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Are ther days over for the hybrid shutter?

Discussion in 'Nikon DX DSLR Forum' started by Superbaldguy, Aug 11, 2009.

  1. I see the new D3000 and D5000 have flash sync up to 1/200th sec (which isn't bad), but lack the hybrid shutter such as that found on the older D40, 50, etc. With that set-up, you could get 1/500th sec flash sync, anyone who shoots daylight flash can appreciate how useful that is.

    I am guessing the focal plane shutter is a less complex (less costly?) design and that's why Nikon dropped it....Thoughts?
  2. I could well be wrong, but I thought it was a reliability issue, which is why my old D70s was rated for about 40k shutter actuations.

  3. I guess it could be a trade-off, if the D40 or other similar cameras can get 50K or so shutter actuations, that's acceptable.
  4. From what I have read, the 6mpxl Sony sensor was engineered to have this electronic shutter but subsequent sensors do not have the feature.
  5. BobC


    Jan 3, 2006
    Upstate New York
    >> I am guessing the focal plane shutter is a less complex (less costly?) design and that's why Nikon dropped it....Thoughts? <<

    I'm confused. Don't all of these DSLRs have focal plane shutters?
  6. Well yes, the D40 and others has a combination (hybrid) shutter/sensor that allows the high flash sync, I don't really know how it works from a technical standpoint.
  7. WayneF


    Apr 3, 2006
    No. D40, D50, D70 have a "combined mechanical and CCD electronic shutter". Which is a relatively crude and slow guillotine type mechanical shutter up to around 1/100 second, and then it is simply opened, and the CCD chip is enabled and disabled electronically for faster speeds, to simulate a fast shutter. The firmware limits it to 1/500 second, but it can work at any faster speed, except that then it might truncate and limit a slower flash. You can use a PC sync cord (which hides the flash from camera, it does not know flash is present), and use any faster shutter speed. This so-called fast shutter sync speed is available on the CCD chips. It is the nature of how CCD works, they are disabled anyway after each exposure, while the accumulated charge is transferred serially out of the chip. I am not very current, but many if not virtually all compact cameras use this type of shutter.

    The better models use the focal plane shutter, which is a relatively complex precision mechanical shutter, like has been used in better 35mm cameras since the first Lieca in the 1930s. This FP shutter feature is a plus, except for flash sync speed. Early FP shutters sync'd flash at 1/30, and the first Nikon F in 1959 was 1/60 second, but we are a little faster now, up to 1/200 and 1/250 second. As a shutter, it is a very precise mechanical wonder, but the nature of how FP shutters work limits the flash sync speed (our FP shutter is vertical travel today, faster). The shutter must be fully opened when the flash occurs, and that means only at slower shutter speeds (this is the definition of maximum shutter sync speed, when it is no longer fully open at any one instant). Shutter speed does not otherwise affect flash exposure. So it is just how life is, and has always been. Good opportunity to say "get over it", but I wont. :smile:

    It is really no issue except for fill flash in bright sun. The flash is much faster than the shutter. The speedlight can be used for high speed photography, with flash durations like 1/20,000 second or faster. The shutter speed might be Bulb then, open a few seconds, which does not matter in a dim surrounding. Here is a sample of that.

    The newer camera sensor chips are CMOS chips, not CCD chips, and such chip enable is not possible on CMOS. Or at least none is implemented, as it is not necessary for CMOS to work.

    The D60 is sort of the odd guy, a CCD sensor but the focal plane shutter (which is considered a quality shutter). The D3000 says CCD too, but D5000 says CMOS.

    Not the D60, and I think not the D3000/D5000, but otherwise, the focal plane shutter models (D80 - D700 and D3) have the Auto FP mode to enable High Speed Sync (HSS). This does not affect the shutter at all, but it changes the external flash units (not the internal flash) to be a continuous light for the duration of the focal plane travel (no longer considered same as "flash"), allowing use of like f/2.8 1/6400 second for fill flash in bright sun (at reduced power level).
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 11, 2009
  8. Thanks Wayne, we can always count on you for such wonderful explanations when it comes to how flash works. I find the high-sync feature very handy, should look to see if I can land a mint D50/70 at some point.
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