Author Topic: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7  (Read 1322 times)

PeterN

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Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« on: November 12, 2019, 11:34:17 »
Now knowing that the mechanical shutter combined with the VR ON setting does not always result in better image stabilisation (at least in my camera that does not need to be repaired according to the service advisory) I am curious what settings you use when you shoot handheld (e.g. what are your default settings and do you change on-the-fly? what about using EFCS with flash?).

I am also curious to learn more when the mechanical shutter is triggered in the AUTO shutter type setting, if/when the mechanical shutter takes over in the EFCS setting, and if the VR is active at all shutter speed settings when it is turned on.

My apologies for asking these basic questions but I could not find the answers elsewhere or saw conflicting messages. So what better place is there to ask than this forum?


Peter

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« Reply #1 on: November 12, 2019, 16:05:48 »
EFCS should mostly solve any vibration issues arising from the mechanical shutter, but it can result in asymmetric rendering of out-of-focus areas at fast shutter speeds and also lead to uneven exposure with tilt/shift lenses (with movements applied) again at fast shutter speeds. Flash can be used. Nikon limits EFCS to 1/2000s at least in my cameras. Fully electronic shutter avoids vibration issues as well as the bokeh issues of EFCS but it cannot be used with flash and it can result in rolling shutter if you have moving subjects, and banding in flickering artificial lighting. Mechanical shutter has less rolling shutter than fully electronic shutter, and no asymmetric bokeh issues, and flash can be used, but it can cause vibration.

Pick your poison!  :)

I don't yet have any Z camera but use the D850 which allows EFCS use in Qc mode, and I find its use often leads to superior sharpness. I have not noticed significant anomalies in bokeh or evenness of exposure though I often use tilt-shift lenses (but usually in circumstances where the lighting is dim, the camera is on tripod and so the shutter speed is quite low, it might be e.g. 1/25s or thereabouts). I go to regular mechanical shutter mode when I need fast shutter speeds or faster response time (in mirrorless, EFCS should result in shorter shutter lag) or high fps, as those are limited in the D850 when using EFCS.

I guess there are no hard rules about the use of these different shutter modes. I would go about it like this: shoot auto EFCS until you run into a problem. A problem might be that there is vibration from the mechnical shutter and then select either full-time EFCS or silent, fully electronic shutter, depending on whether you have movement or artificial light, or change the shutter speed to where EFCS kicks in (slower speeds) or faster shutter speed so as to minimize the blur due to the shutter vibration.  If you are going with a fast shutter speed, you may get some slight issue with bokeh or tilt-shift lens, and in that case, you can either choose a slower shutter speed or switch to mechanical shutter.

I guess what people would like is certainty that there is a mode which always gives the best results, but this is complicated. I am glad that Nikon offers an auto EFCS mode even if it doesn't always produce perfect results, so that at least shooting is easier and making choices and frequently changing settings is not required.

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« Reply #2 on: November 12, 2019, 18:54:40 »
For Z6 I mostly shoot handheld in silent shutter mode. For faster moving subjects I'd set the shutter to auto mode (which uses EFCS at slow speeds and Mech for high speeds). I do switch modes when there is potential for banding from flickering lights.

Other than banding I don't see changes to image quality which are significant.

PeterN

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Re: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« Reply #3 on: November 13, 2019, 08:58:56 »
Thankyou for your very clear explanation, Ilka. I wasn’t aware of potential issues with tilt-shift but I will keep that in mind. I understand why the mechanical shutter could lead to blurrier images but turning VR should then lead to sharper images and it does not in my case.
Jack, thanks for sharing your settings. I’ve added shutter type to the i menu (silent mode) was already in and use auto shutter by default. I stored my default settings in U1, use U2 as “tripodmode” with EFCS and exposure delay and U3 for action. Hopefully it helps.
But it remains a workaround. Btw, the person who reported the mechanical shutter/VR issue, said that he had no problems with the D850 and the Sony A7. Since Nikon did not explain the service advisory, it remains unclear where the problem resides.
Peter

Erik Lund

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Re: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« Reply #4 on: November 13, 2019, 09:23:59 »
Ilka what is it about a Tilt Shift lens you feel is different to a non-TS lens like for instance a ultra wide angle lens regarding vibrations/shutter/mirror?
Erik Lund

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« Reply #5 on: November 13, 2019, 11:38:42 »
Ilka what is it about a Tilt Shift lens you feel is different to a non-TS lens like for instance a ultra wide angle lens regarding vibrations/shutter/mirror?

It is not different regarding vibrations, but when you have the lens way off center, the light is coming on the sensor in a different angle (or distribution of angles) and if you use EFCS, the front curtain is electronic (so it is in plane with the image) whereas the back curtain is mechanical (in front of the sensor). This can lead to exposure variations, according to Nikon (and Canon say the same) at fast shutter speeds, but I haven't personally run into them. I'm just mentioning it because Nikon mention it. My most common usages for tilt shift lenses are either in the forest and/or in winter, and I typically stop the lens way down (f/11) so my exposures are so long that this doesn't show up. If this is of interest, I might do some test shots at fast speeds to bring up the issue. At the moment it is raining and dark even at midday so there isn't much opportunity.  :)

In NPS D810 tips, Nikon say "When using the electronic front-curtain shutter with a shifted or tilted PC-E lens, adjust settings for a shutter speed slower than 1/250 s. Faster speeds may result in uneven exposure."

Erik Lund

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Re: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« Reply #6 on: November 13, 2019, 11:59:05 »
You are right, I forgot about that warning.
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Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« Reply #7 on: November 13, 2019, 15:16:14 »
We can only hope that development of a 24x36 electronic global shutter is underway!

Ilkka Nissilä

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Re: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« Reply #8 on: November 13, 2019, 15:28:15 »
Global shutter sensors do exist, but they are expensive and have reduced dynamic range.

Jack Dahlgren

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Re: Shutter type and VR settings on the Z6/Z7
« Reply #9 on: November 16, 2019, 13:29:46 »
Global shutter sensors do exist, but they are expensive and have reduced dynamic range.

The same was said of digital cameras in the past. I have faith that silicon technology will advance. It is only a matter of architecture and processing speed.