E-P5 and "shtter Shock"

Started 6 months ago | Discussions thread
Andy Westlake
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to micksh6, 6 months ago

micksh6 wrote:

Andy Westlake wrote:

I've explained many times what I think is going on with the E-P5 - it just seems unusually susceptible to shake movements in a certain shutter speed range that the IS system can't correct. This results in a distinct double-image blurring in perhaps 60% - 70% of your shots at the 'danger' speeds

Add to this one sentence saying that the motion is caused by shutter curtain and this will be an exact description of shutter shock.

This is a really important point - there are two possible explanation for what we see. One invokes the camera's shutter mechanism causing blur, the other seeks to explain it in terms of and shake. In a way it doesn't matter which is correct - the E-P5 is, in our hands, unusually prone to giving image blur.

However, when there are two competing explanations, we can try to look at testing them out. We then look at the body of evidence that accrues, and decide which hypothesis fits it better. So let's run through this.

How many people did participate in E-P5 testing? And in side-by-side comparison with E-M5? Because shutter shock effect depends on operator. With other people it may show up differently.

OK, two were people heavily involved in this, me and Richard (the two named authors). He noticed unexpected shake in images from the E-P5, which he didn't see when reviewing the E-M5. To help pin this down, I requested a camera from Olympus in the UK (Richard is based in Seattle), and saw the same thing. By the I own and shoot an E-M5 as my personal camera, so I have decent idea how it behaves.

Immediately, though, you've made in interesting claim: "Shutter shock effect depends on operator". It seems pretty clear to me that camera shake should depend on the operator - all humans are different. But cameras are manufactured items, made as near-identical as possible. Why do you consider it logical that shutter shock should vary from camera to camera?

Just like with E-M5 - some people experience shutter shock and some don't, in the same conditions. Long before E-P5 appeared it wasn't unusual to read arguments on this forum. Some presented evidences of shutter shock, other believed it doesn't exist.

There are several possible reasons for this. Maybe cameras are different. Maybe people are looking at their images differently. Maybe some don't recognise the signs in their own images (I've seen that phenomenon frequently on these forums, for all sorts of technical issues with cameras and lenses). Maybe the difference is due to how people hold their cameras. I don't know the answer to this.

Some things are puzzling though. Why blurred image comes back with long anti-shock delay, for example. I am not sure, possibly something may oscillate in camera and short delay counteracts shutter motion because of resonance? Can't tell, I never tried long anti-shock delays.

When you press the shutter button, you probably do a bunch of other things subconsciously too, to help hold the camera steady. Experienced shooters will tell you about breathing, and opposing the rotational action of the shutter press with your left hand. When you shoot with a 2 second self-timer or 2 second anti-shock, you do none of these things.

I also don't know why blurring seems to disappear on tripod. Did you try long telephoto? shutter shock may come back with 150+ mm lens on tripod.

The most likely reason, as far as I'm concerned, for shake to disappear on a tripod in my testing  is because I'm not pressing the shutter button (I use a remote release). Equally, using a long lens will magnify shake from any cause - I don't see how it can be considered proof of one mechanism over another.

What I absolutely can't reconcile with the shutter shock hypothesis is my observation that the E-P5's image blurring can be reduced by using the touchscreen. The camera is the same, the person holding it is the same, all that's changed is the release mechanism.

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Andy Westlake
dpreview.com

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