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03-31-2013, 07:41 PM   #1
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Need help understanding mirrorless blackout

On my K-01, the screen blacks out during the time it is taking the picture.

Why? There's no mirror to flap around in there; why isn't it instantly ready for the next picture? Isn't there a picture buffer to stick the just-taken image in until the camera is ready to process it? Or... maybe it's instantly ready, but if my subject's moving, the brief blackout takes me away from seeing it.

Basically, what's the mirrorless advantage (to the user, not the manufacturer)? If the screen's going to black out every time it takes a picture, why not just get a DSLR?

BTW -- I've turned off 'Instant Review', to further speed it up.

Bring me up to date -- would I have to buy a Leica rangefinder to avoid the blackout between shots? Or, maybe a Fuji X-100, with that optical viewfinder? And tell me, since I just don't know, do Pentax DSLRs avoid viewfinder blackout somehow?

03-31-2013, 09:47 PM   #2
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My guess is this is caused by the read/write lag to your card. Maybe try a faster card? I've seen this on point and shoots.
The real advantage to a mirrorless systems is the size of both the bodies and the lenses. Not much more, I suppose.
04-01-2013, 04:48 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by jon404 Quote
On my K-01, the screen blacks out during the time it is taking the picture.

Why? There's no mirror to flap around in there; why isn't it instantly ready for the next picture? Isn't there a picture buffer to stick the just-taken image in until the camera is ready to process it? Or... maybe it's instantly ready, but if my subject's moving, the brief blackout takes me away from seeing it.

Basically, what's the mirrorless advantage (to the user, not the manufacturer)? If the screen's going to black out every time it takes a picture, why not just get a DSLR?

BTW -- I've turned off 'Instant Review', to further speed it up.

Bring me up to date -- would I have to buy a Leica rangefinder to avoid the blackout between shots? Or, maybe a Fuji X-100, with that optical viewfinder? And tell me, since I just don't know, do Pentax DSLRs avoid viewfinder blackout somehow?
Yes, there is no mirror flipping about, but there is still the mechanical shutter hopping about whenever you press the shutter button.
It's the same with all mirrorless cameras, and dSLR's in live view mode as well.

The live view you see in your screen is the image that is projected onto the sensor through the lens, and then sent up onto the screen of the camera, too. The sensor of your camera is doing a double duty of providing the live view image into your screen in the back of the camera, as well as capturing the shot when you are taking a photo.

Because of that, the shutter needs to be open for the sensor (and thus you) to see the image, and only when you press the shutter button, the shutter will first close, then open up again for the duration of the exposure, and then go back open again for the live view.
In the (d)SLR's, on the other hand, the view in the viewfinder comes via the mirror, and the shutter blades are always closed, except during the actual exposure, and occasionally for live view, when the mirror is locked up and the camera acts just like a mirrorless camera.

It may sound confusing at first, but it makes perfect sense when you think about it. Try shooting a photo without a lens to see how the shutter blades move during the actual shot, and you'll see it yourself.

I believe that in the future generations of mirrorless, that is, native digital cameras, not rangefinder ones, the mechanical shutter blades are to be replaced with electric ones. Then the blackout will either totally disappear, or become even shorter than it is now.

Some mirrorless cameras are already using an electronic first shutter, (sometimes named as the silent shutter), where only the second shutter, the closing one, is mechanical. In other words, the exposure will start without the shutter blades having to close first, and the mechanical shutter will only drop down once to finish the exposure, and then open up again for the live view.

Last edited by EchoOscar; 04-01-2013 at 04:58 AM.
04-01-2013, 11:19 PM   #4
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Thanks, EchoOscar. Am also advised by Sledger to use Continuous (HI), which will help. But it's good to know how it actually works. Once you get away from an optical viewfinder, it gets complicated, doesn't it?

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