What’s the difference between mechanical and digital shutters?

Click: Time:2022-04-27 10:33:56

With the launch of the new Share UAV oblique cameras, we have been getting a lot of questions regarding the type of shutter in the camera, and what this particular aircraft is best suited for.

Before we go any further lets just again preface this article with:

1. the image is the product you are selling.

2. The image is what matters.

3. The aircraft is just a tool to do the job.

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One of the things that are very important when considering the right tool for the job is the type of shutter that is featured within your aerial camera. The purpose of the shutter is to control the level of exposure to the sensor when the image is being captured. There are two different types of shutter that you will find featured on the mainstream aircraft in the professional sector at present being mechanical and digital.

Mechanical shutters:

A mechanical shutter features a closing blind or blade to block the light while opening the curtains allows light to pass to the camera's sensor. The time difference between the shutter opening and closing is known as exposure. One of the most common types of shutters is focal plane shutters. They have two curtains that open to let a set level of light through. The width of the opening and the speed at which it is actuated control the level of exposure.

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Digital shutters:

One of the most common types of electronic shutters is the digital shutter. A digital shutter scans across the width of the frame moving downwards. Exposure takes place between the time the first row is scanned and when the last row is finished. A huge advantage of digital shutters is that they contain no moving parts, offering a degree of longevity that cannot be matched by most mechanical shutters. The image does however suffer from distortion (such as bent shapes etc) This is not the case with a mechanical shutter where the whole sensor is exposed at the same time

In practice

Mapping, surveying, and photogrammetry

For mapping, surveying, and photogrammetry it has long been accepted that a mechanical shutter provides the person collecting the data with a slightly sharper image, and therefore a better quality of data. Surveying is all about data collection, and that data is contained within the image.

Types of aircraft featuring a mechanical shutter are as follows:

· DJI Phantom 4 Advanced

· DJI Phantom 4 Pro

· DJI Phantom 4 Pro V2.0

· DJI Inspire 2

· DJI P1

· Share 6100/102S/202S/303S

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Aerial photography and cinematography

Whilst both types of the shutter may be well utilized in aerial photography and videography there are some factors to take into consideration. The Mavic series of drones is one of the most widely used platforms available and features a 20MP camera with a digital shutter. If your shooting video with any of the Mavic series it’s almost a certainty that you will need to use ND filters in order to slow the shutter speed down (decent ND filters aren’t cheap!) If you are operating at the top of your game on either movies or TV the client will quite possibly have a preferred camera platform and may not want a camera that utilizes a digital shutter.

What am I saying all of this for? Well, in essence, make sure you have the right tool for the job. A Phillips screwdriver will not unscrew a flat-bladed screw after all!

All Share UAV cameras are using mechanical shutters to provide you with the best images for modeling.

Models generated by 

102S: https://youtu.be/d1Uf2i1HSPU

202S: https://youtu.be/qXAOWGce7jE

303S: https://youtu.be/nGHVoe251TE

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