It may seem minor, but it’s not. As you may know, I transitioned from DSLR to a mirrorless camera system. To be specific, the transition was from Nikon to arguably a mirrorless giant Sony. Though I have changed, I still, from time to time, think of my Nikon DSLR cameras. They served me well, and I love them dearly.
Indeed, even though I have sold a lot of my Nikon gear, I still cannot get to sell what I consider the best Nikon camera ever made, the Nikon d200. I love its look, the way the bulkiness and heaviness feel in my hands. Honestly, it is more than a camera; it is my talisman, my source of inspiration. It has tempted me to revert to DSLRs just by looking and hold this camera. But this is not about my DSLR nostalgia. It’s about a wedding I attended that reinforced my resolve to leave the DSLR behind.
I recently had the pleasure of being invited to a wedding. With all the covid protocols, the marriage was a small, intimate affair—safety over fun. I was sitting strategically, few rows from the stage, so I could take some snapshots of the event.
I had with me my Sony a7riii with my trusted 50mm lens. I took several shots before I realized how loud the shutter sound was. Then I remembered the a7riii silent shutter mode, which I expeditiously turned on. It was amazingly weird. For those not familiar with silent shutter mode, it is a feature on the Sony a7riii which silence the clicking sound when you press the shutter button. So, you press the shutter, no sound, and the camera capture the image. For us coming from the DSLR world, the shutter sound was confirmation that the camera was taking pictures. It took me a second to get accustomed to the silent shutter.
Here I was snapping photos now and then while watching the bride and groom exchanging their vows. Suddenly, my peace, and I can confidently say the serenity of those around me (because everyone turned to look) was broken. There was rapid shutter clicking. It was the official photographer with her big DSLR camera shooting away, oblivious or selectively deaf to the clicking of the shutter. It took me aback. But I quickly realized that she had no choice; even if she was aware or displeased with the shutter sound, there was nothing she could do about it.
It was at this moment I appreciated the choice I had to silence the shutter in my a7riii. The shutter noise was distracting to the bride and groom and even the guest who listened to vows over shutter clicks. Actually, I felt sorry for the people taking video of the event near the photographer because they would have a clicking shutter as the soundtrack.
The lesson here is what may seem minor could be the biggest reason. When I was transitioning to mirrorless, I never thought of the silent shutter option. For me, it was the size of the mirrorless camera that sold me. Now, this seemingly minor reason proved that I made the right decision. Hence if you ask me today, I would say get a mirrorless camera because you can shoot silently.