What is Shutter Lag?


Shutter lag is the delay time between pressing the shutter button on your digital camera and the interval you wait until the photograph is actually taken. Most of this delay time is taken up by the camera focusing on the subject, exposure calculation and the
electronic or physical shutter mechanism.

We all hate this when it happens. You spot a great photo opportunity and turn on your digital camera. But by the time it's ready to shoot, the moment has passed, lost forever. Or worse, it is something that you can never capture again, as can so often happen when taking pictures of your children. With modern digital SLR cameras, an advanced closed-loop control circuit allows a fast estimate of appropriate focus distance, without having to slowly move the lens back and forth. Hence, the picture capture time is greatly improved and almost instant. 

Slow start-up and shutter lag plague many compact digital cameras. Although camera makers improve responsiveness with each new model, most digital cameras are slower to respond than their earlier film counterparts.

The Latest designs have reduced this problem since the early digital cameras.

Tips that can help you to decrease 'shutter lag'. 

Pre-Focus or Pan your camera to overcome Shutter Lag, or Use the Manual Focus mode.

The great thing about most DSLR cameras is that they allow you to turn the auto focus system off and focus manually. With a little practice, you can keep a moving subject in perfect focus while panning to keep your subject framed in the viewfinder. Switching to manual focus eliminates shutter lag caused by the auto focus system when you trip the shutter release.

If you want to fully disperse with shutter lag then swap your compact camera for a digital SLR? Then now's the time, because the range and quality of DSLR's on the market has never been better. Compacts are fine for casual photography, but they have limitations which quickly become apparent if you decide to get serious about taking pictures.

DSLRs can look complicated at first, but they all have fully automatic modes for the less experienced, and the least expensive models are designed specifically for people moving up from a compact.

Finally, selecting a Camera is more important, because this could be a long-term decision. You can buy extra lenses for any camera, but they will only work on a particular make. Currently Canon and Nikon have excellent DSLRs with intrinsically low shutter lag and the widest lens ranges, although other companies are catching up.

Close & return to >