Shutterless cameras deserve good shutter sounds

Snapping a camera’s shutter to take a picture is one of the best feelings in photography. You get a timeless, tactile feedback as you capture every decisive moment with a satisfying auditory “click” sound. But we’re slowly losing this hallmark of picture-taking. Not only because smartphones are replacing full-size cameras for most people but because more cameras are being built without mechanical shutters at all. Nikon’s flagship Z9 and newer Z8 cameras forego traditional shutters entirely, so instead of hearing and feeling a mechanical action, you either hear nothing at all or are played the sound of a fake shutter. Nikon released firmware 4.0 for the Z9, which added a slew of new features, including extra shutter sounds: a beep, a DSLR-like chonk, a classic film-era clack, and a rangefinder snap. We all know there’s been an ongoing trend of photo enthusiasts returning to film photography and vintage cameras, and when you talk to them, they usually speak of the joy of using a truly mechanical camera. Things like shutter sounds offer a tangible benefit that users shouldn’t lose out.