Z6 with wavy / warped images

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See the photo below. The pole is actually straight, but see how wavy it is? It happens completely randomly, but often enough that it's very irritating. Obviously the image is useless. Any ideas?

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Welcome to the Cafe!

That's the effect of the rolling shutter when using Silent Photography. That's why Thom Hogan recommends NOT using Silent Photography when shooting moving subjects and NOT using image stabilization when using Silent Photography. He goes so far as to recommend using Silent Photography only when the silence is absolutely required.
 
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To expand a bit on what Mike is saying - This problem has to do with how the visual information is read off the sensor one line at a time. On the Z6 I think it takes about 1/20 second to read the entire sensor so if the sensor moves (which it may for image stabilization, or if you move the camera) or the subject moves (a lot of action can happen over 1/20 second) you can get warped images as you've noted. That is the image position has changed as each line of the image is read sequentially over the time it takes to read the entire sensor.

The good news is that this is easily remedied. Turn silent shutter off for action or in artificial light (which can cause light and dark bands). You should also make sure shutter type (D5 in the menu items) is set to Auto or Electronic First Curtain.

If you want to do a controlled experiment, photograph a moving fan with Silent Shutter on then again with Silent Shutter off. The effect will be obvious.
 
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About the artificial light causing bright and dark bands: I'm not a technical guy but that is a problem only with certain kinds of artificial light even though it might be most kinds such as light produced by fluorescent, mercury vapor and sodium lamps. The problem is that those kinds of lamps "flicker" (for lack of the appropriate scientific term). Incandescent light apparently doesn't cause the problem. I wouldn't know from personal experience because I've never used Silent Photography and don't do the kind of photography that might require using it.
 
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What wavy poles? I don't see no wavy poles!

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About the artificial light causing bright and dark bands: I'm not a technical guy but that is a problem only with certain kinds of artificial light even though it might be most kinds such as light produced by fluorescent, mercury vapor and sodium lamps. The problem is that those kinds of lamps "flicker" (for lack of the appropriate scientific term). Incandescent light apparently doesn't cause the problem. I wouldn't know from personal experience because I've never used Silent Photography and don't do the kind of photography that might require using it.
Incandescent in the US cycles at 60Hz. I think some LED cycles at 120Hz. I've seen it on both though it seems pretty rare in the shooting I do and for some reason I use Silent a lot.
 
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See the photo below. The pole is actually straight, but see how wavy it is? It happens completely randomly, but often enough that it's very irritating. Obviously the image is useless. Any ideas?

What lens were you using? I have seen similar wavy distortions using only one combination: Tamron 70-200 G2 and Z6 in silent mode. With in-lens VR and IBIS are both working to compensate for motion, the wavy distortion is easy to replicate. Turning off all stabilization seems to eliminate the issue if silent shutter is a requirement while using my specific lens.

It may be that the two stabilization systems are not fully compatible since the lens is third-party. For what its worth, I have not read about others experiencing the wavy distortion with F-mount VR lenses.

Due to the wavy distortion effect and artificial light banding problems, I have trained myself to avoid silent shutter a majority of the time. In my experience, EFCS is more than discreet enough for nearly all situations without the limitations of the fully silent shutter mode.
 
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Thank you very much. I think ahinesdesign nailed it. There was no artificial light. Natural sunlight only. But yes, that is the lens. Silent mode is required for this situation, not an option. But I will turn off all stabilization.
 
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Thank you very much. I think ahinesdesign nailed it. There was no artificial light. Natural sunlight only. But yes, that is the lens. Silent mode is required for this situation, not an option. But I will turn off all stabilization.
Just to be clear, using Silent shutter with artificial light may cause light and dark bands across the image.

Warping straight line results from movement from the subject or the sensor moving during stabilization.

Both problems are tied to using Silent Shutter but they are different problems.
 

LyndeeLoo

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“Just to be clear, using Silent shutter with artificial light may cause light and dark bands across the image,”
Oh my gosh - I had this exact same problem and had no idea what was going on. Thanks so much for the explanation; I was starting to think that something was wrong with my camera!!

Thanks again!!
 
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See the photo below. The pole is actually straight, but see how wavy it is? It happens completely randomly, but often enough that it's very irritating. Obviously the image is useless. Any ideas?

View attachment 1685733
Hello. I'm new to this page. Thanks to those who manage it.

I am confused about the warped images in the Z6 and why Nikon didn't address it before camera roll out. Is there a back-story somewhere?

I didn't realize that I shouldn't use silent shutter. I expect there are probably a lot of Z6 owners who don't know the problems associated with warped images using silent shutter and then go on an expensive vacation. If they normally don't use the silent shutter they might think it is the best things since sliced bread. I have images of a lot of weird- shaped animal heads.

Are all the Z's designed the same way?

Thanks very much.
Ed
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See the photo below. The pole is actually straight, but see how wavy it is? It happens completely randomly, but often enough that it's very irritating. Obviously the image is useless. Any ideas?

View attachment 1685733
 

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Are all the Z's designed the same way?

I'm not a tech guru, but based on everything I've read, this issue is common to all mirrorless cameras because the fully electronic shutter, which is used in silent shutter mode, is a rolling shutter. The issue and ideal solutions are thoroughly discussed in Thom Hogan's Guide to the Z6, so you might want to consider buying it for that information as well as lots of other helpful information about using your camera. In a nutshell, Hogan recommends using the silent shutter only when doing so is absolutely necessary.
 
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The only way to address this issue is for someone to figure out how to make an affordable global shutter.
A global shutter reads and processes every line from the sensor at the same time.

we are not there yet technologically and as others have stated is an issue with all mirrorless cameras that have a fully silent mode.
 
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As Mike said, this is not a Nikon problem, but a technical issue with how the information is read sequentially off the sensor - and this is currently true of all commercial digital cameras - not just Nikon. And not to be a 'nudge' about it but the Nikon manual gives some pretty strong and straightforward warnings about using the silent shutter.

If it makes you feel any better, I'll bet everyone here has their nightmare story about missed or blown opportunities. When I first got my D70, I'd had it for only a couple of days before a big family event and frankly knew little about what I was doing - and the photos show it. People have nightmare stories about forgetting batteries, wrong settings, dirty sensors, you name it. Then there is the infamous story of Robert Capra on Omaha Beach (which may or may not be true) . . .
 
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If you want to shoot a moving object with an electric shutter right now move to the sony systems. The a1 reads the chip fast enough that rolling shutter is not an issue. I did not believe it until I tried it- my a1 has not come out of silent shutter mode since I bought it.
As pointed out above, this is not a nikon issue. This is a basic physics issue which all manufacturers have to deal with. I suspect this will not be a problem with the new upcoming cameras, like the z9, as faster chips are becoming available.
gary
 
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If you want to shoot a moving object with an electric shutter right now move to the sony systems. The a1 reads the chip fast enough that rolling shutter is not an issue. I did not believe it until I tried it- my a1 has not come out of silent shutter mode since I bought it.
As pointed out above, this is not a nikon issue. This is a basic physics issue which all manufacturers have to deal with. I suspect this will not be a problem with the new upcoming cameras, like the z9, as faster chips are becoming available.
gary
The data I've found says the Sony A1 read speed is about 1/240 sec. I believe the Z6 is around 1/20 second. For several years I used an Olympus EM1-II which had a read speed around 1/60 second and only rarely saw a problem so clearly the Sony is much better. I have to think you'd still see the effect on something like spinning propellor blades or bike wheels that must be very usable.
 

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