Cameras forum

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Fastest Shutter Speed

I think the delay between pressing the button and getting the picture is the worst part about digital cameras. I want a small, portable camera for snapshots with 3-6 MP.
Shutter speed is my most important factor.
What are the variables? A salesperson said that their are "high speed" memory cards available for Canon and Sony. True?
Does the size of the memory card matter?

Thanks for the tribal knowledge

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Shutter Lag

In reply to: Fastest Shutter Speed

Several years ago, a shutter lag of over a second was common.

Now you can find digital cameras with a shutter lag of 0.1 second. And that is about as fast as it gets for now.


Here are some that reviewers have tested and reported to be 0.1 second:

Canon SD550, SD600
Casio Z50, Z55, Z750, S600
Sony M1

There may be more, but they have not be reviewed yet.


There are more cameras with a reported 0.2 second shutter lag:

Canon SD20, SD30, A430, A530, A540, A610, A620, SD450, SD430, SD630
Casio Z57, Z850
Kodak DX7440, DX7630, Z740, Z730
Sony F88, W1, P100, N1


There are high speed memory cards:
Compact Flash
Memory Stick

A high speed memory card will not improve shutter lag.

A high speed memory card may or may not improve continuous shooting ability.

A high speed memory card may improve start-up time.
That is the time it takes from the time you turn on the camera until it is ready to take photos.

A large size memory card will likely increase start-up time, as most cameras check the card during start-up.


DSLR (digital single lens reflex) cameras get the most benefit from high speed memory cards. That is because the camera itself is faster.


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Try this also...

In reply to: Fastest Shutter Speed

In addition to what Snapshot2 said (which is true), make sure you do NOT have the red-eye reduction feature turned on. I absolutely hate that feature.

When the shutter is depressed, the camera will blink a stupid little light for a few moments and then FINALLY take the picture. If that feature is turned on, turning it off will make a world of difference for you. You may need to shoot with the camera in "P" mode instead of "Auto" mode in order to force this off. Depends on your camera.

Also, for a VERY small increase in speed, you might also consider doing what's called an AE-lock (auto exposure lock). Check your owner's manual to see if this feature is available on your camera. Basically, doing this will force the pre-flash to fire when you perform the AE-lock so the shutter won't have to wait for the pre-fire when you press the shutter release button. Honestly, the time savings is usually minuscule but I thought I would mention it. I find AE-lock to be much more useful for preventing blinking of the subject when taking snapshot portraits.

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Oh, by the way...

In reply to: Fastest Shutter Speed

What you're referring to is actually called "shutter lag" instead of "shutter speed."

Shutter Lag:
The time lag between pressing the button and the actuation of the shutter mechanism.

Shutter Speed:
The speed at which the shutter exposes the film (or sensor). This feature effects the camera's ability to "stop" or "freeze" action (we've all seen the bullet being shot through an apple). Maximum shutter speeds of 1/4000 or 1/8000 of a second are not terribly uncommon for DSLR cameras.

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