Camera Shutter Propagation Delay

It's a fact, the instant you push the shutter release button on your camera is not the same instant that your camera takes a picture. It takes time for the mirror to move out of the way and the shutter to open. This delay is what I call the Camera Shutter Propagation Delay. This delay is never so apparent as when you start using IR Beam and Sound triggering to control your camera, because you can no longer blame missing the shot on your reactions.


Results of Shutter Propagation Delay

**The Shutter Propagation Delay is the most important feature 
of your camera when dealing with High Speed Photography.


Just knowing that this delay is there is a big step. If you know that there is a delay you can anticipate where your subject is going to be after the delay. Now it is a matter to push the shutter release button at the precise moment before the subject moves into your field of view.

Examples of movement with 85mS propagation delay.

Calculate your propagation delay here


The Shutter-Beam's IR beam is IDEAL for fast moving subjects, because of its fast reactions, and reliable triggering. For a bird landing I would put the IR beam about 14 inches in front of the branch the bird is going to land on. The picture will be taken with the bird 2 inches off the branch with its wings fully extended and its feet stretching toward the branch. HIGH IMPACT PICTURE.

The nice thing is that the equipment delays do not vary, like human reactions. Now that I know my camera has an 85mS delay it will always have that delay. That is, as long as I don't change any of the camera setting. This is not to say that all 8008 cameras have an 85mS delay, your 8008 may have a 75 mS delay. This is to say that my 8008 has an 85mS EVERY TIME with the same camera setting set (meter ON, Auto focus OFF, auto F stop and shutter speed).

The propagation delay is dependent on the automatic settings on your camera. Auto exposure, power saving meter off settings(sleep states), auto focus, mirror lockup and many more features of your camera have an effect on the cameras shutter propagation delay. In general terms the shorter the delay the better.

Your subject is going to be moving and you don't want it to move too far. Events in nature don't change much. For instance the bird landing on a branch takes a similar approach almost every time. Kinda like when we drive to work every day. Same stop lights, same speed down the street. So you can take a picture and adjust the equipment to change for prefered results and then take another shot. Once you get the set up dialed in, you will be amazed how many shots will be exactly like you wanted.


 Have you missed a shot because of your camera's shutter propagation delay? 

me your story.

You can calculate your propagation delay here

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