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A Review of Camera Shutter Sounds: Nikon at Top, Leica at Bottom

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The quality of a camera’s shutter sound probably isn’t high on the list of what any photographer considers when looking to buy a new body, but Lensrentals has just published a tongue-in-cheek review/comparison of shutter sounds anyway.

“As a leading authority on optical testing and product reviews, it occurred to the Lensrentals staff recently that we owed it to The Internet to explore the final frontier of camera comparisons, a comprehensive examination of shutter sounds,” the camera gear rental company says. “Our thorough and scientific testing covered multiple models from nearly every major camera manufacturer.”

The 5.5-minute video above presents the shutter sounds of each camera for your listening pleasure.

And after “weeks of debate and analysis,” Lensrentals concluded that the Nikon D850 (heard at 1:01), Olympus PEN E-PL7 (4:34), and Pentax 645Z (3:50) have the best shutter sounds on the market.

The Nikon D850 sound “is an absolute classic,” Lensrentals writes. “The shutter on the D850 is the default ‘professional’ camera sound in our collective mind.”

And regarding the medium format $5,000 Pentax 645Z, Lensrentals says: “No one within fifty feet of the Pentax 645Z will have any doubts as to who has territorial dominance in the area. Prove to your friends and neighbors that you’re recording more pixels than they are and, therefore, are the better photographer.”

The worst sounding shutters, in Lensrentals’ opinion, was the Leica SL 601 (heard at 4:55), Sony Alpha a77 II (3:34), and Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R (1:57).

“Sure, Leica is a German company, but, for this amount of money, the camera should speak French,” Lensrentals says. “We expected more rounded corners and less hard edges. The shutter needs to drop some vowels.”

And although the Panasonic S1R has been earning rave reviews for other aspects of its photographic abilities, Lensrentals was disappointed that its shutter “sounds like a mousetrap.”

So if you’re a photographer who cares way too much about how nice your shutter sounds, hopefully this review can point you in the right direction as you search for a new shutter sound camera to fall in love with.


Update on 12/14/19: Here’s part 2 with shutter sounds from 11 more DSLR and mirrorless cameras:

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