View Full Version : shutter noise

16th February 2011, 04:38 PM
Apologies in advance if this is a daft question - I've posted it elsewhere but didn't know about this forum and it looks like it might have been a good place to start!

I've currently got an FZ30 (and a Raynox 250 macro) and have been happy with it but decided to take a step up to an SLR. I tend to do small stuff and macro (bugs, butterflies, dragonflies, flowers etc) some birds (usually whatever I see while I'm out rather than from a hide) and the occasional landscape, mammal etc.

My main requirements are a flip/swivel screen, portability (size/weight) and macro. So I had decided on e620 with the olympus 70-300mm lens as this seems to tick all the boxes for me and be within my budget of around 750. I recently got to hold an e520 with the same zoom lens thanks to a kind woman I met whilst out. It felt good in my hands, and the reviews from people who use theirs for similar things as I do seem very favourable.

However, when we'd parted company I realised I'd not asked her about the shutter noise. Whilst in the hide, it sounded really loud, whereas my FZ30 is really quiet. After doing a bit of research it seems that because of the way they're built, bridge cameras will be quiet and DSLRs will have an audible shutter clunk.

Does anyone know if the e620 is quieter than the e520? And has anyone with an e620 had problems with the shutter noise scaring off wildlife or is it not a problem? I can't imagine the bugs, butterflies or dragonflies would mind too much. But what about small birds that you can get quite close to (such as reed buntings, finches and stonechats) or mammals? Do they react to the noise? Or did it just sound so loud because I was sitting next to her and I'm not used to the shutter noise and so shouldn't worry about it?

Thanks in advance for any advice/opinions.

16th February 2011, 04:44 PM

I owned an E520 and the shutter is relatively quiet for a DSLR. I certainly have not had problems with shutter noise and close animals with my 50-200mm lens, either. You can also turn off the autofocus confirmation beep which was problematic once.

The E620 feels similar in the hand to the E520 thanks to its larger grip than the E4xx models, too.

Hope this helps,


16th February 2011, 05:13 PM
Thanks Nick, that's good to know.


David Morison
16th February 2011, 05:19 PM
Having owned several DSLRs and a couple of 4/3rds mirrorless models I am fairly sure that shutter (or mirror) noise is not a problem at all with bugs, can be a small problem with waterfowl but less so songbirds but a big problem with mammals. A stoat I photographed with the E30, while it was stalking a rabbit about 10 metres away, scarpered after the first shot - the rabbit looked up but carried on eating. Other mammals photographed in similar circumstances with a Digilux 2 on silent didn't notice I was there.


16th February 2011, 05:28 PM
Hi David

Thanks for the reply. Looks like most of what I do will be fine with some skittish mammals disappearing on me. Which is par for the course anyway as I'm often walking!

Just had a reply elsewhere saying that the e620 might be a bit quieter than the e520 so I'll probably be taking the plunge.