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Shutter Lag - Verdict


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23 replies to this topic

#1 markopa

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 03:47 PM

As announced I've tried to measure the shutter lag. This could be done in two ways without being intrusive into the camera:

a) Each camera action consumes battery power. That said one could measure the current drain from the battery. The current waveform directly follows the camera actions. However this approach is more com0plicated as you have to solder few wires t othe battery plus teh current waveform could be smoothed by the internal electronics capacitors and power managment circuitry.

B) The second method is by recording the sounds. Every mechanical action of the camera emits sound. By recording the sound and measuring the intervals one could figure out what the camera is doing. And that was the method for measuring shutter lag.

Below is a typical audio footprint of the cpro1 taking a shot. Camera setting were:

- MF, prefocusued
- Manual expsure 1/4s
- EVF
- ISO1600 (manual)
- Latest camera and lens firmware, 35mm lens

Posted Image

So let examine the audio fingerprint:

The part highlighted by the red circle is the X-Pro1 taking an exposure:

Posted Image

Taking into account the sampling frequency of 44100 samples per second we can observe the exposure time:

Posted Image

The grayed region is approx 11132 samples which leads to (1/44100)*11132 = 252ms. So we are pretty accurate as our manual exposure time was set to 1/4s.

Moving further we can measure the part before the exposure - the shutter lag:

Posted Image

Again, the grayed region is 2132 samples which yields to a shutter lag of 48ms. Hum. Not as declared, but not so bad.

So why I'm missing shots if the lag is only 48ms ? Lets examine again the first audio fingerprint. We can notice tow small dots after the exposure has been taken. Intrigued by this I started to observe what the X-Pro1 is doing in that moment ? Yes, those are the blades returning after you depress the button.

Posted Image

We can observe this movement after the first and second exposure. After each exposure I was again half pressing the shutter button preparing the camera for the next shot. So far so good. But, hey ? What happening after the third exposure ? The blades were not returned into the typical position, but just half of the operation was performed by the xpor1. Whoups ? :blink:

Posted Image

Bankg ! Pressing the button in such situation the X-Pro1 has to first move the blade to its final position and than take the shot. Let's measure the "lag":

Posted Image

There are 9924 samples grayed which leads to 225ms. Ajajaj ! :huh:

Verdict:

- The shutter lag is contained below 50ms
- For some reason after you take one shot you don't allow the xpor1 to take its time and settle down, but you half press the shutter button as soon as you can an anomaly happens which results in a consequent lag of 225ms after you press the button all the way down. An eternity.
- Not confirmed, but it looks we have also a ~100ms of the delay in the EVF. I can't measure this, but is there for sure !
- If you have noticed we have about 1 to 3s between each shot. Pretty slow.

Fuji :angry: ?! Its time to release a firmware fix for this as I'm missing decisive moments and my kinds are growing !!!
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#2 flysurfer

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 04:34 PM

Could it be an unintended side effect of the now much slower aperture dance? Aperture adjustmend used to be faster (and noisier) before the "hysteria" surrounding "aperture chatter" hit the net and prompted Fuji to roll out a (maybe too) quick fix. So is is this "fix" actually a new bug?

#3 EvilTed

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 06:41 PM

Could it be an unintended side effect of the now much slower aperture dance? Aperture adjustmend used to be faster (and noisier) before the "hysteria" surrounding "aperture chatter" hit the net and prompted Fuji to roll out a (maybe too) quick fix. So is is this "fix" actually a new bug?


I've noticed this too.
If you prime the lens by half-pressing the shutter button, sometimes it just goes off and takes the picture?

ET

#4 flysurfer

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 07:51 PM

I made some unscientific tests involving a "fast" 18mm version 1.00 lens and a "slow" 18mm version 1.01 lens and could not notice any difference in shutter response once the camera was primed. That said, both lenses need some time after taking a shot and immediately half-pressing the shutter button to re-prime the camera. However, I can't notice any differences between both lenses with this respect.

Using an adapted M mount lens reduces the "prime time" between shots, meaning you can take several single shots in a row more quickly.

All three tests involved MF and manual exposure mode.

I any case, once the camera was primed (= green ready light next to the VIEW MODE button), there was no significant shutter lag.

#5 Arjay

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Posted 03 June 2012 - 11:47 PM

Thank you for your thorough tests, Markopa!

- For some reason after you take one shot you don't allow the xpor1 to take its time and settle down, but you half press the shutter button as soon as you can an anomaly happens which results in a consequent lag of 225ms after you press the button all the way down. An eternity.

I have observed this after-shot lag effect on the X100 too. It doesn't stop me from getting the 'decisive moment' on the first go, but it certainly does for consecutive shots.

- Not confirmed, but it looks we have also a ~100ms of the delay in the EVF. I can't measure this, but is there for sure !

It's very strange that Fuji gave up one of the cooler features of the X100 here: On the X100, the video frame rate is boosted considerably when you press the shutter button to the first pressure point, effectively at least halving EVF lag. Why on earth did Fuji do away with this feature on the X-Pro1?

Fuji :angry: ?! Its time to release a firmware fix for this as I'm missing decisive moments and my kinds are growing !!!

Hm - we don't know yet if this after-shot lag is due to a software or hardware deficiency. If it were due to hardware, we'd have to wait for an X-Pro1 Mk II. :(

#6 Machspeed

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 12:50 AM

Thank you markopa for this well-thought test!
At least it somewhat proves that the shutter lag is a common issue with these cameras and not some statistically insignificant occurrences.

#7 WillemH

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:22 AM

What a great job. Have the fujiguys given a reaction yet?

#8 Ivophoto

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:23 AM

I didn't need this test to know. Just using the cam was enough. But this test proves things. It surely explains the inconsistency I'm talking about, and that is the most irritating thing. Especially if you are in snipe mode. I didn't understand why I was not able to anticipate on the lag, the inconsistency is the reason....

#9 markopa

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 01:32 AM

What a great job. Have the fujiguys given a reaction yet?


Thanks !

As for now they didn't. At least I'm not seeing a firmware release :) Joking....

Let's hope they notice this and possibly fix it.

#10 Machspeed

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:05 AM

markopa, in your wave graphs, can you identify the moment the shutter release button is fully pressed? Not the moment the camera begins the exposure but the actual moment you are achieving full shutter release button press.
I guess not (because it's not a very audible event).

#11 markopa

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:16 AM

markopa, in your wave graphs, can you identify the moment the shutter release button is fully pressed? Not the moment the camera begins the exposure but the actual moment you are achieving full shutter release button press.
I guess not (because it's not a very audible event).


You've yourself partly answered. If fact is hardly audible. If you take a closest look at the last wave you can notice something is happening before the camera tries to move the blades.

However I didn't wanted to take also this into account as I think is really minimal. Seems the lag itself is not a problem. The problem seems to be inconsistency. On the other side the lag is not within specifications given by Fuji - correct me if I'm wrong.

[BTW: I'm really tempted to prove/measure how the battery management is bad designed (and not worth the ~1500€ the camera costs) as the battery indicator doesn't work as it should be. But let's us leave this for another thread.]

#12 Machspeed

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Posted 04 June 2012 - 02:47 AM

Mike Kobal just posted on the shutter lag in his blog

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.

"Shutter lag in manual focus mode: this problem could easily get fixed with the next firmware upgrade.
Even in mf and full manual exposure mode, Fuji lenses assume a resting position until the shutter is half pressed. This causes significant shutter lag. Take the Sony Nex 7 for example, it lacks a manual focusing/DOF scale, however, once you focus, set aperture and shutter speed, the lens stays in the prefocused position and holds the selected aperture value. There is practically no shutter lag with this setting. Once I spot a subject or scene, I half press and hold the shutter button until I am ready to take the picture. This eliminates shutter lag completely, if I miss the shot I can’t blame the camera. "

#13 Sergio

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:15 AM

On the other side the lag is not within specifications given by Fuji - correct me if I'm wrong.


The published shutter lag is 0.05 seconds, which seems to be in line with your test results. This is from the X-Pro brochure.
X100 is 0.01 πŸ˜” but Leica M9 is 0.08 πŸ˜‰

#14 flysurfer

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:22 AM

Leaf shutters vs. focal plane shutters. M9 has the additional handicap of a larger shutter for a larger sensor, so no wonder it is even slower.

#15 jknights

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 10:43 AM

Thank you markopa for this well-thought test!
At least it somewhat proves that the shutter lag is a common issue with these cameras and not some statistically insignificant occurrences.


Yes indeed the use of Audacity to capture the camera sounds and to analyse these results is very good.

Thanks Mark. Much kudos.

Is it possible to measure the AF performance in a similar/some way?
Always Nikon and Fuji cameras.

Still learning after all these years!
Website http://www.jmknights.com


#16 Ivophoto

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 02:21 PM

Stop comparing a Leica M with a X camera, please.
A Leica M is in first place a camera and in second place a electronic contraption, a X camera is in first place an electronic contraption and in second place a camera. And that makes a huge difference for some.

#17 jknights

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Posted 05 June 2012 - 05:04 PM

Stop comparing a Leica M with a X camera, please.
A Leica M is in first place a camera and in second place a electronic contraption, a X camera is in first place an electronic contraption and in second place a camera. And that makes a huge difference for some.


???
And I thought both were either photographic tools or male jewelry

:lol:
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Always Nikon and Fuji cameras.

Still learning after all these years!
Website http://www.jmknights.com


#18 Ivophoto

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:13 AM

???
And I thought both were either photographic tools or male jewelry

:lol:


:D Fair enough, it is Leica's own fault to attract shuch comments. :D

#19 jknights

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:54 AM

1338966834[/url]' post='52071']
:D Fair enough, it is Leica's own fault to attract shuch comments. :D


I was going to ask for an Xpro1 upgrade so that it had an OVL, EVL, and a rangefinder for MF. Then it really would be a ground breaker.
I still love the old split screen rangefinder focussing. So easy to use except in very dark conditions.:-)
Always Nikon and Fuji cameras.

Still learning after all these years!
Website http://www.jmknights.com


#20 jknights

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:57 AM

1338913356[/url]' post='52019']
Leaf shutters vs. focal plane shutters. M9 has the additional handicap of a larger shutter for a larger sensor, so no wonder it is even slower.


That is what we want is a set of XL lenses. X = xpro. L= leaf shutter.
Maybe a 23mm and 50mm would be great!
Always Nikon and Fuji cameras.

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#21 JSRockit

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 05:59 AM

Stop comparing a Leica M with a X camera, please.
A Leica M is in first place a camera and in second place a electronic contraption, a X camera is in first place an electronic contraption and in second place a camera. And that makes a huge difference for some.


As a former M9 user and a current X-Pro1 user, I would have to disagree. Both are cameras first.

#22 artuk

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:01 PM

Could it be an unintended side effect of the now much slower aperture dance? Aperture adjustmend used to be faster (and noisier) before the "hysteria" surrounding "aperture chatter" hit the net and prompted Fuji to roll out a (maybe too) quick fix. So is is this "fix" actually a new bug?


I noticed something odd the other day, but didn't have time to investigate at the time.

I was trying to photograph a building with a bright sky behind it. On half pressing the shutter to focus, there was a noticeble delay and a couple of quiet clicks. It made the camera feel unresponsive. This was repeatable.

When I recomposed the scene so there was no bright sky, the delay was imperceptible. Also repeatable.

I tried to find out what the camera was up to, and holding it pointing upward so I could look down into the lens (i.e with a bright sky in front of the lens) I observed the delay again. It appeared to be the aperture blades going through a sequence of opening and closing (or possibly the opposite, I can't remember) before the lens AF kicked in and set focus.

The fact that this was adversely affected by scene brightness led me to a couple of thoughts:

- whatever it is doing is made longer (slower) by the distance the aperture blades have to travel (bright scene, big delay, dark scene, no delay)
- whatever it is doing is before the acquisition of AF

So it left me wondering:

- is this a side affect of the "fix" for aperture chatter?
- is this a result of a cycle of measuring exposure and focus, and the need for aperture to be set a particular way for the AF cycle?

If this is a side effect of the reduced aperture chatter - which one assumes was how the camera was originally engineered to be? - then frankly this problem is far far worse than aperture chatter. In my situation, there was a noticeable delay between pressing to focus, and focus starting, but only in some situations based on scene brightness.

Of course, others have noted that when using MF, the lens only moves to the "taking" position (at the set focus distance) when the shutter is depressed - and therefore one assumes the same cycle of aperture movement and delay would be observed.

If this is caused by the "fix" for aperture chatter then thanks to all those people who whined about such a minor issue so much, and have now made the camera worse. I am also now frustrated by how slowly the EVF accommodates changes in brightness after the chatter fix.
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#23 Machspeed

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 12:12 PM

The chatter you've observed happens in manual mode as well, and it seems to be related to the scene brightness somehow. When you half-press the shutter in a shadowed area after half-pressing in well lit area, it chatters, even in manual mode. This is often causing the camera lag we were talking about.

I don't think this is a side effect of the lens chatter problem we had in the v1.00 firmware. I believe the problem was still present at that time, just that they didn't yet completely fix the chatter issue.
As other mentioned, if you use a dumb adapter and a completely manual lens, there's no chatter and the camera still works alright. So it's just bad software implementation I hope, I refuse to believe that they've got the lens design wrong in 2012.
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#24 artuk

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Posted 06 June 2012 - 01:01 PM

The chatter you've observed happens in manual mode as well, and it seems to be related to the scene brightness somehow. When you half-press the shutter in a shadowed area after half-pressing in well lit area, it chatters, even in manual mode. This is often causing the camera lag we were talking about.

I don't think this is a side effect of the lens chatter problem we had in the v1.00 firmware. I believe the problem was still present at that time, just that they didn't yet completely fix the chatter issue.


I really wasn't that bothered by the aperture chatter. It was a very minor irritation in quiet places, but preferable to an EVF that will not accommodate panning from a brightly lit scene to a scene in shadow without needing 1 or 2 seconds to wait for it to settle and show the metered exposure correctly.

If the whiners insist that the aperture chatter is fixed, and are happy with a less responsive camera as a result, then at least provide a menu option for it, or only disable the chatter in silent mode. Clearly the camera and lenses were designed for very fast movements of the aperture blades to adjust for scene brightness. Now we have a camera that moves the aperture blades very slowly, and therefore does not respond adequately to scene brightness.
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