Cameras with Silent Shutter

Started Feb 12, 2013 | Discussions
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Nazeer Halawani
Nazeer Halawani Regular Member • Posts: 138
Cameras with Silent Shutter

I've been looking for a DSLR with the most silent shutter for special occasions.
Throughout my investigation, I found the Sony SLTs have obviously no shutter sound, But unfortunately all my equipment is Nikon.
Therefore my preference goes for Nikon in the first place, if not, Sony would be my second choice.
My question remains though, what camera would you recommend? (disregarding the price of course)

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Mike_PEAT Forum Pro • Posts: 12,388
nt)Suggest asking in Nikon forum for quietest NIKON dSLR...

nt=No text

dosdan Regular Member • Posts: 488
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

The Pentax K-5 is noted for having a quiet shutter. I've shot OK in churches with it. Don't now how it compares acoustically with Sony cameras. Sony is using electronic 1st shutter in some of its models. But it still has a physical 2nd shutter slamming shut at the end of the exposure.

Dan.

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Dave Lively Senior Member • Posts: 1,758
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

The only two cameras with interchangeable lenses and totally silent electronic shutters I know of are the Nikon 1 series and the Panasonic G5.  The G5 and Nikon V1 both have very nice electronic viewfinders  Both of these are mirrorless cameras, not SLRs and there are limitations when using the electronic shutter.

If you can live with a fixed lens you might also look at something like the Fuji X100 which has a large sensor, optical viewfinder and very quiet leaf shutter.

Nazeer Halawani
Nazeer Halawani OP Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: nt)Suggest asking in Nikon forum for quietest NIKON dSLR...

Mike_PEAT wrote:

nt=No text

Thanks a LOT

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Nazeer Halawani
Nazeer Halawani OP Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

dosdan wrote:

The Pentax K-5 is noted for having a quiet shutter. I've shot OK in churches with it. Don't now how it compares acoustically with Sony cameras. Sony is using electronic 1st shutter in some of its models. But it still has a physical 2nd shutter slamming shut at the end of the exposure.

Dan.

Thanks for the helpful heads-up. As a last resort I might be willing to switch to a SONY for the benefit of a quiet shutter. As long as there's still hope with a silent Nikon, I'm sticking with my gear for the moment :3

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Mike_PEAT Forum Pro • Posts: 12,388
I would have suggested the E-M5 or a p&s...

...as having the quietest shutters, but they are neither Nikon nor SLRs

That's why I suggested te Nikon forum Where they know the Nikon line the best...unless you ARE looking at alternatives!

mgd43 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,322
Re: I would have suggested the E-M5 or a p&s...

The D3100 has a relatively quiet shutter. It also has a quiet mode which makes it even quieter. I don't know if any of the newer Nikons like the D3200 or D5200 are as quiet. I have a D3100 and a D90 and even without using the quiet mode the D3100 is noticably quieter.

The Sony SLT's are not completely quiet. When you shoot with a DSLR the noise comes from the shutter and the slap of the mirror. The SLT's have no mirror slap but they do have a sound from the shutter.

If you want complete silence look into a bridge camera or a high end compact. You could keep your Nikon gear and add a good compact. If you've never used one, you're in for a pleasant surprise.

I don't know about mirrorless cameras like a NEX or micro 4/3. It depends on what kind of shutter they use.

What do you want to use it for?

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hedwards Regular Member • Posts: 268
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

The shutter isn't likely the problem, the mirror slap is. And as far as I know, all dSLRs have trouble with that. Unless, you enable mirror lock up and do all your shooting in live mode.

I wouldn't personally recommend that due to the loss of resolution to noise, but if silence is that important to you for one reason or another, it might be the difference between getting something and getting nothing.

Hank3152
Hank3152 Forum Pro • Posts: 13,493
Canon 5DIII

Canon's 5DIII has a mode to silence the shutter using an option in their menu system......
See pg 15 of the review under Silent Shooting ...........
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-5d-mark-iii/29

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Pedagydusz Veteran Member • Posts: 5,298
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

The Panasonic GH-3 also has the same electronic shutter, with the same limitations as the other. They are totally silent, in this mode.

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cerberusjf Regular Member • Posts: 345
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

The Canon  60D has two "silent" shutter modes.  Though neither are completely silent, they are very quiet.  The camera does not have very good high iso performance unfortunately, so maybe better to wait and see what its replacement has if you shoot in low light.

The Canon 5DIII is incredibly quiet, 6D is quieter than 60D (normal mode)

IIRC, the Nikon D600 is pretty quiet, but not silent.

I haven't found a Pentax K5 ii to try, but it's said to be quiet.

I think I would go for the 5DIII if I could afford it.

Nazeer Halawani
Nazeer Halawani OP Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: I would have suggested the E-M5 or a p&s...

that was so helpful, thank you.
I face this kind of problem a lot, for example when shooting a poetry recital evening, everyone turns off their phone and they invite everybody to stay quiet, but my shutter always breaks the silence and annoys the reader. Another occasion is in acoustic concerts, where no microphones are used. etc..

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Nazeer Halawani
Nazeer Halawani OP Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: Canon 5DIII

Hank3152 wrote:

Canon's 5DIII has a mode to silence the shutter using an option in their menu system......
See pg 15 of the review under Silent Shooting ...........
http://www.dpreview.com/reviews/canon-eos-5d-mark-iii/29

Absolutely, I've noticed this feature in some of the high-end cameras. I wonder if any of the D600 or the D800 have this feature.

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Nazeer Halawani
Nazeer Halawani OP Regular Member • Posts: 138
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

cerberusjf wrote:

The Canon 60D has two "silent" shutter modes. Though neither are completely silent, they are very quiet. The camera does not have very good high iso performance unfortunately, so maybe better to wait and see what its replacement has if you shoot in low light.

The Canon 5DIII is incredibly quiet, 6D is quieter than 60D (normal mode)

IIRC, the Nikon D600 is pretty quiet, but not silent.

I haven't found a Pentax K5 ii to try, but it's said to be quiet.

I think I would go for the 5DIII if I could afford it.

Amazing answer!! One of the most helpful

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cerberusjf Regular Member • Posts: 345
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

I forgot to add, the 60D "silent" modes are in live-view only...  don't know if that makes a difference to you.  The 5Diii has silent mode in pdaf too..

joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

The D800 or D600 may offer the same thing but the Nikon D4 offers a completely silent 2MP Live View shooting mode where the mirror stays up and the shutter stays fully open:

Quiet and silent modes during live view photography

When shooting in situations that are sensitive to the sounds of a camera shutter, the D4 live view feature offers two solutions. The quiet mode keeps the mirror in the up position. When using the silent mode, the mirror remains up and the shutter remains open, which can be useful during events such as concerts and conferences. Silent mode* enables high-speed continuous shooting at either 12 fps (in CL mode) or 24 fps (in CH mode) for 2.5 megapixel files.

  • *Maximum frame size is 1,920 x 1,280 pixels in silent mode. Image quality is fixed at JPEG fine.

Link: http://imaging.nikon.com/lineup/dslr/d4/features02.htm

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mgd43 Veteran Member • Posts: 4,322
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

There are high end compacts with fast lenses that would be good for what you want. For example I have a Panasonic LX5 which has a Leica 24-90mm f/2-3.3 lens. I just ordered a Panasonic LX7 which has a Leica 24-90mm f/1.4 to 2.2 lens. The LX is very good up to iso 800 and decent up to 1600. The LX7 should be about the same. They are perfectly silent. There are similar compacts from other major makers, but I believe the LX7 has the fastest lens.

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DaveOl
DaveOl Veteran Member • Posts: 3,161
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

I hate to say this, but no one has mentioned the Leica M9.  Of course, it may not be able to handle the high ISO's of indoor without flash.

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Lawrence W Contributing Member • Posts: 600
Re: Cameras with Silent Shutter

The Panasonic G5 has a complete silence electronic shutter. I use that a lot when I photographed sleeping baby who is extremely allergic to shutter sounds do my Nikon D7000, even in its silent mode.

With a Nikon-MFT mount, you can use some of your Nikon lenses, but you lose AF.

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