• Please use real names.

    Greetings to all who have registered to OPF and those guests taking a look around. Please use real names. Registrations with fictitious names will not be processed. REAL NAMES ONLY will be processed

    Firstname Lastname

    Register

    We are a courteous and supportive community. No need to hide behind an alia. If you have a genuine need for privacy/secrecy then let me know!
  • Welcome to the new site. Here's a thread about the update where you can post your feedback, ask questions or spot those nasty bugs!

Silent shooting at 180 mm or more in low light?

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
This new thread on low light silent photography comes from this Parent thread on the New Canon 7D.

The G10 is absolutely silent but the image quality degrades rapidly above ISO 200. Perhaps the S90 or Canon G11 will be both silent and usable at higher ISO. My interest is being able to shoot during serious music performance and for not inserting my presence in candid photography. Ability to forgo flash is important. So far, the G10 is perfectly silent but poor image quality at ISO 1600 so pretty useless for most professional shooting I have to cover. The 5DII is fine for image quality but the shutter can be heard on stage. Even with a blimp the thing is not silenced completely. So I don't want anything with a mirror!

Is there any camera that can be silent like the G10 and give high ISO pictures especially with a long lens, 180 mm or more!

Maybe the G11 will scrape by with a tele-extender! Maybe there's another contender I've missed?

I'd hope Leitz an Zeiss are prepared to use the silicon chip as the shutter and not have to rely on a mechanical one!

Asher
 
Last edited:

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
I'm perhaps getting really off topic with my obsession for a quiet camera! As you can see Mike, with all the bells and whistles, they still haven't made a high ISO silent camera. I guess I could try to design a more effective sound blimp!

For a stationary camera, I could make a huge sound bin and I'd be inside it with a 2 inch piece of optical glass in front! Or else perhaps use Boise noise canceling speakers inside the box to neutralize the shutter sound!!

On your Panasonic digicam, is the shutter sound simulated and can it be shut off like on the G10?

Asher
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
Hi Mike,


Is there any camera that can be silent like the G10 and give high ISO pictures especially with a long lens, 180 mm or more!

Asher
The Leica M8.2 has a very quiet shutter, although not as quiet as a film Leica. But a rangefinder is not really very practical for focal lengths beyond 135mm.

Perhaps you should consider a good HD video camera. My wife shoots promotional video for a local animal shelter and has pulled some remarkable stills from the footage. It's silent, too.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
The Leica M8.2 has a very quiet shutter, although not as quiet as a film Leica. But a rangefinder is not really very practical for focal lengths beyond 135mm.

Perhaps you should consider a good HD video camera. My wife shoots promotional video for a local animal shelter and has pulled some remarkable stills from the footage. It's silent, too.
Hi Ken,

You always have good advice. I guess the 5DII can be used for video and then one could simply pull out the frames and even stack some when they are still. I guess it would be best to have the fastest frame rate. What camera does your wife use and would it be better than the 5DII?

Asher
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
If you use the 5DII you will have an exceptional image. But you'll still have a mirror-slap at the start/stop of shooting.

My wife uses a Canon Vixia HF S10. Very small, extremely easy to run, completely solid-state (SD memory card + internal memory capture). Dead silent. It's been a wonderful camera for her.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
If you use the 5DII you will have an exceptional image. But you'll still have a mirror-slap at the start/stop of shooting.

My wife uses a Canon Vixia HF S10. Very small, extremely easy to run, completely solid-state (SD memory card + internal memory capture). Dead silent. It's been a wonderful camera for her.
Thanks for the information. I looked it up and it seems to be very capable. Just how sensitive is it for low light work as there is no ISO level given.

As for the 5DII, can't it just be started with mirror lockup or even kept on the whole performance? If so would it give a better picture? I currently shoot performances at approximately f 4 at 2400 ISO and 1/100 second.

Asher
 

Doug Kerr

Active member
Hi, Asher,

As for the 5DII, can't it just be started with mirror lockup or even kept on the whole performance?
On a 40D, one can put it in Live View and leave it that way until one runs out of battery. Then there is no mirror motion during a shot.

Then with Live View Silent Shooting in Mode 1, the shutter operation is quieter than usual (not sure what it does, mechanism-wise, but it's noticeably quieter).

With Live View Silent Shooting in Mode 2, if you hold the shutter release button down after you take the shot, the shutter will not rewind until you let up the release button (by which time you have put the camera back inside your fur muff whatever). (The rewind noise is the worst part of shutter noise.)

Best regards,

Doug
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
Hi, Asher,



On a 40D, one can put it in Live View and leave it that way until one runs out of battery. Then there is no mirror motion during a shot.

Then with Live View Silent Shooting in Mode 1, the shutter operation is quieter than usual (not sure what it does, mechanism-wise, but it's noticeably quieter).

With Live View Silent Shooting in Mode 2, if you hold the shutter release button down after you take the shot, the shutter will not rewind until you let up the release button (by which time you have put the camera back inside your fur muff whatever). (The rewind noise is the worst part of shutter noise.)
Hi Doug,

In a classical music performance, the audience and the musicians are hyper-aware of every sound. Even the slightest click is identifiable as it does not fit the pattern people expect. So the G10 works well as far as shutter noise, as it's silent, (unless the simulated shutter sound is on). However, beyond ISO 400, the G10 images are none too good except for B&W, although I've useful color images at 1600 ISO, they are not of the quality I'd hope for. The 5DII does well at 2400 but the shutter is so loud.

Ken's suggestion is to use a camera in movie mode and that seems possible as the 32GB storage capability of the HD camera Ken suggests lasts for hours. Then it would be a matter of going back and selecting say 2-5 adjacent frames to stack to improve image quality. I'll have to play around with the 5DII to see how it behaves.

Asher
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Hi Asher,

Ken's advice is as good as it gets. Your best bet is to use a film camera. I would not recommend using the 5Dii for two reasons. As has been pointed out by Ken and Doug, the mirror has to go up and come back down sooner or later. This makes a noise, even if it is only twice during the concert. More importantly though, the 5Dii can only film in the live mode, which means that you have a bright 3" display switched on and advertising to all those around you in the room that you are filming and/or taking pictures. So knowing how discretely you need to get this done, it won't be an option. Get a real film camera which can film at Full HD progressively, and you are set. Consider those cameras with 3-CCDs which have lower noise characteristics and better IQ.

HTH,

Cheers,
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Hi, Cem,


I assume you mean a real digital movie camera. The metaphor in which we use "film" to mean "movie" ("oh, he's a famous film director") does not work safely here!

Best regards,

Doug
indeed, but please note that the confusion is mainly applicable to American English speakers. The rest of us refer to the phenomenon simply as film, not as movie. No one over here will confuse a film camera with a analog photo camera ,-)
 

Doug Kerr

Active member
Hi, Cem,

indeed, but please note that the confusion is mainly applicable to American English speakers.
Indeed, but we have a few of them here (not as many as I would like, I must say!).

Here, "film camera' would be taken by most people to refer to a still film camera (even though in fact if we speak of someone "working in film", we mean the motion picture industry). A motion picture camera would be called by most lay people a "movie camera".

And of course, an important modality does not use film nor is it digital (analog video cameras, for example).

Best regards,

Doug
 

Ken Tanaka

pro member
The Vixia is a consumer video camera, which is to say that it's a small CCD and gets noisy in dim light, just like still cameras.

As Cem suggested, raising your sights to a higher budget prosumer 3-chip camera will deliver better results. It's been 5 years since I was immersed in the videography world so I can't really point you to a specific camera. But I would imagine that the popular brands are still Sony, Canon, and Panasonic. (I have Canons and Pannys -- each miniDV tape-based SD cameras -- in my closet growing dust in Porta Brace cases as I write...sigh.)
 

Cem_Usakligil

Active member
Hi Asher,

I have slept on this a and I think that you should give your G10 or another digicam a second chance. If you would have been willing to live with the full HD resolution of a video camera, then you can also take the noisy 10+ MP picture from a good digicam, downsize it to full HD smartly and end up reducing the noise and artifacts in the process. That should give you a picture as good as any you can get from a good video camera. Just a thought...

Cheers,
 
Hi Asher,

I have slept on this a and I think that you should give your G10 or another digicam a second chance. If you would have been willing to live with the full HD resolution of a video camera, then you can also take the noisy 10+ MP picture from a good digicam, downsize it to full HD smartly and end up reducing the noise and artifacts in the process. That should give you a picture as good as any you can get from a good video camera. Just a thought...
I agree. Take a noisy full resolution high ISO image from the G10, apply a gentle Neat Image or Noise Ninja treatment and downsample a bit. Noise shouldn't be the issue. The only drawback with a small sensel camera is the limited Dynamic Range, which is needed in harsh natural light conditions.

Cheers,
Bart

P.S. The noise reduction software can do wonders if you prepare a noise calibration for the specific ISO, tonecurve, and sharpening settings for JPEGs, or ISO only if you start your Raw conversion with the same general settings and apply noise reduction first. It's a step that is easy to fit in a workflow.
 

Asher Kelman

OPF Owner/Editor-in-Chief
What about one of the new micro four-thirds cameras? There's no mirror so they shold be pretty quiet.

Regards,
Murray
Murray,

I've been following these closely. The Oly shutter is far too loud although 1/10 of the sound of the Mechanical Leicas. With these use of a CCD, one should be able to forgo the mechanical shutter. As I said, the Canon G10 is utterly silent with the synthetic shutter sound deactivated.

I'm pretty sure that the future is for no mechanical shutters. Right now, I'd love to find camera that I can reach out to the musicians from the back of the concert hall, (a 180 to 260 would do) and work well in low light. I'd be satisfied with 8 great MP!

Asher
 
Top