I was doing a test and wanted the shutter to stay open for 15 seconds -- no problem, I have a 15-second exposure setting in my camera. It seemed to stay open for about an extra second, though, so I started timing it. The 15-second setting takes about 16.1 seconds (+/- about 0.2 seconds or whatever my measurement accuracy is) between the first and second set of sounds the mirror makes. I also timed the 4-second setting, and it takes exactly 4.0 seconds (+/- my measurement accuracy); I measured the 30-second setting at 31.9 seconds.
For the sake of this question, I'm assuming that the 15-second exposure is taking exactly 16 seconds and the 30-second exposure is taking exactly 32 seconds, while the 4-second exposure is taking exactly 4 seconds.
I understand why 16 seconds would be more desirable (and probably easier to implement in software) than 15 (more-precisely one stop longer than 8 seconds), and I also realize that for a 15-second exposure, 1 extra second is a fraction of a third of a stop, and I probably wouldn't be able to see the difference between two otherwise-identical pictures taken at 15 and 16 seconds. But why is the setting called "15" when it's actually 16 (and it's relatively easy to measure that delta)?
Is this common among cameras, or unique to my camera's brand (Canon) or model (30D)?
Is there a spec somewhere that calls this out?
Should I be trying to measure more shutter speeds (in the fractions-of-a-second range) to see if my camera is mis-behaving?
If this is intentional, do the shorter shutter speeds that aren't exact halves/doubles also have different shutter speeds than they claim (e.g. 1/60 - 1/125)?