looking for a camera with a quiet shutter....

Discussion in 'Nikon' started by jr stevens, May 8, 2009.

  1. Hi all, i hope this is the right forum for my question..i recntly bought a Nikon FE and love it except for the extremely loud shutter! is this the case with all the classic SLR's and rangefinders or can someone recommend a slr with quiet shutter that i can use indoors for concerts, plays, etc that won't wake up the dead when i take a picture?
  2. The F6 probably takes the prize for low shutter/mirror db level. If you can work with it, any body(e.g., the F3)with true mirror lock-up will be pretty stealthy.
  3. Mirror slap contributes quite a bit to the click sound, so mirror-up capability would be useful, but it's pretty difficult to compose that way ;)
    Some cameras have a "silent shooting" mode during Live View operation that functions digitally like a point-and-shoot camera... so no shutter click.
  4. F100 is pretty quiet.
  5. Yashica 35
  6. Look no further than the N80. It has a very quiet and soft shutter, regardless of the shutter speed, to the point where I've wondered occasionally if it really is shooting as fast as it's supposed to (it is, of course). My D300 is very loud by comparison.
  7. I believe the Yashica 35 is a rangefinder camera and almost any rangefinder camera is quieter than almost any SLR, film or digital. I've had a couple of Leica Ms and those and my three Retina RFs were alll quieter than my Nikon Ftn, my nikkormat and my current D80.
  8. Different rangefinder bodies have very quiet shutters with no mirror. I have used Leica M3, M6, Bronica rf645, older Fuji 645 and Mamiya 7 which are quiet. If you need very quiet check out some of these or other rangefinders.
  9. Use a blimp. That's the only thing that works, and an absolute necessity when shooting a play or classical concert.
  10. I would second Edward. Remember that motorized film camera makes noise when it advances the film, too.
  11. I haven't tried any of the current crop of dSLRs with live view so I can't comment on whether they're feasible for live theater. Unless everything is instantly responsive without any lag time I suspect it would be frustrating.
    I used a homemade blimp with my F3HP/MD-4 for photographing live theater performances. It was virtually inaudible, but the homebrewed blimp was very cumbersome and suitable only for tripod use. While the F3 is quiet with mirror lockup it's not a practical solution unless using a wide angle and guessing at the composition.
    Other than that, there really isn't any SLR quiet enough to use as-is for live theater or other performances where quiet is a must. Even a Leica rangefinder is too loud. When I wanted to photograph backstage at local theater events I switched to a compact rangefinder like the Olympus 35 RC or Canonet. The leaf shutters are very quiet, like clicking a ballpoint pen. In its day the Konica Hexar fixed lens RF was considered an ideal stealth camera. Haven't tried one myself.
    In digital many P&S cameras are virtually silent, some emitting little more than a barely audible click. I used an Olympus P&S digicam for awhile in 2002-2003 for performance photography, but that generation of digicams wasn't really suitable for low light or action photography. And those with longer zooms were much too slow. So I returned to fast b&w film until getting the D2H in 2005. And with the D2H I used the homemade blimp box again.
  12. The original Hexar AF rangefinder with its 35/2 has a real silent mode and is razor sharp. Brilliant camera.
  13. Either a point and shoot or rangefinder should do the trick. As long as there is no mirror slap, the camera should be really quiet.
    If you are sitting pretty far from the stage, I would think that a pns would make a better choice than the rangefinder.
  14. Nikon F80/N80.
    Its so quiet it sounds like its not even working right. Other than my Leica MP, I can think of no quieter 35mm.
  15. Part of what's noteworthy about the N80 is that its sound is very diffused, unlike any other camera I've heard. In all other cameras I've heard (minus a rangefinder), the mirror slap and shutter action happen in one sound and moment, unless it's a long exposure. The N80 has a diffused sound at any exposure. If there's just about any ambient noise at all, it will disappear into it.
  16. I have two nikon f3's and they are louder than my fe2 and fm3a, even with the mirror up. Hexar af in silent mode is quieter than all of the above, and also quieter than leica m3, mp, m6. My mamiya 7 is the most quiet. The nikonos v is similarly quiet, just FYI.
  17. I heard those reports about the N80 when it first came out and was interested in it as a theater camera. While very quiet, it wasn't quiet enough to use for live theater photography without a blimp.
    Leicas aren't quiet enough either. Even without the mirror slap the focal plane shutters are much louder than the leaf shutters on compact rangefinders, TLRs and some in-lens shutters.
  18. I can't imagine any camera but a rather specialized one for use in a theater. I thought that only rangefinders were allowed in many of them, at least during the productions.
    But, the N80 helps during street photography, when the usual ambient noise drowns it out completely.
  19. Contax G2; equal or better than a Leica. Dirt cheap, used.
  20. Contax ARIA, lovely little SLR, quiet shutter, 3 fps, Zeiss glass. Quieter than any Nikon SLR by a good measure.
  21. There is one : the Canon (ups, I did'it again) 1N-RS.This camera has a fixed pellicle mirror so there is no viewfinder black-out at the moment of exposure. The fixed mirror allows high-speed continuous shooting at a top speed of 10 frames per second ( godd for ballet - ha ha) and a very quiet shutter (as far as I can remember) .
  22. FA
    D40/ D60
  23. I doubt any non-enclosed SLR with a moving mirror is going to satisfy your requirement. A leaf shutter would be quietest, but few leaf shutter cameras have interchangeable lenses. Interchangeable lens rangefinder cameras such as Leicas, Voigtlander/Cosina and similar focal plane shutter cameras are standard fare for situations like those you mention.
  24. A rangefinder with a cloth shutter is the quietest. Most notably...Leica rangefinders .
    Some fixed lens rangefinders are also rather quiet, like the Olympus XA.
  25. canon 1NRS. almost no shutter sound felt.
  26. Leica R5.....the most quietest SLR I ever had, it has a special damping system also Leica R 6.2 (but it is a full manual camera).....hope this helps.....
  27. I share your pain. I hate a loud shutter, and kept a Nikon F100 exactly one day due to the shutter on it. It's actually probably a mirror slap on most of these cameras, but whatever it is it's highly annoying to some people and completely a non factor to others. If you want a quiet film camera the Nikon N80 has the quietest shutter I've ever used (on a SLR). Nice little cameras and very inexpensive. The viewfinder isn't as large as the one on the camera you have, but it's acceptable, especially if you shoot AF lenses.
    Funny what Dara says about the Leica R5. Mine has the loudest shutter on any camera that I own. I complain endlessly about it. Maybe I've got a bad one, but others have complained about it as well. Whole camera shakes at slow speeds. However, I once had the wife click the shutter a few times about 3 feet from me and I barely noticed it, so it's mostly the photographer hearing it, not the subject.
  28. There are lots of cameras with very quiet shutters. For a classic SLR I highly suggest an Olympus Om1-n or for AE exposure an Oly Om2n. Very quiet. My FE's can not compete with the oly's when it comes to shutter noise and mirror slap. Actually for classic collecting I've sold off my old Nikon gear to purchase Oylmpus equipment because it impressed me that much. My OM2n is the SLR for Leica M7 users who need an slr. Also I agree the Nikon N80 is very quiet if you want a more modern camera.
  29. My first SLR, a Minolta SRT-201 was also the quietest camera I've ever used. Cloth shutter, manual everything, exceedingly good viewfinder and probably impossible to find in good condition now.
    The winding was the loudest part, but even that was pretty silent if you did it at a reasonable speed.
  30. Until my Canon Elan IIe died recently, it was the quietest camera I'd ever heard. I replaced it with an Elan 7Ne and it's even quieter. Film transport and rewind is very quiet also.
  31. I'll second to Jack - EOS 30/33 is the most quiet camera I've ever heard. Surprisingly even more quiet than higher-level EOS 3. But on the other hand, on the concerts music level is usually more loud than your shutter.
  32. The Leica M6.
  33. hehehe. I agree with Owen.
  34. Second the Hexar AF. The silent mode is inaudible to the photographer if there is any kind of ambient noise in the room, and that includes winding the film. It's a very special machine with a few quirks.
    I handled a pentax k20d - SLRs have come a long way, and it was surprisingly quiet - i'd say moreso than some cameras with noisy leaf shutter mechanisms that i have owned.
  35. ShunCheung

    ShunCheung Administrator

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