There are few sounds that photographers find more satisfying than the click, clack, or clomp of a camera shutter. Recently, Sails Chong’s captivating video, “Lovely shutter sounds of 18 cameras from 135 full frame to 810 large format” has been circulating the photography internet. It’s a wonderful way to spend five minutes.
In Chong’s video, you hear the wonderful sounds of 18 different vintage camera shutters firing, including those of the Olympus OM-1 35mm SLR (with a shutter speed of 1/125th sec.), the Fujifilm TX-1 (with a shutter speed of 1 sec.), the Hasselblad 503CW (also with a shutter speed of 1 sec.), and the Mamiya RB67 ProS LS (with a shutter speed of 1/125th sec.). There’s some exquisite piano playing on the audio as well, but, of course, the focus of the video is on the shutter-release sounds, something a photographer would hear almost every day. For some of us, these sounds bring us back to another time. They seem to be almost imprinted on our memories.
Today’s smartphones include shutter sounds, too, but mobile devices have electronic shutters, which are silent. In other words, you can turn the faux shutter sounds off on Android and iOS devices. Many digital point-and-shoots have simulated shutter sounds, too, which you can turn off. But, the shutter sounds of DSLRs are real, in part, because they include a mirror that must flip up and down when the shutter activates. You can hear DSLRs hard at work in the following two YouTube clips:
· Canon EOS Shutter Sounds in Burst Mode
· Comparison of Nikon Burst Shutter Sounds
But perhaps in our digital age, when so much can be edited out and made to sound perfect, or silent, we want to hear all that noise. Or it might be that Chong’s video is a nostalgic ride back to the days when photography gear—actually all the gear in our lives—made distinct sounds and noises that registered in our memories. Modern mirrorless cameras can rely entirely on their electronic shutters to shoot in complete silence. Some cameras, like Sigma’s quirky, video-centric FP L don’t even have a mechanical shutter.
So, click play on the video above and let those wonderful shutter sounds resonate in your brain. The video includes some truly exocit and rare models (check the eBay prices on those Fujifilm TX-1s if you need proof), so it provides a fun window into a world of cameras many people can only dream about using.