Electronic or Mechanical Shutter?

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I'm aware of the reasons, at least in theory, about when to use the electronic shutter instead of the mechanical shutter and vice versa in my Z6. However, I wonder if both were used the same amount, which one would be most likely to break down. Does anyone know?
Why do you think the ES would break down at all as there are no moving parts? Other than specific occasions (artificial lighting, rapid subject movement, flash of course) I almost exclusively use ES.
 
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Lots of products that have no moving parts break down because the electronic circuits stop working.
True enough - I had a D500 where the main circuit board failed in the first year. But I would just assume that the lack of moving parts (almost no friction, no mechanical stress) would make ES inherently far more durable.

I guess I always assumed that they don't give expected lifetime shutter counts to ES because it is far more likely that something mechanical is going to breakdown before the ES fails . . . but that's just my assumption. :)
 
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Other than specific occasions (artificial lighting, rapid subject movement, flash of course) I almost exclusively use ES.
I realize that using Silent Photography prevents the use of flash but why would you not use flash when using Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter? I've not yet tried using flash with my Z6, so I'm clueless other than the occasional stuff I've read about using it. Worse yet, I've not yet made a point of reading about using flash, figuring that I'll wait to study up on it until I have a need for using flash.
 
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This is a chart from my book "Nikon Z6/Z7 A complete guide" that I created. It is my understanding that the "electronic" part of the shutter operation is common for all three shutter types (mechanical/silent/EFCS). The silent shutter (electronic shutter) does not have any other mechanical movement. The EFCS has only half of the mechanical focal-plane shutter in terms of mechanical wear. The silent shutter has a greater distortion effect for fast shutters. The EFCS has no worse distortion than the mechanical shutter. (The EFCS only goes to 1/2000sec).
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I had forgotten about this thread. Since posting my previous message...

why would you not use flash when using Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter?
I now realize after continued reading that it's not possible to use flash on the Z6 or Z7 when the Electronic Front-Curtain Shutter is enabled. EDIT: That's not correct. See my next post.
 
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Nikon manual does say you cannot use a flash with silent shutter (Z6/Z7) but I could not find any mention about a flash when the EFCS is used....
 
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Nikon manual does say you cannot use a flash with silent shutter (Z6/Z7) but I could not find any mention about a flash when the EFCS is used....
You're right about that. Thanks for catching that! My notes about that were made while I was studying Thom Hogan's guide, but I clearly got confused. When Silent Photography is enabled, it's not possible to access the Flash Mode in the Photo Shooting menu. When only EFCS is enabled, that menu item can be accessed.
 
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One comment I want to add is that I said EFCS cuts normal (mechanical shutter) wear-and-tear in half, but looking at my chart, I realized that, in EFCS, only the front curtain swings up and down. No movement of the rear curtain at all. So you probably cannot prolong the overall shutter life with EFCS. What it means is that when your shutter breaks down after so many X-number of clicks, your rear curtain is brand-new because it was never used.... So, not much benefit for the end-user. The real benefit is for camera manufacturers if they decide to forgo mechanical shutter completely and replace it with EFCS. (There are cameras like that.) But anyway, we are in a transition phase - once we go completely silent (electronic), there is no more confusion and complexity.... So, as we speak, the only benefit of EFCS in Z6/Z7 is a small vibration reduction effect in some critical situaltion.
 
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in EFCS, only the front curtain swings up and down. No movement of the rear curtain at all. So you probably cannot prolong the overall shutter life with EFCS.
If you have a camera with two parts (front and rear curtain) that move with every shutter actuation and I have a camera that has only one part that moves with every shutter actuation, the odds are that my camera is going to last longer than yours simply because it has fewer moving parts.
 
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I'm glad you started this thread as I'm still trying to get my head around how the shutter operates on my Z 6. I thought my Thom Hogan guide would be the go-to reference, but it's not very helpful. Regarding EFCS, Thom says:

Electronic front-curtain shutter (EFCS, enabled with CustomSetting #D5)—When you press the shutter release the sensor immediately switches to a rolling shutter type image initiation mode. At the end of the exposure the shutter is closed, the sensor shut down, and the data is moved off the sensor. Finally, the mechanical shutter is re-opened and the image sensor turned back on for Live View.

What does he mean by "...the sensor immediately switches to a rolling shutter type image initiation mode..."?
 
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rolling shutter type
Rolling shutter -- where the electronics TRIES to readout the image as fast as possible, but can't read the whole thing in one shot.....so it starts at the top (or bottom) and reads as fast as it can while re-starting the capture on the rows just read. In effect every ROW (or block of rows, depending on the implementation) has different timing from the others.

This yields weird movement artifacts --- like looking at airplane props with a go-pro, you get curved blades.

Until sensor designers implement "Global shutter" you best stick to static subjects when using EFCS.
Global shutter takes an extra transistor per cell and more complicated wiring so don't hold your breath waiting.
 
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Rolling shutter -- where the electronics TRIES to readout the image as fast as possible, but can't read the whole thing in one shot.....so it starts at the top (or bottom) and reads as fast as it can while re-starting the capture on the rows just read. In effect every ROW (or block of rows, depending on the implementation) has different timing from the others.
Thanks, I had just figured that out by rereading that section of Thom's e-book.
 
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When Thom says "At the end of the exposure the shutter is closed, the sensor shut down, and the data is moved off the sensor. Finally, the mechanical shutter is re-opened and the image sensor turned back on for Live View..." I guess he means that the rear curtain is closed and then re-opened.
 
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I just now realized Makota's explanation a few posts above provides information for me that clears up a LOT, that the electronic shutter is only the rear curtain and the mechanical shutter is only the front curtain. Hogan's guide mentions the electronic shutter at least 56 times and mentions the mechanical shutter 46 times, yet never explains that one is the front curtain and one is the rear curtain. Perhaps I should buy Makota's book.

Looking through Hogan's guide about that, I also learned some other related details:

"The shutter slap from the Z6 and Z7 is worse than that of the DSLRs." (page 771) Considering that the mechanical shutter on the Z6 and Z7 is only the rear curtain, I wonder why.

The mechanical shutter on the Z6 and Z7 is the same and it's tested to 200,000 cycles. (page 641)

The mechanical shutter is a rolling shutter above 1/200 second. It rolls faster than the electronic shutter, which rolls at all shutter speeds. (footnote on page 647)
 
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Page 39:
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And page 80 offers a good explanation of the process of shuttering!
 
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And page 80 offers a good explanation of the process of shuttering!
I beg to differ. Though Hogan's guide has been immensely helpful to me, when he fails to mention that the shutter is made up of a front and rear curtain and that the front is electronic and that the rear is mechanical, I can't call his guide a good explanation of shuttering. Considering the detail that he provides about so many of the camera's processes, I have no idea why he didn't mention those important details at least once.
 
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Re: shutter slap:

Page 585

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