it's not a EFCS) and close.

-- hide signature --

A7 with kit lens and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

 SQLGuy's gear list:SQLGuy's gear list
Canon PowerShot G9 Nikon D200 A3000 Sony Alpha 7 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
john-photoguy
Regular MemberPosts: 446Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to SQLGuy, 4 months ago

I sure wish it was higher,  and it could be, My Old Nikon FM2 has 1/250 with fully mechanical shutter.  Nikon D70 is set at 1/500!

I suspect it is a compromise between size, speed, and longevity.  Ligher faster shutters must not last as long as slower more stout pieces.  But it is only speculation

-- hide signature --

Let just all take more photographs!

 john-photoguy's gear list:john-photoguy's gear list
Nikon D200 Nikon D5000 Nikon D300S Sony Alpha NEX-3 Sony Alpha 7 +19 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Schwaeble
Regular MemberPosts: 265
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to SQLGuy, 4 months ago

I think I understand what you are saying, but, well, 1/160 s these days seems a pretty lowly sync speed (available in the least expensive Nex camera) and could be improved with the shutter and presumably this would be easier (cheaper) to do in APS-C  than in FF.

But that and the reasons why Sony may choose to not do so aside, isn't the trick to really high sync speeds (north of 1/500s) to flash multiple short bursts with a dedicated flash that each light the traveling shutter slit (at high speed) and that in their accumulation give the effect of correctly exposing the full sensor with a really high shutter speed and flash? So, maybe there are real or marketing reasons to not upgrade the shutter. But, what in this day and age is the reason that an electronic marvel like an a6000 which seems to have a seemingly real system flash hotshoe won't be offered with such capability at least in conjunction with a very pricey dedicated flash unit?

Or is there such capability?

After all, for people who really do not care to carry FF lenses and cameras anymore the a6000 seems positioned as the flagship system camera that Sony will be offering.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
symbology
Regular MemberPosts: 221
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to Schwaeble, 4 months ago

Schwaeble wrote:

I think I understand what you are saying, but, well, 1/160 s these days seems a pretty lowly sync speed (available in the least expensive Nex camera) and could be improved with the shutter and presumably this would be easier (cheaper) to do in APS-C than in FF.

But that and the reasons why Sony may choose to not do so aside, isn't the trick to really high sync speeds (north of 1/500s) to flash multiple short bursts with a dedicated flash that each light the traveling shutter slit (at high speed) and that in their accumulation give the effect of correctly exposing the full sensor with a really high shutter speed and flash? So, maybe there are real or marketing reasons to not upgrade the shutter. But, what in this day and age is the reason that an electronic marvel like an a6000 which seems to have a seemingly real system flash hotshoe won't be offered with such capability at least in conjunction with a very pricey dedicated flash unit?

Or is there such capability?

After all, for people who really do not care to carry FF lenses and cameras anymore the a6000 seems positioned as the flagship system camera that Sony will be offering.

Sorry, but it is kind of hard to follow your post.  I hope the below info helps.

I am sure that the Sony / Minolta flashes that support HSS will sync up to the max shutter speed of 1/4000 sec.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
exdeejjjaaaa
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,683Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to Schwaeble, 4 months ago

Schwaeble wrote:

But that and the reasons why Sony may choose to not do so aside, isn't the trick to really high sync speeds (north of 1/500s) to flash multiple short bursts with a dedicated flash that each light the traveling shutter slit (at high speed) and that in their accumulation give the effect of correctly exposing the full sensor with a really high shutter speed and flash?

it is, but HSS/FP offers much lower total light vesus just the one long flash impulse within x-sync timeframe with both shutter blades open to expose the whole sensor... so the camera can have both low spec x-sync (1/160) and HSS/FP at the same time... no contradictions...

 exdeejjjaaaa's gear list:exdeejjjaaaa's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Sony Alpha 7 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +20 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
viking79
Forum ProPosts: 13,130Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to Schwaeble, 4 months ago

Focal plane shutters can only sync at 1/160 to 1/250th or so. This is a limitation of that type of shutter, which all DSLR and mirrorless cameras use (even if they use electronic first curtain shutters they are still limited by mechanical rear curtain).  I believe the higher the sync speed the faster the curtain has to move, which will likely lead to more vibration.

Some older cameras using global electronic shutters, which we lost when we went to CMOS from CCD, can sync much faster. Like Nikon D1x and D70s.

Leaf shutter cameras can usually sync at max shutter speed, so if you really need that sort of sync speed you would have to go with a point and shoot or something. A fuji X20 can sync up to 1/2000 or maybe even 1/4000 I think.

Eric

 viking79's gear list:viking79's gear list
Sony Alpha 7R Samsung NX30 Samsung NX 30mm F2 Pancake Samsung NX 85mm F1.4 ED SSA Samsung NX 60mm F2.8 Macro ED OIS SSA +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dotborg
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,392
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to Schwaeble, 4 months ago

Schwaeble wrote:

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

The A7(r) cameras are very light. Due to the sensor size, the shutter is quite large and has a lot of mass relative to say a micro four-thirds shutter. Moving the shutter fast enough to get 1/250s sync speed would multiply the shutter vibration issues that people are already complaining about.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
blue_skies
Senior MemberPosts: 6,734Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to Schwaeble, 4 months ago

Schwaeble wrote:

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

I think that some already said it, but the answer is, read this article, it has good illustrations:

Lol - dpreview loses the animation - go to the article to see the animation of the images below.

The slow sync speed max is the slowest shutter speed that fully opens to shutter. That is, one curtain has moved fully, and the second one has not started to move yet.

The A7 is faster as it does not have the first curtain (EFC on) active.

slow sync - the sensor must be fully exposed for the flash sync

The high sync speed max is usually the max shutter speed. The shutter and flash are highly synchronized and as the two curtains are 'chasing' each other, the image will be flashed in 'slits'. The flash turns into a strobe that follows the curtains as they are moving.

high speed sync

high speed sync for faster shutter speeds (slits is smaller, needs more strobes)

-- hide signature --

Cheers,
Henry

 blue_skies's gear list:blue_skies's gear list
Canon PowerShot S95 Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony Alpha 7 Sony a6000 +30 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SQLGuy
Senior MemberPosts: 2,593Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to dotborg, 4 months ago

dotborg wrote:

Schwaeble wrote:

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

The A7(r) cameras are very light. Due to the sensor size, the shutter is quite large and has a lot of mass relative to say a micro four-thirds shutter. Moving the shutter fast enough to get 1/250s sync speed would multiply the shutter vibration issues that people are already complaining about.

The A7 does do 1/250th X-Sync. That's one of the differences between it and the A7R (1/160th). Another, probably-related, difference between the two is that the A7 has EFCS and the A7R does not.

-- hide signature --

A7 with kit lens and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

 SQLGuy's gear list:SQLGuy's gear list
Canon PowerShot G9 Nikon D200 A3000 Sony Alpha 7 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
RonFrank
Senior MemberPosts: 1,472Gear list
Like?
So... use a high speed sync flash.
In reply to Schwaeble, 4 months ago

If using the flash at beyond the sync speed is a requirement there is high speed sync mode.

This may not provide a full strength flash but will provide flash with sync speeds up to 1/4000.  Sony flash has this option but others do as well like the Metz 52 AF dedicated to Sony.

IMO the Metz is the best flash going currently.

 RonFrank's gear list:RonFrank's gear list
Nikon D1X Nikon D200 Nikon D300S Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 18-200mm f/3.5-5.6G IF-ED VR Nikon AF-S Nikkor 300mm f/4D ED-IF +5 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
exdeejjjaaaa
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,683Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to viking79, 4 months ago

viking79 wrote:

Focal plane shutters can only sync at 1/160 to 1/250th or so.

it depends on the sensor size too... with manual (non TTL flash - so not time lost on anything) my E-M1 can xsync @ 1/400

 exdeejjjaaaa's gear list:exdeejjjaaaa's gear list
Olympus E-M1 Sony Alpha 7 Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica DG Macro-Elmarit 45mm F2.8 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G 14mm F2.5 ASPH +20 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dotborg
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,392
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to SQLGuy, 4 months ago

SQLGuy wrote:

dotborg wrote:

Schwaeble wrote:

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

The A7(r) cameras are very light. Due to the sensor size, the shutter is quite large and has a lot of mass relative to say a micro four-thirds shutter. Moving the shutter fast enough to get 1/250s sync speed would multiply the shutter vibration issues that people are already complaining about.

The A7 does do 1/250th X-Sync. That's one of the differences between it and the A7R (1/160th). Another, probably-related, difference between the two is that the A7 has EFCS and the A7R does not.

The A7 has 1/250s sync because it has electronic first curtain. It also has bigger pixels, which helps mask shutter shock.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dotborg
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,392
Like?
Re: So... use a high speed sync flash.
In reply to RonFrank, 4 months ago

RonFrank wrote:

If using the flash at beyond the sync speed is a requirement there is high speed sync mode.

This may not provide a full strength flash but will provide flash with sync speeds up to 1/4000. Sony flash has this option but others do as well like the Metz 52 AF dedicated to Sony.

IMO the Metz is the best flash going currently.

Is high-speed sync available on the A7(r)?

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
SQLGuy
Senior MemberPosts: 2,593Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to dotborg, 4 months ago

dotborg wrote:

SQLGuy wrote:

dotborg wrote:

Schwaeble wrote:

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

The A7(r) cameras are very light. Due to the sensor size, the shutter is quite large and has a lot of mass relative to say a micro four-thirds shutter. Moving the shutter fast enough to get 1/250s sync speed would multiply the shutter vibration issues that people are already complaining about.

The A7 does do 1/250th X-Sync. That's one of the differences between it and the A7R (1/160th). Another, probably-related, difference between the two is that the A7 has EFCS and the A7R does not.

The A7 has 1/250s sync because it has electronic first curtain. It also has bigger pixels, which helps mask shutter shock.

That's an interesting theory, but it doesn't hold water. The A7 can still sync at 1/250th with EFCS disabled. I just verified it.

-- hide signature --

A7 with kit lens and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

 SQLGuy's gear list:SQLGuy's gear list
Canon PowerShot G9 Nikon D200 A3000 Sony Alpha 7 Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 35mm f/1.8G
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
dotborg
Veteran MemberPosts: 7,392
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to SQLGuy, 4 months ago

SQLGuy wrote:

dotborg wrote:

SQLGuy wrote:

dotborg wrote:

Schwaeble wrote:

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

The A7(r) cameras are very light. Due to the sensor size, the shutter is quite large and has a lot of mass relative to say a micro four-thirds shutter. Moving the shutter fast enough to get 1/250s sync speed would multiply the shutter vibration issues that people are already complaining about.

The A7 does do 1/250th X-Sync. That's one of the differences between it and the A7R (1/160th). Another, probably-related, difference between the two is that the A7 has EFCS and the A7R does not.

The A7 has 1/250s sync because it has electronic first curtain. It also has bigger pixels, which helps mask shutter shock.

That's an interesting theory, but it doesn't hold water. The A7 can still sync at 1/250th with EFCS disabled. I just verified it.

And you'll get a lot more shutter vibration with it disabled but you probably won't notice too much more than the A7r due to the larger pixels.

Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
GaryW
Veteran MemberPosts: 6,772Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to symbology, 4 months ago

symbology wrote:

Schwaeble wrote:...

But, what in this day and age is the reason that an electronic marvel like an a6000 which seems to have a seemingly real system flash hotshoe won't be offered with such capability at least in conjunction with a very pricey dedicated flash unit?...

Sorry, but it is kind of hard to follow your post. I hope the below info helps.

I am sure that the Sony / Minolta flashes that support HSS will sync up to the max shutter speed of 1/4000 sec.

I tested my Nex-6, and with HSS (and Sony external flash), I was able to use 1/4000.  I did a quick toss of my shoe in the air and it froze the action -- no motion blur.

I mentioned this in another thread where there was complaining about the 1/160 speed, but I didn't see any responses to why HSS wouldn't be what was desired.

HSS probably will only work with compatible flash units, not generic ones.

-- hide signature --

Gary W.

 GaryW's gear list:GaryW's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-6 Sony E 16-50mm F3.5-5.6 PZ OSS Sony Cyber-shot DSC-V3 Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX5 Sony Alpha DSLR-A100 +10 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Andy Dan
Regular MemberPosts: 111Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to Schwaeble, 4 months ago

The Olympus E-M1 has 1/320 sync speed, so mirrorless cameras can do that...

 Andy Dan's gear list:Andy Dan's gear list
Canon EOS 6D Canon EF 100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM Canon EF 24-70mm f/4L IS USM +4 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
abortabort
Contributing MemberPosts: 874Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to Andy Dan, 4 months ago

The Olympus E-M1 has 1/320 sync speed, so mirrorless cameras can do that...

Also has literally half the distance to travel, so there is potentially twice the maximum amount of time the whole sensor can be exposed for. It has nothing to do with 'being mirrorless' and everything to do with using focal plane shutters (which incidentally are made by only a couple of companies, they are not made by Sony at all).

 abortabort's gear list:abortabort's gear list
Sony RX100 Ricoh GR Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX10 Konica Minolta Maxxum 7D Sony Alpha DSLR-A850 +32 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Beaverhelmet
Contributing MemberPosts: 561Gear list
Like?
Re: Reason for slow flash sync speed
In reply to SQLGuy, 4 months ago

SQLGuy wrote:

dotborg wrote:

SQLGuy wrote:

dotborg wrote:

Schwaeble wrote:

Does anyone know what the reason may be that even the newest announced e-mount camera's flash sync speed is only 1/160 s?
Is it not possible to improve upon that with a mirror less camera for some reason or do just too few customers care for it to be faster?

The A7(r) cameras are very light. Due to the sensor size, the shutter is quite large and has a lot of mass relative to say a micro four-thirds shutter. Moving the shutter fast enough to get 1/250s sync speed would multiply the shutter vibration issues that people are already complaining about.

The A7 does do 1/250th X-Sync. That's one of the differences between it and the A7R (1/160th). Another, probably-related, difference between the two is that the A7 has EFCS and the A7R does not.

The A7 has 1/250s sync because it has electronic first curtain. It also has bigger pixels, which helps mask shutter shock.

That's an interesting theory, but it doesn't hold water. The A7 can still sync at 1/250th with EFCS disabled. I just verified it.

-- hide signature --

A7 with kit lens and a number of legacy lenses (mostly Canon FD)

And the EFCS lacking A7R actually does flash sync perfectly in 1/200s. Tiny black shading visible in top of the frame at 1/250s. At least mine does.

 Beaverhelmet's gear list:Beaverhelmet's gear list
Sony Alpha NEX-5N Sony Alpha NEX-7 Sony SLT-A77 Sony Alpha 7R Sony Cyber-shot DSC-F707 +6 more
Reply   Reply with quote   Complain
Keyboard shortcuts:
FForum MMy threads