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Shutter Modes for Sony A1, Sony A7R IV Could be Better Done (Less Confusing)

It took me a while diddling around in menus and manuals to figure out that Sony has dropped an Electronic First Curtain Shutter option from the Sony A1.

And Sony hasn’t exactly made things easy to understand in the menu system: shutter behavior is split into two menus: electronic shutter is conflated with silent shutter, and on the A7R IV mechanical shutter is confusingly obtained via Electronic First Curtain Shutter = OFF but only when SS is also off.

This confusing arrangement should have been simplified into a single menu:

But... that’s not what we got.

And apparently we won’t be getting a firmware update to reconcile the menu system of the A7R IV to match the A1, which really sucks when using them together.

Shutter modes on Sony A7R IV, Sony A1
  Sony A7R IV Sony A1
electronic shutter, silent Silent Shutter = ON Silent Shutter = ON
electronic shutter + shutter sound* --- Shutter = Electronic
electronic first curtain shutter Electronic First Curtain Shutter = ON ---
mechanical shutter Electronic First Curtain Shutter = OFF Shutter = Mechanical

Sony A7R IV shutter modes

  • Silent Shutter = ON overrides everything—full electronic shutter with no artificial shutter sounds. No option exists to use an all-electronic shutter along with a shutter sound.
  • Electronic First Curtain Shutter = ON (and SS off) means Electronic First Curtain Shutter.
  • Electronic First Curtain Shutter = OFF (and SS off) means mechanical shutter.

Sony A1 shutter modes

  • Silent Shutter = ON overrides everything— full electronic shutter with no sound.
  • Shutter = Electronic (and SS off) means full electronic shutter with artificial shutter sound.
  • Shutter = Mechanical (and SS off) means mechanical shutter.
  • Electronic First Curtain Shutter = unavailable

* Reader Rory H notes that “you can eliminate the artificial sound with electronic shutter by going to audio signals as per page 49/52 of the menu”.

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