G11 shutter delay

Started Aug 20, 2009 | Discussions
mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,643
Re: G11 shutter delay

Jere Landis wrote:

Will the shutter delay be less with the G11?

That's a good question. Shutter lags of recent Canon G-series have been typically Canon with 0.5-0.7 sec full autofocus shutter lags and 0.07 prefocus shutter lag. What has been unusual is that with flash, an additional 0.3 sec is tacked on. Other Canons don't have this trait and I've often wondered why just the G-series.

This added 0.3 sec iis discussed in the footnote of the performance page of the G9 and G10 dpreviews. For the G7 it was even higher at 0.5 seconds. I can definitely see this added delay when I checked out these G-series cameras in the store. There is definitely a difference with and without flash.

So the question is, "What about the G11 shutter lag with flash"?

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,643
Ignore the strike outs in my post above

It is an error.

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William Ing Contributing Member • Posts: 628
clarifying shutter lag phenomenon

This is addressed to comeon, and other posters like him, who state that shutter lag simply does not exist on the Canon G-series cameras, or that if it does, there are always simple workarounds to minimize the problem. He wrote:

shutter lag that is noticable is a myth to me ..just point pull the trigger done ..or half press to focus pull the trigger done ..how fast to you want ..1 nano second or something
..shutter lag i dont get ...

For the benefit of people like comeon, who just don't get what we're talking about, I think I need to clarify a few things I mentioned in my earlier post (#4 on this thread, I believe).

1. I took pains to explain that, in all cases, I was referring to PRE-FOCUSED shutter lag, i.e., where the photographer half presses down on the shutter release to focus and set exposure, then presses down past the first detent to release the shutter and capture the image. I was NOT even considering the still greater shutter delay one would confront by trying to focus and release the shutter in one continuous motion.

2. It is still my contention (supported by several knowledgeable G-series shooters elsewhere on this thread), that you can pre-focus a G-10, or switch it to manual focus mode, or switch to shutter priority or full manual exposure or whatever you wish, and you will STILL encounter sufficient shutter lag to make it difficult to time your shutter release so as to properly capture even moderately fast action, like the gentle toss of a ball, or the swing of a bat, or the highest point of a dancer's leap.

3. Everything I just said in item #2 applies equally to the Panasonic LX3, which I own and use constantly. Yes, you can lessen shutter lag times if you know some of the tricks, but it's can still be somewhat frustrating to attempt street photography on my LX3.

4. Note also that when I call for improved shutter lag time, I am NOT referring to capturing fast-breaking sports action, which can be demanding even on a DSLR with a 5 or 6 frame-per-second motor drive. I'm certainly not asking Canon or Panasonic to design a serious prosumer compact camera that can capture a ball coming off a tennis racket, or a soccer ball flying past the outstretched fingers of a goalie in full horizontal leap.

5. Also, please note that I'm NOT discussing shutter lag times when using the camera's onboard flash, an operational mode that introduces its own set of problems. What I am advocating are NON-FLASH, PREFOCUS shutter lag times that at least approach those of an entry-level DSLR like the discontinued Canon Rebel XTi which I still use with confidence to capture wideangle shots of activities as varied as parades and ballroom dancing, to give just two examples of moderately fast-moving and unpredictable subject matter that frustrate me when pursued with my LX3.

6. If you use your G10 or LX3 to pursue landscapes and sunsets, macro shots of flowers or plants, still life compositions or posed portraits, I wouldn't expect you to be at all concerned with any of the points I make here.

RickS Veteran Member • Posts: 4,579
The answer is simple...

Hi Art,

It's simple to explain don't you think? All these whiners with their wish lists are not photographers, they're gadget collectors. The only familiarity they have with photography lies within their own little microcosm of snap shooting so they have no clue what the varied needs of real photographers are.

I'm with you that the poor delays we experience with contrast focus based P&S cameras is the biggest problem for spontaneous shooting. I have been thwarted on numerous occasions because the P&S I had with me couldn't get focused fast enough. Often this is due to the desired subject detail being mixed with other detail at different field depths. It's a frequent and common problem.

I have "lobbied" hard (well, voiced an opinion) to get manufacturers to include a hyperfocal mode, even as a scene mode, with a fixed focus point and focal ratio in hopes for a snappier response. No such thing, yet, except for maybe some Ricoh models.

Anyway, there may be a bit of light at the end of the tunnel with Panasonic's G1/GH1 cameras and their snappy contrast focusing. It just takes more horsepower.

Rick

guy in indiana wrote:

right, there is always shutter lag, even with everything all manual, even with a half depressed shutter. if you shoot pedestrians, you might not notice it. i had a 1970's all manual basic film slr for 30 years, and the G series is better in every way, except focusing and shutter lag. which are so basic it also astounds me that people want arcane wishlist stuff .

guy

lxcellent Contributing Member • Posts: 764
Re: G11 shutter delay

It is much more than a nanosecond. It's more like 0.3 secs. Lest you think that is not a large amount of time, consider all of the stuff that happens in fractions of seconds? A groom's quick kiss on the cheek of his new bride, a gymnast flipping on a balance beam, a baseball bat making contact with the ball, etc. All these things have a much better chance of capturing without shutter lag. Even when you are reasonably good at anticipating events (which you have to be when you are getting paid for capturing moments that others cannot capture with their P&S digicams).

Have you ever shot with a DSLR? If so, I can't believe that you don't see shutter lag as a real problem. You really won't know what you are missing until you use a DSLR with its responsiveness.

I shoot events professionally. I use both a P&S and a DSLR - I see the difference first hand. It's not like we are making this stuff up.

I'd like to read your response as you do sound like you are writing from experience and not simply popping off because you own a digicam and need to defend your gear.

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Mo Kwart
Mo Kwart Senior Member • Posts: 1,250
"Beam me up Scotty"

I love my G10 and I love my 50D.

My problem is that I cannot shoot my grandchildren with the G10 when they are in motion, which is their normal situation. I would prefer the G10 on my belt when on a family outing, but I miss too much. Try shooting a merry go round with a G10. It's OK if the horse's tail or the kid on the next horse satisfies you. I end up timing my shots and shooting a few to get a decent hit. Close up sports are out.

So my G10 is for landscapes, adults posing and sleeping babies. My heavy 50D is for the grandchildren along with sports, whales' tails and birds in flight.

I have accepted the short comings of the equipment and will upgrade someday to Star Wars technology. Working on my own short comings. Looking for an upgrade at Amazon.

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Fred Mueller Senior Member • Posts: 2,528
Its VIDEO/LCD delay that causes all the problems....

Can't believe this thread ...... a little knowledge is a dangerous thing....

  • focus lag = time for the contrast detect sysem to focus the lens; typically .5 sec. or more

  • shutter lag = time to trip the shutter and commence image aquisition; typically .1 sec. or less

  • LCD lag = delay in the video subsystem to display image on the lcd; almost never published and totally ignored in the reviews, but typically .3 sec.

  • flash enabled lag = a processor delay in ordering the tightly sychronizd sequence, varies widly by camera, spec never published or reviewed; typically .3 sec. but longer in many cameras incliding the G7 I once owned.

The delay that is always there that no one accounts for is the video subsystem delay to put the picture on the screen.

This same delay makes it quite difficult to follow action using the lcd - just try it. never mind getting a shot of the moment, which is gone by the time you are seing it....this is the reason an OVF is a good thing.

Pre focused, you can actually do a reasonable job of shooting action, or grabbing moments if you use the G series OVF (despite its shortcomings) and why I always raise an eye at the posts that state - "OVFs are useless." Not if you wnat to grab those fleeting moments.....

The OVF has no video delay!!!!!

The two impressive things about the new G11 is that Canon has retained the OVF and returned the articulating screen which is a very convienent thing for shooting at odd angles or more importanly, discretly.

DSLRs BTW have more shutter delay than you might guess; typically between .1 and .3 sec. There is a lot to do - the mirror has to swing up out of the way.

human reaction time is on the order of .1 sec BTW

keep ALL of these fractions in mind the next time you are trying to figure out why you missed the shot.

cheers

Fred

michi098 Contributing Member • Posts: 555
Re: Its VIDEO/LCD delay that causes all the problems....

I think that if you get to know your camera, you can predict the lag and still get the shot you need. I haven't missed any crucial shots with my G10. Is it as fast as my DSLR's? No. But again, I can deal with it. Would it be nicer if the G11 had less lag? Sure. But it certainly wouldn't be a deal breaker for me...

mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,643
Re: Its VIDEO/LCD delay that causes all the problems....

Fred Mueller wrote:

Can't believe this thread ...... a little knowledge is a dangerous thing....

I can't believe your post...Yes, a little knowledge is a dangerous thing....

  • focus lag = time for the contrast detect sysem to focus the lens; typically .5 sec. or more

That's about typical, but varies depending on the light levels and the lens f/stop. The full autofocus shutter lag which includes the time to autofocus, set exposure and trip the shutter is from 0.4 to 0.7 sec typically.

  • shutter lag = time to trip the shutter and commence image aquisition; typically .1 sec. or less

Generally this is measured as the prefocus shutter lag and is the delay after the autofocus is and the exposure are set. For most cameras today it is from 100 msec (0.01 Sec) to 7 msec (0.007 sec). For most canons it is about 70 msec. Sonys and Fujis are in the superfast range, about 10-15 msec.

  • LCD lag = delay in the video subsystem to display image on the lcd; almost never published and totally ignored in the reviews, but typically .3 sec.

A 0.3 sec LCD lag seems awfully long. If the LCD refresh rate is 30 per sec., it would be 0.03 sec. Of course it's zero for the OVFs.

  • flash enabled lag = a processor delay in ordering the tightly sychronizd sequence, varies widly by camera, spec never published or reviewed; typically .3 sec. but longer in many cameras incliding the G7 I once owned.

The flash delay involves the time it takes to meter the scene and set the flash exposure. For most cameras it's quite small, about what it takes for non-flash exposure setting. For som reason, believed to be related with the method of using a pre-flash to meter flash, the G-series cameras has an added flash delay component. I have experienced it and it's different fron any other camera I've used.

The delay that is always there that no one accounts for is the video subsystem delay to put the picture on the screen.

the reason no one worries about that delay is it's the scene change of a moving subject between the time the operator push the shutter and the scene captured, no matter how long it takes to show on the review LCD.

This same delay makes it quite difficult to follow action using the lcd - just try it. never mind getting a shot of the moment, which is gone by the time you are seing it....this is the reason an OVF is a good thing.

Yes, that can be an added factor in fast changing scenes. That's why if you are using an EVF or LCD for a fast moving scene, peer directly at the scene to pull the trigger.

Pre focused, you can actually do a reasonable job of shooting action, or grabbing moments if you use the G series OVF (despite its shortcomings) and why I always raise an eye at the posts that state - "OVFs are useless." Not if you wnat to grab those fleeting moments.....

Here's some Imaging-Resources-measured timing performance data for the Canon G10. You can see the various types of shutter lags. Prefocus shutter lag for the G10 is 0.068 seconds.

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/G10/G10A6.HTM

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mamallama

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mamallama
mamallama Forum Pro • Posts: 56,643
Error Correction

My statement (post above) is in error:

Generally this is measured as the prefocus shutter lag and is the delay after the autofocus is and the exposure are set. For most cameras today it is from 100 msec (0.01 Sec) to 7 msec (0.007 sec). For most canons it is about 70 msec. Sonys and Fujis are in the superfast range, about 10-15 msec.

It should read:

Generally this is measured as the prefocus shutter lag and is the delay after the autofocus is and the exposure are set. For most cameras today it is from 100 msec (0.1 Sec) to 7 msec (0.007 sec). For most canons it is about 70 msec. Sonys and Fujis are in the superfast range, about 10-15 msec.

Sorry for the error.
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bill hansen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,951
shutter lag forever.....

It makes no difference at all how many times I read the manual, how many times I go to manual focusing, turnin off the LCD, yadayadayada - there is still shutter lag. It's not the shutter noise - it's the time between full shutter press and exposure, and it sure does severely limit ability to do street photography, photos of children and pets, any sort of action shot, and so forth.

I'm very glad that someone else is finally pointing this out. Shutter lag, veeeerrry slloooow shot-to-shot times, and a limit of about 2 frames per second in "burst" mode are by far the biggest limitations of the G series so far. If they've been corrected or reduced with the G11, we haven't seen evidence of that yet.

I'll be very surprised, and very delighted, if they have been addressed with the G11 - and I'll buy the camera. But so far, I think my bank account is safe, and I'll safe to keep the G9 with me.

Bill Hansen

gordonsbuck Senior Member • Posts: 1,388
Re: G series shutter delay

(Replying to myself)

After running some tests, I see that I was wrong about the shutter lag in full manual (exposure and focus) mode -- shutter lag is reduced as compared to full automatic mode. Some of my error was probably the perception of shutter actuation that results from staring at the LCD. Of course, triggering from the LCD view instead of an optical view introduces additional lag as well.

I ran some crude tests. The results are at
http://lightdescription.blogspot.com/2009/08/g9-shutter-lag.html

florinandrei Regular Member • Posts: 483
so true. and also:

William Ing wrote:

I'm constantly amazed how seldom the issue of shutter lag comes up in these fora, whether we're talking about the latest Canon P&S offerings, or stuff that came down the pike over 12 months ago (like the Panasonic LX3). In the case of the S90 (the only new Canon Powershot that genuinely interests me) people seem to be infinitely more concerned with "deal breakers" such as size and pocketability, the lack of zoom range, the lack of an optical viewfinder, the lack of a grip, the power of the onboard flash, the control rings, etc., etc.

Exactly.

Watch for anything coming out from Panasonic these days. The G1 has an amazingly quick non-DSLR autofocus (I know, I own one, it's as fast as any entry-level DSLR). If they port that technology to their upcoming cameras, those are going to be killers.

Rumor has it the Panasonic ZR1 may have the tech.

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bill hansen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,951
yes, street photographers and....

.....anyone who wants to photograph children, or pets, or sports, or moving vehicles - andpeobably lots of other people too.

Don Erway Contributing Member • Posts: 998
underwater photos

I used the g2, and for the last many years, the sony v3.

I am dying for a faster focusing, and shorter pre-focused shutter lag camera.

Preferably one that does not extend the final half press shutter lag, when flash is enabled!

The g11 has me excited for at least the quick shot mode.

Underwater photo requires comptent low light/contrast autofocus, and short shutter lag.

Avoiding the use of the LCD, in underwater housing, is not an option.

GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,587
Re: Aren't you describing a DSLR? NT

nt
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GeraldW Veteran Member • Posts: 8,587
Re: Another factor to consider

70 mS is pretty close to the mirror times on a DSLR. Figuring half that time is flip up and half is flip back down, and the picture taking starts at around 35 mS or so. That's about twice as fast as a prefocused G series, but it's also a lot faster than typical human reaction times which are in the 0.1- 0.2 second range.

There is another factor. If the shooter is using the LCD to compose and make his shooting decision, there can be significant lag in the updating of the LCD display. Thus you are making your decision to shoot after the peak of the action has passed. My Pro 1 is fairly slow in updating and lags real time by 1/4 to 1/3 second. What's the lag on a late model G series? (guess I'll have to measure that)

Let's suppose the G10 has a 100 msec lag in the LCD, a 70 msec lag in the shutter release, and the shooter is pretty fast with a 100 msec reaction time. That's still 270 msec. On a DSLR, there is no lag through the lens, so there's 35 msec mirror time and 100 msec reaction time = 135 msec. Hmmm!

Of course, you could always use the OVF on your G series and cut out the LCD refresh times getting you down to 170 msec.
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William Ing Contributing Member • Posts: 628
a word about optical viewfinders

I'm basing the following observations about the S90 on the published specs, not on any actual tests:

The camera is exciting to me in that it offers a 28mm f/2 lens on the wide end and covers the head&torso/head&shoulder/head portrait focal lengths far better than the LX3, which I own and use frequently. But the S90's drawback in this area is that the lens loses speed rapidly as you zoom upwards, yielding an aperture of f/4.9 by the time you've reached 105mm. The LX3, in comparison, suffers a loss of only one stop over its entire (but more limited) focal length range of 24 to 60mm.

Putting aside comparisons between the two cameras of image quality, or image quality at ISOs higher than ISO 400, another clear advantage of the LX3 over the S90 is that it has an accessory shoe, permitting the use of external optical viewfinders. When we're looking for ways to shave milliseconds off the pre-focus shutter lag discussed in numerous posts above, optical viewfinders can be a valuable asset. When doing street photography with my LX3, I frequently use shoe-mounted 21 and 40mm Cosina Voigtlander optical viewfinders for composing. (Surprisingly, the CV 21 finder offers a more accurate FOV for the 24mm setting on the LX3 than that offered by the CV 25 finder.) As those two separate focal lengths are the ones that matter most to me for street photography, I'm little concerned that the optical finders offer no coverage for all the other zoom focal lengths like 28, 50 and 60mm.

And when you're looking for the utmost stability when doing handheld shots in marginal light, there's no better way to add rigidity to your stance than to hold the camera pressed up against your eye.

bill hansen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,951
apertures and OVFs

William Ing wrote:

....the S90's drawback in this area is that the lens loses speed rapidly as you zoom > upwards, yielding an aperture of f/4.9 by the time you've reached 105mm. The > LX3, in comparison, suffers a loss of only one stop over its entire (but more l> imited) focal length range of 24 to 60mm.

It will be interesting to see what the effective max aperture of the S90 is at 60mm focal length. Surely it will be less than 4.9. Might it be close to the same as that of the LX3?

I think the availability of an OVF with the S90 is still a major advantage though, for the reasons William states.

bill hansen Veteran Member • Posts: 9,951
please ignore strikethrough

don't know how that happened - obviously when I hit the ~ key, I must have hit it twice, or something like that.

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