When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II

Started Mar 17, 2015 | Questions
Mike Stratil Contributing Member • Posts: 967
When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
1

Would someone knowledgeable about the subject provide me with a summary of when to turn on/off the electronic first curtain shutter on the A7II.

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Michael S

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JimKasson
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 33,296
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
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Mike Stratil wrote:

Would someone knowledgeable about the subject provide me with a summary of when to turn on/off the electronic first curtain shutter on the A7II.

Use it for sure when the camera is on a tripod, unless the shutter speed is very short. I can't find the spec on the a7II, but on the Nikon D810, the shortest shutter speed you can use with EFCS is 1/2000 second, and the camera enforces that. The a7II does not; it will let you take a picture with EFCA on and the shutter set to 1/8000.

I leave mine on all the time except when the shutter speed is shorter than 1/1000 second, where it has little effect.

It really helps with the camera on a tripod, especially with longer lenses:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=5429

Jim

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blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 12,050
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
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JimKasson wrote:

Mike Stratil wrote:

Would someone knowledgeable about the subject provide me with a summary of when to turn on/off the electronic first curtain shutter on the A7II.

Use it for sure when the camera is on a tripod, unless the shutter speed is very short. I can't find the spec on the a7II, but on the Nikon D810, the shortest shutter speed you can use with EFCS is 1/2000 second, and the camera enforces that. The a7II does not; it will let you take a picture with EFCA on and the shutter set to 1/8000.

I leave mine on all the time except when the shutter speed is shorter than 1/1000 second, where it has little effect.

It really helps with the camera on a tripod, especially with longer lenses:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=5429

Jim

Technically, the EFCS is a 'all instant on' exposure start, whereas the mechanical FC is a 'slide' exposure. The mechanical SC is also mechanical.

For fast exposures, the two mechanical shutters provide a very precise exposure 'slit'. If you use EFCS you change this: the top of the sensor (bottom of the image) will get a longer exposure than the bottom.

At high speeds, this can become noticeable, depending on the scene. The user manual advises to not use EFCS when selecting high speed SS. But because it exposes the bottom of the image, in many daytime shots this may not matter.

The A7 shutter is a single moving shutter, the D810 has more parts. In the D810 you will see the shutter outline, if shooting too fast, therefore it is disabled if faster than 1/2000. Think of the A7 shutter becoming a graduated filter at high SS.

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Cheers,
Henry

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le_alain Senior Member • Posts: 1,994
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II

JimKasson wrote:

Mike Stratil wrote:

Would someone knowledgeable about the subject provide me with a summary of when to turn on/off the electronic first curtain shutter on the A7II.

, the shortest shutter speed you can use with EFCS is 1/2000 second, and the camera enforces that. The a7II does not; it will let you take a picture with EFCA on and the shutter set to 1/8000.

Jim

I just tested it, on my A7, no PB to shoot at 1/8000s with EFC-ON ?

and exposure was 1/4 of the same shoot at 1/2000s, so not locked ?

Edit: Sorry, you spoke of D810, I thought A7 vs A7 II

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JimKasson
JimKasson Forum Pro • Posts: 33,296
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
2

blue_skies wrote:

Technically, the EFCS is a 'all instant on' exposure start, whereas the mechanical FC is a 'slide' exposure. The mechanical SC is also mechanical.

For fast exposures, the two mechanical shutters provide a very precise exposure 'slit'. If you use EFCS you change this: the top of the sensor (bottom of the image) will get a longer exposure than the bottom.

Uh, Henry, that's not the way it works on the D810.

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6641

I think the a7 works the same way, with a moving reset to the sensor followed by the trailing curtain moving at the same rate. I can perform oscilloscope tests on the a7 if you disagree, but I don't see how EFCS could work on the a7 at 1/1000 second -- and it does -- unless the reset is sliding, not all at once.

Edit: I found that I'd already performed such tests on the a7S, and it is a sliding reset:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6450

Jim

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vett93
vett93 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,078
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
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I tested it at 1/2,500 and it works fine...

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vett93
vett93 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,078
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II

It also works at 1/3,200.....

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Steve Bingham
Steve Bingham Forum Pro • Posts: 27,672
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II

Great shots (especially the 1st one) with even better information. Interesting. Nice to know the 70-200 can nail these sort of shots. Pretty impressive. Who says the a7II and 70-200 can't do BIF.

vett93 wrote:

It also works at 1/3,200.....

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Steve Bingham
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blue_skies
blue_skies Forum Pro • Posts: 12,050
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
1

JimKasson wrote:

blue_skies wrote:

Technically, the EFCS is a 'all instant on' exposure start, whereas the mechanical FC is a 'slide' exposure. The mechanical SC is also mechanical.

For fast exposures, the two mechanical shutters provide a very precise exposure 'slit'. If you use EFCS you change this: the top of the sensor (bottom of the image) will get a longer exposure than the bottom.

Uh, Henry, that's not the way it works on the D810.

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6641

I think the a7 works the same way, with a moving reset to the sensor followed by the trailing curtain moving at the same rate. I can perform oscilloscope tests on the a7 if you disagree, but I don't see how EFCS could work on the a7 at 1/1000 second -- and it does -- unless the reset is sliding, not all at once.

Edit: I found that I'd already performed such tests on the a7S, and it is a sliding reset:

http://blog.kasson.com/?p=6450

Jim

Thanks, I learned something here.

It adds a lot of electronics which are totally unnecessary at slower speeds.

Impressive

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Cheers,
Henry

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vett93
vett93 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,078
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
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Thanks, Steve. I really like this 70-200mm lens. I even use it as my forum picture.

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martindesu
martindesu Senior Member • Posts: 1,247
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
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RSR2800 Forum Member • Posts: 56
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II

Like others before me, I suggest to turn it off beyond 1/1000s.

I just don't understand why there is no "auto" setting, to turn it off automatically at faster SSs.

Or why it's not possible to assign EFSC to a custom button, at least (same complain for "EVF brightness" setting too, by the way... it would be handy to put it on "C4")

RSR

Drawde Laen
Drawde Laen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,425
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II

I dont have a A7II, I shoot with a NEX-7 and I keep the electronic first curtain turned off. except for making the camera a tad quieter I dont see where it offers any advantage and if I decide to shoot a sweep panorama the EFC can cause banding - it just does not work well when using this feature.

JMO

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Ed

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vett93
vett93 Veteran Member • Posts: 5,078
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II

It may reduce vibration caused by the mechanical shutter....

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Drawde Laen
Drawde Laen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,425
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II

vett93 wrote:

It may reduce vibration caused by the mechanical shutter....

true and if I am taking long exposures where this would be a concern I can turn it on, but in my day to day shooting it is easier to leave it off so I dont have to think about turning it off every time I decide to shoot a sweep panorama.

perhaps this is a bigger concern to me than most, because the only lens I normally use is the Zeiss Touit 32mm f/1.8. as such I tend to use the sweep pano feature as my way to get wider shots. I switched from Nikon to the NEX system because I was tired of carrying a bunch of gear and carrying a bunch of lenses seems to defeat the purpose to me - also I find that now I have the camera with me much more than I used to simply because its so easy to just carry a camera and one lens on a wrist strap

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Ed

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alextardif
alextardif Senior Member • Posts: 1,376
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
1

vett93 wrote:

Thanks, Steve. I really like this 70-200mm lens. I even use it as my forum picture.

Fantastic captures, really impressive, thanks for sharing!

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Alex

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SimonOL Senior Member • Posts: 1,956
I just leave it on - prolongs shutter life?
2

Drawde Laen wrote:

I dont have a A7II, I shoot with a NEX-7 and I keep the electronic first curtain turned off. except for making the camera a tad quieter I dont see where it offers any advantage and if I decide to shoot a sweep panorama the EFC can cause banding - it just does not work well when using this feature.

JMO

Horses for courses, I guess

I always have EFCS turned on on my Nex-7 - mainly because I just prefer the single noise per exposure - and never noticed any adverse effect, even with panos, at any shutter speed.

I read somewhere that use of EFCS can prolong the life of your shutter mechanism, which seems to make sense seeing as the mechanics are only used once per exposure. It sounds good to me but whether this info is reliable/correct, who knows?

Anyway, I use EFCS all the time and just don't worry about it. If it ever caused a problem, I'd turn it off for that shot. Not very technical advice, but I'm just a casual shooter

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Snikt228 Senior Member • Posts: 1,025
Re: When to use/not use Electronic First Curtain Shutter on A7II
1

Mike Stratil wrote:

Would someone knowledgeable about the subject provide me with a summary of when to turn on/off the electronic first curtain shutter on the A7II.

I have an A7 and I've used EFCS ever since Day 1, have never disabled it for any reason or seen any issues. Some people in here mentioned fast shutter speeds, I've taken images at 1/4000 and 1/8000 and haven't noticed any issues.

Here are a couple samples

1/4000

1/8000

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Drawde Laen
Drawde Laen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,425
Re: I just leave it on - prolongs shutter life?

SimonOL wrote:

Drawde Laen wrote:

I dont have a A7II, I shoot with a NEX-7 and I keep the electronic first curtain turned off. except for making the camera a tad quieter I dont see where it offers any advantage and if I decide to shoot a sweep panorama the EFC can cause banding - it just does not work well when using this feature.

JMO

Horses for courses, I guess

I always have EFCS turned on on my Nex-7 - mainly because I just prefer the single noise per exposure - and never noticed any adverse effect, even with panos, at any shutter speed.

I read somewhere that use of EFCS can prolong the life of your shutter mechanism, which seems to make sense seeing as the mechanics are only used once per exposure. It sounds good to me but whether this info is reliable/correct, who knows?

Anyway, I use EFCS all the time and just don't worry about it. If it ever caused a problem, I'd turn it off for that shot. Not very technical advice, but I'm just a casual shooter

this is why I keep it off

a shot with no EFC and moving water

and a shot with EFC and moving water

I have literally taken 100's of images in sweep pano mode with moving water and never had an issue except for the one shot above where I forgot to turn off the EFC - - - look at the water, you can see the chop line of each and every exposure used to make the pano

heres another with fast moving water - no EFC, and no choppy lines

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Ed

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SimonOL Senior Member • Posts: 1,956
Re: I just leave it on - prolongs shutter life?

Drawde Laen wrote:

SimonOL wrote:

Drawde Laen wrote:

I dont have a A7II, I shoot with a NEX-7 and I keep the electronic first curtain turned off. except for making the camera a tad quieter I dont see where it offers any advantage and if I decide to shoot a sweep panorama the EFC can cause banding - it just does not work well when using this feature.

JMO

Horses for courses, I guess

I always have EFCS turned on on my Nex-7 - mainly because I just prefer the single noise per exposure - and never noticed any adverse effect, even with panos, at any shutter speed.

I read somewhere that use of EFCS can prolong the life of your shutter mechanism, which seems to make sense seeing as the mechanics are only used once per exposure. It sounds good to me but whether this info is reliable/correct, who knows?

Anyway, I use EFCS all the time and just don't worry about it. If it ever caused a problem, I'd turn it off for that shot. Not very technical advice, but I'm just a casual shooter

this is why I keep it off

a shot with no EFC and moving water

and a shot with EFC and moving water

I have literally taken 100's of images in sweep pano mode with moving water and never had an issue except for the one shot above where I forgot to turn off the EFC - - - look at the water, you can see the chop line of each and every exposure used to make the pano

heres another with fast moving water - no EFC, and no choppy lines

Good demo, nice shots

I don't use sweep pano very often - prefer stitching in PP - so it suits me better to have efcs on. I don't recall ever using sweep pano with moving water but it's good to see a scenario where efcs could have adverse effects. Thanks!

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