The Shutter Sounds of Our Most Popular Cameras

As a leading authority on optical testing and product reviews, it occurred to the Lensrentals staff recently that we owed it to The Internet to explore the final frontier of camera comparisons, a comprehensive examination of shutter sounds. Our thorough and scientific testing covered multiple models from nearly every major camera manufacturer. After weeks of debate and analysis, we believe we’ve finally reached a consensus on which camera shutters are the best and which camera shutters are the worst. But first, let’s take a look at some of our most popular cameras, and how each of their shutters sound.

The video above highlights some of the most popular cameras, and the sounds of each of their shutters. After hours of playbacks and diligently taking notes of each camera’s shutter sound, we’ve decided to put together a small list highlighting some of our favorite sounding shutters, and of course, some of our least favorite, which we’ve listed below.

Worst Sounding Camera Shutters

Leica SL 601

Sure, Leica is a German company, but, for this amount of money, the camera should speak French. We expected more rounded corners and less hard edges. The shutter needs to drop some vowels.

Sony Alpha a77 II

We think our problem with this one is mostly instinctive. Imagine that high-pitched burst coming out of an animal. What animal are you picturing? A snake, right? It’s snake-like. That scares us subconsciously.

Panasonic Lumix DC-S1R

Sounds like a mousetrap.

Best Sounding Camera Shutters

Nikon D850

This one is an absolute classic. The shutter on the D850 is the default “professional” camera sound in our collective mind. It evokes the feeling of being one of the hundreds of pool photographers shooting the Olympics, or a red carpet, or an elected official’s public apology. Just fantastic.

Olympus PEN E-PL7

Frankly, adorable. This camera sounds like a bird on its first day of school. Read it stories and nurture its interests while you can because one day it’ll drive off to college and the last 15 years will feel like the blink of an eye.

Pentax 645Z

No one within fifty feet of the Pentax 645Z will have any doubts as to who has territorial dominance in the area. Prove to your friends and neighbors that you’re recording more pixels than they are and, therefore, are the better photographer. I bet your iPhone can’t make this much noise!


Choosing a camera can be a very tough decision, and we hope this fact-based report will help you make the right choice for your project. If you have any questions, comments, or issues with our methodology, as always, let us know.

Author: Ryan Hill

My name is Ryan and I am a video tech here at In my free time, I mostly shoot documentary stuff, about food a lot of the time, as an excuse to go eat free food. If you need my qualifications, I have a B.A. in Cinema and Photography from Southern Illinois University in beautiful downtown Carbondale, Illinois.

Posted in Equipment
  • Goodytwoshoes

    YES !!!! Bring it back !!!! … As in a “complete set of lenses” ( but not as loud as Hasselblad )
    so far nothing beats the x100 Series but I wished there were other lenses for the XPro3 or Sony A series cameras

  • jg collins

    Not to mention the Speed Graphic.

  • jg collins

    My broker got bit by a dog while taking photos of a prospective listing. Yeah, the pooch thought it was a snake and lunged.

  • You can measure the DB levels yourself by playing back the videos and measuring the sound at the same distance. DB levels are not a constant but change radically depending on distance. Effectively loudness is only relative.

    Of course, it depends if LensRentals used constant recording levels or AGC (automatic gain control). There’s some reason to believe LensRentals made this mistake.

  • Yes, absolutely. The X-H1 is almost silent.

  • If you are going to go to the trouble of doing this, it would be nice to be sure you’ve got automatic gain turned off. For those of us shooting in quieter spaces like concerts, shutter noise (lack of it) is a very important issue when choosing a camera.

    Your A7 III shutter sounds much quieter than mine did. It’s night and day with the Z6 which replaced it.

  • That looks like an RE320 mic. I’m not sure why the mic is pointed at the floor and not at the camera. Normally you should point the mic at the sound you’re recording.

  • Analog Nomad

    The Hasselblad 500 C/M is the all time king…nothing else comes close.

  • Calaverasgrande

    This is one of the reasons I went mirrorless. And can’t believe more press photogs havent as well. I can turn off all user sounds on my Fuji. And use the quietest of the various shutter settings (I forget which one that is at the moment).
    So when I am doing a discrete street photography shot, or an event shot. There is no disturbing click, or chattering. Just a very, very muted tick sound.

    That said, my favorite was my old film Canon decades ago. After that would be the Canon 6D. Which had not just a great clack, but you could kind of feel that the entire mechanism was centered in the body.

  • spider-mario

    The Canon G1 X Mark III has one.

  • ida bigho

    OM-D mk2 most elegant shutter, nobody else can hear it, while just the right click (not to mention iq)

  • ida bigho

    I actually shoot in silent mode with my digital camera in my right hand, with my Pentax K1000 in my left hand in my pocket and click it while shooting, just to make sure the picture turns out. Only problem is sometimes I forget to advance the film.

  • Mike Earussi

    Bring back the leaf shutter.

  • seowgila

    I like my rx1 shutter sound.

  • Ertan Ozturk

    I think EM1 II’s sound is great

  • Ryan Hill

    bdbender4 gets it.

  • f2point8

    Which camera sounds most like a typewriter?

  • Duke

    One of the few tests that Sony mirrorless doesn’t excel at! I assume they were somewhere in the middle of the pack. I think my a7R III sounds decent. I like a nice, crisp shutter sound. Room for improvement, I suppose.

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