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  1. #1
    Buglin Billy
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    Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Most all my photography is wildlife. I live a long ways from any parks etc. so the wildlife I shoot is truly wild. I shoot both a point and shoot and a DSLR. I like to get close, and bow hunted for over 50 years, so I have learned ways to do that. But for those of you who shoot REAL wildlife, the noise from the shutter scares many of the critters I like to shoot.

    So my question is what is the most silent shutter on a very DSLR camera? Presently I am shooting an Olympus E-5. It takes great photos and I basically really like the camera. but it probably has the loudest shutter click I have ever heard. The same could be said with my E-3 which I also shoot. For those that worry about real noise of the shutter, are there ways I can quite it down a bit. I know I can't make it as silent as my point and shoot camera, but must be a few tricks to quiet it a bit.

    What do the rest of you wildlife buffs do to keep your DSLR as quite as possible? Again what DSLR do you guys think makes the softest shutter click?

    Thanks and have a good one. BB


    I've noticed on most birds its not the issue it is with big game!







    For example, if I take a close photo of antelope, like this shot. I get one shot and they are in the next county. What can I do or what can you suggest that might help at least a bit.?


  2. #2
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    The Sony SLT series no doubt, they use transparent mirrors so no need for the mirror slap before/after shutter curtain. They are much more silent than any other DSLR>

  3. #3
    Senior Member armando_m's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Yeah it has happened to me with hummingbirds they fly away after the shutter noise and don't come back for a long time, so I get one chance to shoot them, which usually is not enough.

    I think the same as Anbesol, mirrorless cameras should make little noise,
    Some Nikons have a silent mode but i have never tried any model with that feature to have an opinion.

  4. #4
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    You could look around for some kind of sound dampening hood. (I think that they are also called 'barneys'.) Maybe a rain cover would baffle it enough. - Terry
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  5. #5
    Buglin Billy
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    From what I have noticed, is that most really well known and good wildlife photographers are taking the biggest percentage of their photos in parks and preserves where the animals are used to people and the shutter noise really has litte effect.

    I have also noticed that a number of people get upset by camera noise during events etc. It surprises me that majorís camera companies donít try to quiet them down in that aspect. It could be done fairly easily if in fact it became a priority. To me it is a priority and before I purchase my next camera body I will be very cautious and get one that's as quiet as they come.

    Terry I have thought of getting some cover for the camera, but do you or anyone else know how they work? I spend quite a bit of time in ground blinds, which allows the animals to get very close, but at those very close distances the shutters on my cameras are way toooooooo noisy.



    Thanks for the advise.

    Have a good one. BB

  6. #6
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Basically you have two choices. Something like one of these or one of these. Both have their advantages and disadvantages, but both will accomplish what you want to do.

    Me, I shoot bears, raptors, cougars, elk etc in the mountains of New Mexico so I choose the first option.

  7. #7
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Yeah, I agree with gryphonslair99. Hopefully I don't sound like a smartass but in your situation, why not just shoot from a little further away with a longer telephoto?

    I do commend you on your ability to get close. But the situation dictates a different approach since you have a problem with your current method.
    Please do not edit or repost my images.

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  8. #8
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    I was thinking along the same lines as Loupey. A little further back with a longer lens would help. Another option would be to shoot using live view if you're camera has that option. Using live view the mirror would flip out and out of the way leaving only the sound of the shutter.

    I have heard of people using sound blimps like what gryphonslair99 linked to for photographing on movie/TV sets when the noise would be picked up by the sound recording , but not for wildlife. I think something like that would make it too difficult to use in the field.
    Mike

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  9. #9
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Just thoughts - Here is a video showing the noise level of an SLT vs. an SLR (start at about 30 sec.), though changing system probably is not a solution you were looking for.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rz9K8vAn3WQ

    Within a few years I would expect someone to start producing an APS digital shutter with an acceptable delay.

    Terry
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  10. #10
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Again what DSLR do you guys think makes the softest shutter click?
    The loudest noise occurs from mirror slap, not the shutter actuation.

    As was said the Sony SLT series does not have this mirror slap. But, changing systems for the sound, as terry points out, probably isn't your idea of a solution either. However, my suspicion is that Canikon will both be following suit before much longer, offering a translucent mirror of their own. Obviously I am only speculating, but I think its reasonable speculation given the marketability of translucent technology. Might be some months, maybe PMA in September. If anybody knows any differently chime in.

  11. #11
    Buglin Billy
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    I appreciate the help and suggestions, but one thing I don't want to do is move back. I have learned, in most cases with wildife the closer you can get, the better the photo. A don't want top purchase new glass I want to solve the existing noise problem as best I can.

    I shoot an Olympus E-3 and E-5. If I shoot in real time or whatever they call it, will it be less noisy?

    Again thanks for the help and suggesitons. Bill

    Have a good one. BB

  12. #12
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Quote Originally Posted by buglinbilly
    I shoot an Olympus E-3 and E-5. If I shoot in real time or whatever they call it, will it be less noisy?
    I don't know anything about the E-3 or E-5, but if they have the option to use "live view" that should make things a little bit more quiet. What is causing the most noise is the mirror as it flips up and out of the way of the shutter. By using live view, the mirror is flipped up and out of the way before you press the shutter button. You then have to use the LCD screen instead of the view finder to frame and compose your images. Depending on your cameras features, you may also loose the ability to auto focus. Hand holding a DSLR with a long lens may be a challenge when using live view. Live view will also use up your batteries faster.

    I guess the bottom line is, there really isn't a perfect answer for your situation. Photography has always come down to the art if compromise...
    Mike

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  13. #13
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Try the Live View and see if it is quieter. In some (many?, most?, all?) cameras, the mirror goes down first in Live Viewand then back up before the shutter opens making it even noisier. - Terry
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  14. #14
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    I think the d7000 can do a contrast focus check and not need the mirror.

    *edit - checked, the D7000 offers both a contrast AF check, and the option for a mirror check with phase while in live view mode. As far as I know, this, and the sony's are the only ones that offer this.

    Although, I suppose if using manual focus in live view, no need for the slap-happy happening.

  15. #15
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    I think the d7000 can do a contrast focus check and not need the mirror.

    *edit - checked, the D7000 offers both a contrast AF check, and the option for a mirror check with phase while in live view mode. As far as I know, this, and the sony's are the only ones that offer this.
    "option for a mirror check with phase while in live view mode" If this means that the mirror drops (cutting off the Live View) for a PCAF check, I think that Canon 60D also does this. - Terry
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  16. #16
    Learning more with every "click" mjs1973's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Quote Originally Posted by OldClicker
    Try the Live View and see if it is quieter. In some (many?, most?, all?) cameras, the mirror goes down first in Live Viewand then back up before the shutter opens making it even noisier. - Terry
    I tested my 40D in live view mode tonight. It is much quieter while shooting in live view with no mirror slap. Other than the mirror slap from turning on the live view of course.
    Mike

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    "I thought that because fewer wolves meant more deer, that no wolves would mean hunters' paradise. But after seeing the green fire die, I sensed that neither the wolf nor the mountain agreed with such a view."
    Aldo Leopold

  17. #17
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Really, the 40D? Then it has at least some contrast AF, at least for stills? Or, in manual focus?

  18. #18
    Nature/Wildlife Forum Co-Moderator Loupey's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Quote Originally Posted by buglinbilly
    I appreciate the help and suggestions, but one thing I don't want to do is move back. I have learned, in most cases with wildife the closer you can get, the better the photo...
    Understood. I hear what you're saying but I think wildlife will hear any camera if you get too close. Perhaps you're already within that envelope? I don't know.

    I do know that, with the Canon line at least, live view would not solve your problem entirely. Even in the most silent mode, the mirror and shutter must recycle eventually and you get noise from that. And live view cannot be engaged for long periods of time (due to overheating of the sensor) and would disengage if you were tracking a subject from a long distance away. And AF is basically non-existent on many models. Manually focusing on an LCD is very difficult unless zooming in - but that throws composition out the window on a moving subject.

    As for your claim, "the closer you can get, the better the photo" that depends on what you're trying to accomplish. I wouldn't agree with that comment as a blanket statement. You have to consider the effect of perspective and decide whether a close shot with a shorter telephoto is advantageous or detrimental to the goal you are trying to achieve. Sometimes, yes, but not always. The choice of focal length and subject distance will also affect depth of field. So all factors must be considered before taking the first shot.
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  19. #19
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Quote Originally Posted by buglinbilly
    I appreciate the help and suggestions, but one thing I don't want to do is move back. I have learned, in most cases with wildife the closer you can get, the better the photo. A don't want top purchase new glass I want to solve the existing noise problem as best I can.

    I shoot an Olympus E-3 and E-5. If I shoot in real time or whatever they call it, will it be less noisy?

    Again thanks for the help and suggesitons. Bill

    Have a good one. BB
    If you are close enough to get this sort of wildlife shot with your gear, then you are what we call DINNER! Noise is the least of your worries at this point. :biggrin5:

  20. #20
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    the olympus PEN series don't have mirrors, so they don't have mirror slap. they are virtually silent. With an adapter, they will autofocus with your 4/3 lenses. Why it's taken this long for someone to suggest it is shocking. Don't switch systems, just get a silent body.
    Erik Williams

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  21. #21
    Member gryphonslair99's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sushigaijin
    the olympus PEN series don't have mirrors, so they don't have mirror slap. they are virtually silent. With an adapter, they will autofocus with your 4/3 lenses. Why it's taken this long for someone to suggest it is shocking. Don't switch systems, just get a silent body.
    Still has a focal-plane shutter and still makes noise.

  22. #22
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sushigaijin
    Why it's taken this long for someone to suggest it is shocking. Don't switch systems, just get a silent body.
    Good call, very true. Didn't realize the two systems matched lens mount, I am very unfamiliar with Olympus products

  23. #23
    Senior Member OldClicker's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Sushigaijin
    the olympus PEN series don't have mirrors, so they don't have mirror slap. they are virtually silent. With an adapter, they will autofocus with your 4/3 lenses. Why it's taken this long for someone to suggest it is shocking. Don't switch systems, just get a silent body.
    The mirrorless Sony NEX is reported to be nearly as loud as an SLR. - Terry
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  24. #24
    Senior Member Anbesol's Avatar
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    How silent are the olympus?

  25. #25
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    Re: Let's talk about noise. The other noise!

    Quote Originally Posted by Anbesol
    How silent are the olympus?

    They sound like a compact camera. "tic a ticka" instead of "CLA CLUNK."

    At that point, the AF motors make more noise. And make sure to turn off the AF confirm beep.
    Erik Williams

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