YS’s Shutter Release Button Ratings

Here’s the explanation: The way the shutter release button feels when pressed can affect stability. Too many cameras come with “clicky” shutter release buttons. They are mostly for the uninitiated, who need a way to guide them where the half-press is. However, it makes the act of releasing the shutter a little less stable.

The reason is simple – the extra pressure needed for that click means that once you actually proceed to take the photo, your finger is already exerting too much pressure on the shutter release button as it comes down from the “hump” of the clicking end of the switch. End result is the inducement of a little more shake than normal.

Ideally, cameras should have shutter release buttons that behave more like the old spring loaded shutter releases – two steps of spring loaded linear switches, with the second one just slightly harder than the first. A high-end Canon or Nikon SLR normally has such a feel, and with good reason too.

I rate them three ways: Good, Average, and Poor. Good is reserved for the best kind: No click switches, using two-stage linear spring switches instead. Average is found on many higher-end cameras, where there is a presence of a click, but either it is not terribly hard, or with enough practice the click is avoidable. Poor is typically seen on many compacts and low-end cameras, even smart phones. They have a terrible feel and the problem is compounded with the typical light weight cameras they are found on.

Here is the current list, based on cameras we have reviewed so far, or cameras that I have owned:

Good

  •  Nikon: D300, Df

Average

  • Nikon: Coolpix A
  • Panasonic: DMC-GH3
  • Ricoh: GR

Poor

  •  Fujifilm: X100S
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