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Old Mar 21, 2006, 2:54 PM   #1
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 38

I am often in shooting conditions where the acoustical noise from SLR mirror slap would be objectionable, such as during a church service. During candid photography I would also like to keep my shooting reasonably discreet. I am presently in the market for a low-cost dSLR system but find it difficult to lay my hands on sample cameras simultaneously to make meaningful A-B comparisons for shutter noise.

Has anyone else run into this noise problem from mirror slap? How can it be reduced or eliminated? And what dSLR models are particularly prone to loud noises during shooting or operate especially quietly? Anecdotal reports lead me to believe that the higher-end Canons and Nikons are also especially loud, but what about other models?

Currently under consideration on my list, hence of special interest to me, are:
Canon D350 (Rebel XT)
Canon 20D
Nikon D50
Konica-Minolta 5D
Konica-Minolta 7D
Olympus E-330

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Old Mar 22, 2006, 2:07 PM   #2
Join Date: Jun 2003
Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
Posts: 22,370

You may want to add the Epson R-D1 (or just announced R-D1s) rangefinder to your list then, since none of the DSLR models on your list are likely to be extremely quiet. I've seen some users report the EOS-20D as sounding like a clap of thunder ;-)

My hearing isn't what it used to be, so I probably wouldn't notice it (but the analogy is obviously a huge exaggeration).

I've got a KM 5D, and I've seen my share of complaints about it's mirror slap noise. But, I think that's mostly because the users were not accustomed to using a DSLR. I've seen my share of complaints about some of the other models, too (although I don't know how the E-330 compares and I personally haven't tried one yet).

I've got an old Nikon SLR that's much louder than my latest toy (KM 5D), so my 5D's mirror slap doesn't really bother me at all (it seems rather "tinny" in comparison, and I'd prefer the "surer" sound of my old Nikon). If I hadn't read complaints about it in forums, I probably wouldn't have noticed it much at all.

On a plus note, I tend to "listen" for the exposure to finish so I'll know when I can release a shutter button on a longer exposure photo (and a 1/2 second exposure can sound like an eternity). So, some noise is preferrable to me.

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Old Mar 22, 2006, 8:19 PM   #3
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 38

As long as I am the only one who hears the click, all should be well. If the Sony DSC-R1 had some serious low-light capability at the telephoto end and more telephoto, I would consider getting one of those instead. The Epson costs way too much.

Also, unless it has a live LCD preview and the ability to focus adequately using the LCD monitor, is just about useless for extreme close-ups. I have done it before by mounting the camera on a tripod, aiming the camera with the viewfinder, racking the tripod up to where the lens is in the same position the viewfinder used to be, measuring the distance to the subject, and setting the distance scale accordingly, but what a chore!
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