Tue 14-Feb-12 01:48 AM | edited Tue 14-Feb-12 01:50 AM by km6xz
It seems that Nikon has developed a new feature framework starting with the D7000 and now joined by the D800 and D4. Each has similar layout and features such as the Quiet mode, the button+command wheels for AF mode config, dual slots, ultra-low read noise at base ISO, dedicated video button, vertical grip mounted multi-selector, 100% VF and dozens of more characteristics that seem to be design minimums for new models. It is safe to predict that these will be features of the D400 as well.
Back to the question at hand, shutter noise. The D7000 and presumably the cameras in this discussion, in quiet mode is Q U I E T, very quiet. I shoot in ballet performances(among many other events) and the best company here, probably in the world, is the St Petersburg Ballet Company whose home base is the famous Mariinsky Theater. The wing balconies are close in to the stage as in all late 18th century Baroque extremely ornate theaters were. That restricted photography due to noise of cameras that in a hushed theater during a quiet passage in the orchestra pit sounding like a cell phone ringing in a funeral parlor. I had to shoot in dress rehearsals until I got my D7000 and showed in a demonstration that it was very quiet by sitting in a balcony rail seat and shooting. I figured the manager could notice even if quiet if I shot a series of shots so I pressed the button once only while the manager was not focused on me. She was at stage front and directed me to shoot to prove she could hear it and reject my request for special permit. I replied that I already had and came down to show her. I got a hand written permission sheet with 3 official stamps on it that gave me permission to shoot during live performances.
Having a 70-200 on camera, plus a Neoprene body glove (for cold protection of the battery mostly), in Quiet mode would never disturb a horse despite their acute hearing. The only horses I used to shoot, back when I was living in California were American Quarter Horses in Cutting competition and Halter events. Cutters are so focused on the targeted calf that they would ignore a gun shot. At least, my campaigned 3 Cutters ignored all distractions when competing. Halter horses grow up with flash cameras stuck in their faces, the same way a child beauty pageant entrant learns it is part of the job so they might feel distracted if there was no flash or loud click to assure them of normalcy.