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03-11-2015, 09:43 AM   #1
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Why don't DSLRs have internal ND filters

Hi. No doubt a dumb question, but my Canon G12 has an internal ND filter - why not my K5?

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03-11-2015, 10:27 AM   #2
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It adds costs and complexity. Where do you place the ND filter inside the camera,? There's not much room around the mirror, the AF sensor or between the shutter and the sensor, it needs to fold back somewhere.
03-11-2015, 10:33 AM   #3
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here's an example from photo.net:

Integrated ND filters - how do they work? - Photo.net Beginner Photography Questions Forum

Well if the K-5 had one built-in in the body... It would have to cover the sensor. It will slide in above the sensor area, and that would be a little difficult. The K-5 is cramped actually.

Most compacts that have a built-in ND have it in the lens system (which is also non-removable)
03-11-2015, 10:37 AM   #4
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The 01, 02, and 06 lenses for the Q have a built in ND filter. They are good for about 2 stops. Not sure about the 08, but since it has a leaf shutter it probably does.

03-11-2015, 12:54 PM   #5
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I can imagine a design (probably too fragile) where the ND filter was nested into the back of the mirror so that when the mirror flipped up it could move into place or move up with it. But I don't see this being worth the added hit to reliability and cost.
03-11-2015, 01:00 PM   #6
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In cameras like these usually the ND filter is in place to compensate for the slower max shutter speed they have. I guess it is just cheaper to produce like this rather than more capable shutter. Also in this case the lens are specially designed to have this extra piece of glass in the optical path.
For K-5 you dont really want to put any glass between the lenses and the sensor because the lenses are not designed for this and it may lead to astigmatism and smearing.
03-11-2015, 01:01 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by UncleVanya Quote
I can imagine a design (probably too fragile) where the ND filter was nested into the back of the mirror so that when the mirror flipped up it could move into place or move up with it. But I don't see this being worth the added hit to reliability and cost.
The problem is that behind the main mirror is the secondary mirror for the AF sensor.
03-11-2015, 01:01 PM   #8
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There are real-honest "ND filters" which are glass/resin based and are physical, and then there are "electronic" ND filters.
Not all "ND" filters are created equal.
Mirrorless cameras can do ND filters by changing the gain/electronics on the sensor.
They can also have an electronic shutter as well as a mechanical one.

03-11-2015, 01:03 PM   #9
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I'll ask the same question a different way....

Why is ISO 100 the lowest (highest?) ISO? ISO 50 would offer the same benefit as 1 stop. ISO 25, 2 stops.....
03-11-2015, 01:05 PM   #10
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Don't think that the integrated ND filter is built into the camera, but rather in the lens itself; unless of course, we are talking software, which has limitation (ie. may only be applied in JPEG. Your G12 has an integrated lens, which like the Fuji, can integrated the ND filter into the lens component.
03-11-2015, 01:08 PM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Mistlefoot Quote
I'll ask the same question a different way....

Why is ISO 100 the lowest (highest?) ISO? ISO 50 would offer the same benefit as 1 stop. ISO 25, 2 stops.....
ISO comparisons in the digital age are exactly that.

ISO - ISO Standards - ISO/TC 42 - Photography

The determination of ISO speeds with digital still-cameras is described in ISO 12232:2006

Film speed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
03-11-2015, 01:21 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by VisualDarkness Quote
The problem is that behind the main mirror is the secondary mirror for the AF sensor.
Doh!

Dang. I wasn't really thinking it was much of an idea - seemed too fragile already.
03-11-2015, 01:25 PM   #13
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QuoteOriginally posted by LaurenOE Quote
ISO comparisons in the digital age are exactly that.

ISO - ISO Standards - ISO/TC 42 - Photography

The determination of ISO speeds with digital still-cameras is described in ISO 12232:2006

Film speed - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
I am not sure what you are trying to say here other then what we all already know and I commented on in my initial post....

I am asking, if you want to build a physical ND filter inside an SLR would not a better approach to look into ISO 50 or ISO 25. SLR manufacturers tend to offer ISO 25600 or ISO 51200 as a selling feature (use in low light). Why don't the same manufacturers offer ISO 25/50 for the opposite reason (bright light, slow shutter).

Is it a limitation of chips? or just not something that is needed as photographers can overcome bright light with filters, low light, not so much......
03-11-2015, 01:27 PM   #14
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Apart from engineering considerations, it's also worth mentioning that these high end compact cameras include the ND filter to make up for deficiencies in the leaf shutter. For example in the x100 1/4000s is limited to f8 or greater. If you want to open the lens to f2 your limited to 1/1000s, which may not be enough in bright light. I just read that the G12 has similar limitations. The leaf shutter on the Q is limited to 1/2000s. This isn't an issue with DSLRs. The K5 can go to 1/8000s regardless of f-stop.
03-11-2015, 01:33 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by aleonx3 Quote
Don't think that the integrated ND filter is built into the camera, but rather in the lens itself; unless of course, we are talking software, which has limitation (ie. may only be applied in JPEG. Your G12 has an integrated lens, which like the Fuji, can integrated the ND filter into the lens component.
Building it into the lenses would be a lot more expensive in the bigger lenses and would either be controlled by hand or needing an extra contact to communicate with the body.
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