View Full Version : shutter lag on the Hexar RF
Hexar RF shutter lag is about 120 ms, and is a real problem for me when photographing my kids as their expressions can be fleeting. I bought a bunch of compact cameras and they ranked in speed as follows (all pre-focussed) fastest to slowest: M3, M7, M6, contax T -- about the same.
Minolta TC-1 (fantastic camera!)
Contax T3 just slightly faster than the
The Hexar RF would be the best camera for me if only it was faster, AND it had an eyepiece adapter like the 1.25 mag for the Leicas.
The quest for the perfect camera is quite frustrating!
From this list, one might get the impression that the Hexar RF and the Stylus Epic are in the same league. But there's still about a 10x difference in speed there, what with the Hexar RF clocking in at about 90ms from the moment the shutter is pushed from halfway all the way down, and the Stylus Epic taking more than a second to rack the lens out and actually take the picture even when it's prefocused.
A camera that I've found really snappy when prefocussed is the Minilux. The weird thing though is that in manual focus mode you've got to prefocus by pushing the shutter halfway too.
Hexar AF also isn't bad all, although the way you set up the camera influences its response time. Manual focus (or AF prefocussed) with A or M mode is virtually instantaneous, even beating the Minilux. Switch to P mode and the speed drops a bit because of the aperture adjustments made at the moment of exposure, making it slightly slower than the Minilux.
how are you checking the shutter lag? are you sure yours isn't defective? the shutter on mine's instantaneous at all settings.
the oft quoted 120ms shutter lag comes from pop photo july 2003. the same article says that the m7 has a shutter lag of 100ms. i wouldn't put too much stock on either figure.
I'd be curious about the Zeiss Ikon ... it was on my shopping list before I stumbled over a cheap Hexar. I'd never noticed the shutter lag until yesterday when I was taking pics from the passenger window of a moving car ... I do this often to amuse myself when being driven through the city. Last time I did it I was using a Leica IIIc and didn't really miss much of what I was trying to capture ... with the Hexar in AE I missed a lot more than I got! Are they slower in AE or was it my immagination? :p
ps ... Gary, what happens when you find the perfect camera? I wouldn't want to think about that ... life could become very dull! :p
I've also experienced the shutterlag on the Hexar rf. But only when I really have to react rapidly. When I can anticipate on the shot I didn't notice it.
I now use a M7 and there that is as fast as the M6 is.
Erwin Puts also writes about this issue in the review of the M7:http://www.imx.nl/photo/leica/cameratest_m7.html
i shoot from a car all the time, and nailing the alignment of moving objects has always been a piece of cake (as easy as it can ever be, at least). there are some examples in my gallery:
if i missed something, i doubt it was the camera's fault. back when i had an m2, i couldn't see or feel a difference between them, even when looking at the shutter with their back doors open.
I use M6 and Hexar RF and can't really tell the difference in shutter lag. Yet I don't really shoot sports with either. ;)
I know a few very good street photographers (one was and still may be a member here) that use Hexar RF for fairly fast pace street work and do just fine it seems.
I had the cameras all together and fired away, sometimes using the flash to see which released first. I then sorted them fast to slow. The sequence above is definite and accurate; all cameras were working 100%. Shutter delay is definitely present.
!Peter, the shutter lag of the Olympus is nowhere near 1 second pre-focussed! -- it is much faster, I'd say less than 1/4 of a second).
While there is a tad of lag in the Hexar, I doubt it's anywhere near as slow as 120ms. And, offhand, I can't say that I've blown a shot on account of it. (I blew far more shots with my all-singing, all-dancing Minolta 9xi bodies and stupid-fast zooms where the AF sometimes went nuts, for no apparent reason, at the critical moment. "Pre-focusing" ain't just for RF geeks.)
A more thought-provoking idea came to me a few years back when someone was discussing the issue of shutter-lag in the Hex: the idea that the small amount of lag could be beneficial for shooting in low-light situations as the shutter fires just at the point where the camera is physically stabilized after having jabbed the shutter-release. (Whatever....)
Of far more importance is picking your moment(s), and setting up accordingly. I've never known a camera that didn't have at least two quirks about it. Some I could live with; others drove me crazy. So far (six years), the Hexar's quirks have been small at worst.
I suppose the biggest quirk for me falls under the "it's not a bug, it's a feature" category, and almost all Konica cameras are thus afflicted: you get 38 frames to a 36-exposure roll. For the most part, this is a paragon of efficiency, and generally to be applauded, but when I get set to cut my rolls into six-frame strips to feed my Minolta scanner...well, sometimes it's a tad annoying.
But I think I've coped rather well. ;)
I had the cameras all together and fired away, sometimes using the flash to see which released first. I then sorted them fast to slow.
How did you fire them, by pressing the button more or less simultaneously using two hands? If you're talking about the order of milliseconds, synchronicity is kind of doubtful here. In that case I would (a) try the same thing again in reverse order to cancel out some of the bias (for example, from being left- or right-handed, from being used to pressing it with the right hand and less used to the left, etc.) and (b) have someon else press the shutter, too, to avoid selection bias - if you expect a camera to be slow, this will affect your finger movement when doing a direct comparison by a couple of milliseconds.
In effect I don't think you can run this kind of test without some solid testing setup if you want to get meaningful results.
I fired them in front of a mirror, left and right handed, most combinations, and then had my wife and two others also judge (drove them nuts during their visit!). My biggest disappointment over the entire series was the Contax T3; I really expected more in terms of handling. I was/am really happy with the Minolta TC-1 -- superb handling. I didn't measure in milliseconds, I just sequenced the cameras. My estimate of time is based on the 20 ms or so delay of the M's and the 100 ms or so delay of the Hexar.
I will gladly entertain any offers to those of you who wish to unload your slug-like Hexar at a reasonable price!
vBulletin® v3.6.8, Copyright ©2000-2013, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.