Shutterless Cameras Deserve Good Shutter Sounds

Shutterless Cameras Deserve Good Shutter Sounds

One of the best feelings in photography is when the shutter of a camera is snapped to take a picture. You get a timeless, tactile feedback as you capture every decisive moment with a satisfying auditory “click” sound.

But this distinguishing feature of photography is gradually disappearing. In addition to the fact that most people now use smartphones instead of full-size cameras, more and more cameras are now being made completely without mechanical shutters.

Nikon’s flagship Z9 and more recent Z8 cameras completely do away with conventional shutters; as a result, you either hear nothing at all or are played the sound of a fake shutter rather than experiencing a mechanical action. Just this week, Nikon released firmware version 4.0 for the Z9, which added a slew of new features and extra shutter sounds, including a beep, a DSLR-like chonk, a vintage film-era clack, and a rangefinder snap.

I find it very appealing to be able to choose my own shutter sound, and reintroducing some old favorites is a fun way to honor photography’s history while utilizing contemporary innovations. But if this is all we get, I’m left feeling a little let down. I believe that camera companies can (and should) take much more action.

First off, from where did these new Z9 shutter sounds originate? Were they based on particular Nikon cameras? I reached out to Nikon and asked, but communications manager Geoffrey Coalter told me, “I’m sorry to say that I don’t know whether or not it’s a specific camera model.”

Which is a bummer because when I hear someone say “Nikon DSLR sound,” My previous D700 and D3 cameras come to mind right away. When I hear “Nikon film camera,” I recall using my F5, FE2, or the classic F3 in school. And if you’re talking about Nikon and a “rangefinder-style sound,” you better believe I want it to look like the stunning S2 I’ve only ever seen in photographs.

Everyone who has used one of those vintage cameras can probably identify the distinct shutter sounds they make (I know I can distinguish the sounds of a D700, D3, and various Leicas). Thousands of captures and years of use leave each one with an impression on you. Because of this, I believe that all camera manufacturers should imitate Nikon and embrace this trend even more while perhaps having fun with it as well.

Recently, Nikon Japan teased that the Z9 shutter sound might be a cat’s meow, but when it comes time to deliver the feature to photographers who paid $5,500, it’s playing it safe and generic. Nikon, let’s face it, even professionals like to have fun!

Read More: Best Camera For Podcasting

Source: theverge

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