Compact Camera with Least Shutter Lag

Discussion in 'Mirrorless Digital Cameras' started by lobalobo, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. My brother-in-law currently shoots with a Nikon Coolpix 5100 and he complains about the shutter lag (by which he
    means to include auto-focus delay). His complaint is consistent withe the review of the camera on DPReview and
    so he asked me what compact camera he could buy (about the same size as the P5100) that would shoot as fast as
    the Nikon D40 DSLR he has borrowed. I told him that I did not think any compact camera would shoot as fast as
    even an entry-level DSLR, but I'd try to find out. Any ideas? (He isn't concerned about subtle differences of
    image quality, Canon v. Nikon v. Fuji, e.g., and I imagine that any fast compact will be high end and have IQ
    that would satisfy him.) Thanks in advance.
  2. Sony and Casio are the fastest I've seen. The speed comes with a price though. The Casio's tend to miss-focus occasionally. In the setup menu of the Casio's you can turn off the "quick snap" feature and the become very accurate but they sacrifice speed. The faster a camera focuses the greater the chance for error.
  3. Nowadays it is a moot point.
    The Canon A590 costs only $140 and has full-press shutter lag of .51 second wide,
    .70 at full telephoto. Many Sony models are faster, but they take non-standard memory.
    I suggest you ask your brother-in-law for more selection criteria.
    The Nikon D40 is certainly fast but it does not support the majority of Nikon lenses.
  4. re Sony-I have been playing with a Sony DSC-W130 (8 MP) today and the shutter lag is not bad at all for a point-and-shoot
    and the image quality is very good; as mentioned however, the memory card is "non-standard" in that it uses a memory
    stick rather than compact flash or secure digital cards. Both Sony and San Disc make memory sticks (and perhaps others
    as well) but it means that they cannot be used on other brands of camera-the only downside. cb :)
  5. Thanks to all; I'll take a look at the suggestions and let my brother-in-law know. (He doesn't own a DSLR, by the way; he borrowed one.)
  6. The 0.51 and 0.71 lag times mentioned (mentioned by Bill Tuthill above) can be an absolute life time when it comes
    to 'seizing the moment'. I could refer you any number of famous, iconic images from the history of photography,
    which could never have been 'seized' using cameras with such a handicap. They could only have been made with the
    instant response provided by rangefinder Leica and similar film cameras, and in fact were.

    For starters, do a Google Images search on Henri Cartier Bresson and/or Robert Capa.

    Tasks I reserve for digital work mostly involve static subjects.
  7. Thanks, Kevin. Interestingly, some ultracompacts, the Sony for example, have lags of .15, but not the more sophisticated compacts. Not sure why. Anyway, compacts aside, isn't a DSLR essentially as fast as a film SLR?
  8. Who says film cameras were fast?
    My Yashica T4 Super took > 1 second to autofocus.
    However the Canon G2 was the worst autofocusing camera I've used,
    mostly because the shutter lag seemed totally unpredictable.
    At least with the T4 Super, I could anticipate.

    The Nikon D40 has shutter lag of .26 second,
    according to,
    longer than the unknown Sony model mentioned above.
  9. Ricoh compacts like the GX, GX8, current GX100/200, and GR digitals are very fast cameras AF included. They also have a preset focus mode called "Snap" mode, which was a feature of the film GR1 also. This is set at 2.5m and with the large depth of field due to the small sensor focus is essentially taken out of the lag equation.
  10. On the .26 second shutter lag for the D40, the relative delay my brother-in-law suggests, then, must be in AF. I'll look into the Ricoh. Thanks again.
  11. Dean G is a Ricoh partisan, perhaps even an employee.
    Ricoh is so rinky-dink they do not even market cameras in the USA.
    The Ricoh GR has shutter lag of .4 second,
    measured the same way as other timings I cited.
  12. Well, I checked the DPReview of one of the Ricoh cameras that Dean G suggests and saw the description of sluggishness, so while I thank Dean G, I think I'll find something else; as I said, the Casio sounds promising and I'll report back if I get it.
  13. In this week's Consumer Reports rankings,
    the only cameras with "good" first shot delay
    and "excellent" next shot delay are the
    Sony H10, Canon SD870, and Kodak V1253.
    Casio EX-F1 is rated "fair" and "good" respectively,
    and costs $1000.
  14. Few thoughts:

    1. No compact camera can reliably offer the very short lag time and shot-to-shot time that a modern dslr can
    offer. Some of the newer ones are much improved though.

    2. Nikon compact cameras, including the best of them, have been consistently criticized as optically very good,
    but just too slow.

    3. I do a fair amount of street shooting and sometimes I pick up the pace, so to speak, by pre-setting my camera
    to a manually focused distance (often approximately 2 meters) and avoid autofocus altogether. This is the "snap
    mode" to which Dean refers above. Even at f/2.8 or f/4, when at wide angle the depth of field is enormous. Not
    all compacts can be pre-set in this manner.

    4. I understand the lack of concern about *small* variations in image quality, and I'm in agreement, but not all
    quality variations among compact cameras are small. I've had pretty good experiences with a couple of (now
    outdated) Canon models, but many photographers whose photos I enjoy (some but not all of them street shooters)
    also speak highly of Panasonic and the higher-priced Leica cousins, Ricoh (particularly GR-D/GR-D II and the
    GX100/GX200 series), the new Sigma, one or two of the Fuji models, and others as well. In short, there are
    indeed many capable ones, but by no means are they all alike, in my view.
  15. Ricoh is snap mode is pretty damn instant.
    Don't just look into a review go and try it yourself then come back and tell us it isn't fast enough.
  16. Try the GX200 in snap mode.
  17. Damn! I hadn't checked this thread till now, actually forgot about it. Who knew I was being cited as a Ricoh partison! Thankyou, finally I feel like "somebody".

    If I had the patience (and I might if I thought anyone was still looking at this thread) I could make a very long list of digital cameras I've owned and used since 1999 when I first went into digital. Only 3 of them have been Ricohs. The first was a slow Ricoh 5000, but it was interesting in its day. The other two was a GX and my current GRD. The GX was amazingly fast for the day, and it is only recently that some other makers like Sony have matched what they were doing in 2003. And the GRD is fast in actual use, and I did qualify it by specifying Snap mode.. oh well. Hope you enjoy whatever you get, sorry for the suggestion. I tend to want to use a camera before I say anything about it however, while there's a lot of pontification around here that goes on based on dpreview "data", so consider the source.

    you should at least read the reviews yourself, and draw your own conclusions, rather than getting your opinions 3rd hand from posters here.
  18. 1. Dean, you are "somebody." Likely only two of us here anyway. :)

    2. Not sure it's correct to say that Ricoh doesn't "market" cameras in the U.S. They're not widely available, but there are now two authorized dealers for Ricoh cameras in the U.S. One is Adorama (in NY), and the other is Popflash (in California). Both sell cameras with a U.S. warranty from Ricoh. Both are reputable.
  19. I'll echo Bill's statements. I bought my wife a Canon A590 for her Birthday this year and she just loves it. It way out performs her old P&S and with built in IS at that price point it's a good choice. There are faster P&S cameras, but as stated above it comes with a cost. Definitely need to know what other criteria will effect the choice....Price, desired print size, zoom requirements, night shots (This is where the A590 falls a bit short), etc.
  20. Didn't realize this was an almost month old thread that got tossed back onto the "New Answers" list. Probably already bought a new P&S...Oh well.
  21. Just checked back; thanks to all for the additional comments. My brother-in-law has lost interest, so I have bought nothing for him so far.

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