Video: Canon EOS-1V HS and Nikon F5 Shutters Slowed Down to 5000 FPS

Screenshot taken from video.

This super cool video on Youtube shows the legendary professional 35mm film SLR cameras, Canon EOS-1V HS and Nikon F5, shooting in high speed burst sequential shooting mode, in slow motion. Both the Canon EOS-1V HS and Nikon F5 were flagship SLRs and were highly regarded as the best professional 35mm film cameras at their time.

The video highlights the mechanical drive speed of high sequential burst shooting. These two cameras were designed for shooting in conditions demanding fast response, like action and sports photography. The Canon EOS-1V HS and the Nikon F5 were tested at 6 frames per second and 7.4 frames per second respectively. The comparison tests were done without any film loaded, and at controlled exposure parameters of f16 and 1/4000s shutter speed. The slow motion video (captured at 5000fps) impressively captured the pure operating speed of these cameras efficiently and reliably delivering super fast performance. From the initial press of the shutter button to the closing of the aperture blades stopping down to f16, the Nikon was slightly faster, though this can only be seen when the video was in extreme slow motion. Practically, the minor speed difference is negligible in real life.

Apart from the pure camera performance, another interesting observation worth noting was the aperture blades behavior of the Canon EF 50mm F1.4 USM and Nikon Ai AF Nikkor 50mm F1.4D, with their different operative motions recorded in slow motion. The Canon lens has a perfectly smooth and steady one time motion of opening and closing the aperture blades while the Nikon lens’ blades exhibited a wobbly and staggering effect. Furthermore, the Nikon lens aperture blades also experienced a minor rebound effect after they were fully opened. However, the non-smooth aperture blades operation and the subsequent rebound effect should not in any way affect the outcome of the image quality as the exposure on film responds to only the opening of the aperture letting the light in (not the closed blades), and as the exposure on film is completed the rebound effect has no consequence on the captured image since the shutter is already closed.

Both the Canon EOS-IV HS and Nikon F5 were selling for thousands of dollars as the world’s top professional cameras in the early 2000s. They featured high end specifications that paved the way for the Digital SLR revolution which came shortly after.