Vibration when using EFCS with Canon cameras

Started May 9, 2016 | Discussions
iso rivolta Contributing Member • Posts: 727
Vibration when using EFCS with Canon cameras
2

This is a topic I hope will be useful for people using high magnification photography, with an improvised rig or when attaching the camera to a microscope. I’m posting this here because 80D is now the newest EOS and I was expecting an improvement in EFCS vibration control.

Users of high magnification systems (e.g. people on the photomacrography.net forum) already know that for minimizing vibration the best solution is to use the camera in live view and activate (if needed) silent shooting which enables electronic first curtain shutter (EFCS). Many Canon EOS cameras (e.g. the Rebel line and EOS M) use EFCS as the only option when shooting in live view (except for flash shooting). No Canon EOS cameras has until now a complete electronic shutter (like do many Panasonic and a few Sony cameras), not that this would be necessarily a good thing (it can increase the image noise).

I routinely use Canon DSLRs attached to inverted microscopes, so these are my personal findings when using the cameras in this way.

But how a camera can be easily tested (in a shop for example) for such EFCS vibrations without looking at the resulting images?

Set the mode dial to B (Bulb) or, if not available, to M and the time to B. You don’t need a lens attached, so use the lens cap. If you want to leave the lens attached, set it to MF, no OIS and use the largest aperture. In this way, when pressing the finger on the shutter button, no element will create any noise or vibration, except for the shutter associated mechanisms or electronics.

Canon 450D, 600D and 750D generate a small audible click when initiating the exposure, but almost no vibration is felt and I discerned no blurring in my images.

Canon 60D, 70D and 80D generate a longer humming sound when the Bulb exposure starts and a clear jolt is felt in the hand. 60D seems worse than 70D and 80D, which are identical in this regard. Canon 80D has a new MVCS (mirror vibration control system) but this has no relation to the shutter. 80D has no improvement over 70D in reducing the EFCS vibration. 60D and 70D are known for creating blurry images due to this: 60D , 70D (and possibly also 600D) .

Canon 7D, 7D Mark II and 6D generate a faint click and no vibration is felt.

Canon EOS M3 generates a surprisingly loud click and a very clear vibration is felt in hand.

Conclusion: avoid 60D, 70D and 80D and also the M3 for such projects. Of course, the Rebels have the disadvantage of the mirror cycle after each exposure, which can move the photographed specimens between frames.

Some might wonder why EFCS can induce a vibration when the exposure is initiated in an electronic manner. We don’t know yet but the jolt felt in the xxD cameras can be caused by a capacitor discharging or by a coil, while the click from Rebels, xD cameras and from the M3 seems more mechanical in origin.

MisterPootieCat
MisterPootieCat Veteran Member • Posts: 3,123
Vibration when using EFCS with Nikon cameras

Not unique to Canon:

Nikon D810 Mirror/Shutter Shock

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OP iso rivolta Contributing Member • Posts: 727
Re: Vibration...
1

MisterPootieCat wrote:

Not unique to Canon:

Nikon D810 Mirror/Shutter Shock

Well, that is about shutter shock when not using EFCS with Nikon D810. Dpreview shows how image sharpness is improved dramatically with D810's EFCS.

The thread here is about a type of vibration subsisting in some Canons even when using electronic first curtain.

I don't know how good D810's EFCS is for microscopy applications. Most people use Canons for this type of work because they were the first to introduce the technology (followed by Sony). Nikon were very late.

In fact APS-C Nikons still don't have EFCS as neither do Pentax DSLRs.

EDIT: The new Nikon D500 has a similar EFCS to D810's.

OP iso rivolta Contributing Member • Posts: 727
Re: EOS M5 - great!

As of today, I can report that the new EOS M5 EFCS shutter produces no discernible vibrations and only a barely audible soft clicky sound at the start of exposure. This is a huge progress compared with both the M3 and 80D. The end of the exposure is pretty standard for a mirrorless camera.

OP iso rivolta Contributing Member • Posts: 727
Update: 90D and R5
1

Today I tested using the same procedure a Canon 90D and the R5.

Both have a small EFCS vibration (can be heard and felt in hand) at the exposure start. The vibration is small but probably enough to create problems when doing high magnification photo-microscopy.

Fortunately, a completely electronic shutter, vibration-less and totally silent, is also available on both cameras. On the other hand, the electronic shutter in the R5 drops the camera in 12 bit mode. I don't know about the 90D bit depth when using the electronic shutter.

I hope this update will help those looking to use these camera connected to microscopes.

Canon was for a long time a leader in this small field, while Nikon was avoided. For example, in some markets at least, a large microscope company started delivering microscopes with Canon cameras for color imaging applications.

S Castle
S Castle Senior Member • Posts: 1,108
Re: Update: 90D and R5

iso rivolta wrote:

Today I tested using the same procedure a Canon 90D and the R5.

Both have a small EFCS vibration (can be heard and felt in hand) at the exposure start. The vibration is small but probably enough to create problems when doing high magnification photo-microscopy.

I assume this is with a fully manual lens so that no vibration from lens focusing or stopping down occurs? You don't say explicitly but from the application it seems that would be the case.

I also assume a remote release but when you say "felt in the hand" I wonder. Can you show or explain your testing procedure?

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Shane

OP iso rivolta Contributing Member • Posts: 727
Re: Update: 90D and R5

scastle wrote:

iso rivolta wrote:

Today I tested using the same procedure a Canon 90D and the R5.

Both have a small EFCS vibration (can be heard and felt in hand) at the exposure start. The vibration is small but probably enough to create problems when doing high magnification photo-microscopy.

I assume this is with a fully manual lens so that no vibration from lens focusing or stopping down occurs? You don't say explicitly but from the application it seems that would be the case.

I also assume a remote release but when you say "felt in the hand" I wonder. Can you show or explain your testing procedure?

If I have the means, I test it on a tripod with a remote release with a macro lens at high magnification and look at the resulting image.

When this is not possible, I normally test the camera without a lens attached. To test: remove the lens, set the camera to EFCS (if it has the option in menu), switch to Bulb mode, enter Live View and press the shutter release for a while. At the very start of the Bulb exposure (before letting the shutter button go), you'll hear a sound and feel a small jolt in hand if there is any vibration. The better Canon versions of EFCS have absolutely no sound or vibrations, such as in 40D, 50D and 7D/7D II. I hope this helps.

S Castle
S Castle Senior Member • Posts: 1,108
Re: Update: 90D and R5

It seems to me you might be able to document and measure the vibration using a iPhone. There is at least one app that accesses the embedded accelerometers and can record their readings. Use one of the phone attachment gadgets to secure the phone to the camera, start the app recording, and run your test.

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Shane

OP iso rivolta Contributing Member • Posts: 727
Re: Update: 90D and R5

scastle wrote:

It seems to me you might be able to document and measure the vibration using a iPhone. There is at least one app that accesses the embedded accelerometers and can record their readings. Use one of the phone attachment gadgets to secure the phone to the camera, start the app recording, and run your test.

Yes, I know, thank you for suggesting it. True, I only described a subjective and qualitative assessment. I found iDynamics, a good Android app for measuring vibrations using the smartphone accelerometers, so I might try it next time.

Of course, what it matters the most in the end, is the effect recorded in the pictures, and this depends a lot on the type and mass of camera and specimen supports etc.

Dave
Dave Veteran Member • Posts: 5,587
Re: Iso Rivolta
1

Such a beautiful car.

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