Rolling shutter comparison test

I finally come around to piecing together part of some old tests I did last year. Part of my big DSLRs test, comparing Canon EOS 550D, Canon EOS 7D, Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 1D Mark IV, Nikon D3s and Nikon D300s all with 50mm lens on the body, was rolling shutter. I had the rig with which I could simultaneously record with six cameras so it was perfect for that kind of testing.

six DSLRs compared

Rig for simultaneously recording with six DSLR cameras.

This is the rig I had made from various Manfrotto parts. You can read more about the rig here. But I think you can see the rig more clearly on this photo. (:

DSLRs rig with model Maja

Beautiful Maja posing with seven, err, six bodies.

You can probably see that as I was turning (rotating) the rig, the cameras moved with different speeds. The ones closer to the center of the rig moved slower and ones on the edge moved faster, but the angular velocity was the same for all bodies. I am no physicist so I can’t tell you if that was influencing the strength of rolling shutter jello effect. If it has it is important to notice that Nikon 3Ds and Canon EOS 550D were moving the fastest, than Nikon D300s with Canon EOS 7D and cameras closest to the center, Canon EOS 1D Mark IV and Canon EOS 5D Mark II, had the best conditions i.e. the least movement.

My friend Maja was kind enough to be the model for the shoot as it was part of many tests and also a possibility to make a short movie out of them. You can see more photos of lovely Maja in my previous post.

2010-05-31 DSLRs Sun _MG_3186.jpg

Setting us all different cameras was quite a pain (©2010 Dino Schreilechner).

Setting up all cameras to shot the same thing was no easy task as I had to set exposure, framing, focus on all of them. Even just pressing record was difficult. At least on Canon cameras, because they don’t have any similarities between them. Record button is placed differently on almost every Canon camera. Even the button for Live View is not the same on different models. Some have dedicated button, some doesn’t. Nikon is so much user friendlier in that regard as it has dedicated Lv button in the same place on both models. And the start/stop button is the set button on the dial on both of them. But more on ergonomics in some later post.

This are the results that I got.

rolling shutter M.jpg

Rollig shutter results (click on image for higher resolution)

I measured the angle of an edge of the building. Than I measured that angle again when the cameras were moving and got the difference angle. That gave me rolling shutter intensity.

Results chart with introduction dates

So Nikon D3s has the least rolling shutter even though it had the worst position (if there are differences between edge and center position as stated above) together with Canon EOS 550D who is not much behind the 5D and 1D who had the best position. I would say that if they were on top of one another they would have the same distortion or the 550D would be even better. I think this is due to age of the model, 550D being the youngest. Canon EOS 7D was surprisingly the worst even though it had the best position and the body being relatively new model.

You can see rolling shutter in effect in the next video. First are all the cameras placed sequentially and in the last shot you can see them in sync as a 6-up display.

Rolling shutter – DSLRs comparison from Peter Prevec on Vimeo.

You decide which you like best. I personally think that they are all horrendous and not useful for fast panning shots.

I would like to thank everybody who supplied me with the needed equipment: Nikon Slovenija (Nikon 3Ds, Nikon D300sAF-S NIKKOR 50mm f/1.4G), Samo Vidic (Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon EOS 1D Mark IV), Foto Format (Canon EOS 550DCanon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM), Luka Stanovnik (two Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lenses) and my father Milenko Prevec (Canon EOS 7DCanon EF 50mm f/1.4 USM).
I would also like to thank Maja Mesojedec for being such a patient model and Dino Schreilechner for helping me with the test and taking some behind the scene photos.

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