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Digital camera shutter lag

By Jakob Jelling

As technology advances it brings along with it some problems as well. The wisest people try to eliminate these problems in order to make wholesome use of the technology itself. Such is the case with the digital camera too! It is a fact that the biggest complaints that are received from consumer or customers of digital cameras are regarding the shutter lag. Thus it becomes of paramount importance to discuss and understand what this problem truly is and if it can be eliminated then more and more users can further appreciate the digital camera. This discussion is focused primarily on understanding the problem of the digital camera shutter lag and the various ways of eliminating the technologically fantastic device known as the digital camera user friendly to a much greater extent.

Speaking in perfectly technological terms the shutter lag can be defined as the amount of time taken from fully depressing the shutter button of the digital camera and for the image to be processed onto a memory card. Thus it is very important to keep the camera still for a small number of seconds even after depressing the shutter release button. In conventional analog cameras the time lag from between the jiffy one's finger depresses the shutter release button and the instant the shutter opens is virtually insignificant. Thus no problem arises. However in most digital cameras this time is somewhat significant that makes it important to keeping the digital camera absolutely motionless as well as the subject of the photographs also similarly motionless.

It is a fact however that shutter lag times vary from camera to camera. A lot of new digital cameras, especially digital Single Lens Reflex (SLR) cameras, have greatly reduced shutter lag. Some tips while buying and using a digital camera are using fully charged batteries and purchase a higher speed memory card for efficient solving of the shutter lag. Many memory cards are available that offer a spectral variety of shutter speed rating, for example 8X, 12X, 40X, etc. The general rule remains that with the proceeding higher rating the digital camera writes (saves) images to the card faster and thereby solves the shutter lag to a good extent. Yet one must check out the digital camera manuals for appropriate values suitable for a particular camera and must not use a memory card that is higher than the rated value. This makes unnecessary spending of money and leads to no greater help. Characteristically, the costlier a digital camera, the quicker the miniature onboard computer-system and the lesser the shutter lag time.

With the progressing technological advancements the modern digital cameras have an average shutter lag of around half a second or less and beyond doubt under a second. Thus it is an infinitesimal duration of time, yet the fact is that this time does remain and has not been completely eliminated. A very important idea remains that shutter lag can be significantly abridged by means of the pre-focus method. This pre-focus methods works by pointing directly at the subject to be photographed and pressing down the shutter release button only halfway that in itself takes time, but when the shutter release button is pressed the rest of the way, the photograph is obtained faster.

The above discussions has mostly revealed the various methods of dealing with the shutter lag problem. Also a lot of information useful for both beginners as well as professionals have been brought into light regarding the whole shutter lag idea and can be considered enough to get rid of all existing myths. However one thing still remains to be told, it is that apart from all information discussed the photographers can only deal practically with the shutter lag problem by hand on experience. Hence it is advisable to all the people to take up their digital cameras and follow the above instructions to fight and win over the shutter lag problem, one and for all, with personal vigor only!

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