E-P5 and "shtter Shock"

Started Oct 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
Andy Westlake
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Anders W, Oct 8, 2013

Anders W wrote:

You claim that placing the camera on a tripod should not reduce the blur if it were indeed due to shutter shock. Could you please explain in physical terms why you think so.

I expect 'shutter shock' to behave in practical terms like mirror slap - the vibrations from the shutter would be transmitted largely internally. Mirror slap can sometimes be reduced on a tripod, but in my experience (from countless hours testing cameras and lenses as my day job) it never goes away entirely. I once tried to test a 1.5kg Sony 70-200mm F2.8 bolted down hard onto to 6kg Manfrotto 058 with an NM405 geared head, using an SLR without mirror lockup. Nothing I tried would make mirror slap go away.

The outcome you describe here is indeed mysterious. But if you have problems with unexpected blur even with two-second self-timer or anti-shock, that shows conclusively that the problem is not due to the mechanism you first pointed to in your E-P5 review (the shutter button and the way it is pressed), no?

No. It just shows that if you wait two seconds for a shutter release after pressing the button, the shakes return. It doesn't tell you why, and it tells you nothing about what happened 2 seconds before. For the record I've never, with any camera, found a 2 second delay to be helpful at reducing shake hand-held - generally the opposite.

A few things to keep in mind here:

First, in my experience/testing, the extent to which anti-shock helps at all is strongly dependent on how you hold the camera. If you hold it right (from a shutter-shock prevention point of view), anti-shock will not be of much additional help. If you hold it wrong, it will.

That sounds to me like an excellent descriptor of something that's highly influenced by camera shake, which logically is highly influenced by how you hold a camera.

As to the E-P5 specifically, note also that it has another shutter than previous Oly MFT cameras. Since the new shutter allows flash sync at a faster speed (1/320 rather than 1/250), its blades must by definition move at a faster speed than on earlier shutters. Everything else equal, this is a drawback from a shutter-shock point of view since greater speed yields more momentum to be absorbed.

Of course, everything else is equal only if the E-P5's shutter is the same mass as the E-M5's, and we don't know anything about that. Olympus also says the E-P5 has a reduced shutter lag compared to the E-M5, and it certainly has a less-soft feel to the shutter button.

The key point I'd really like to make, though, is that the specific shake issue we see with the E-P5 is not something we see in normal shooting with the E-M5. The two cameras behave differently, so whatever you've learned about the E-M5 may not apply.

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Andy Westlake
dpreview.com

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