shutter shock

Started Nov 12, 2012 | Discussions
bowportes
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shutter shock
Nov 12, 2012

The new gremlin on this forum seems to be shutter shock.  I own a G5, GH2, GX1 and several lenses, including what is supposed to be one of the most notorious shutter-shock offenders, the PZ 14-42.

My observation is that my PZ14-42 is _very_ sharp for a pancake zoom.  I only observe the image softness on my GX1 and GH2 between about 1/60th and 1/200th of a second, which I studiously avoid.  It's easy to do so because I generally want to shoot at 1/200th or higher outside, and often need to go slower than 1/60th inside.  Its excellent OIS gives stellar results at 1/8th and 1/15th of a second.

I've not observed similar softness in the 1/60th to 1/200th range with any of my other lenses, and yet we are beginning to see "shutter shock" references and suspicions applied liberally in the forum.  The GX1, which is an amazing little camera, is written off by some with a sweeping "shutter shock" dismissal. Some tout the new G5, saying its electronic shutter eliminates the shutter-shock that plagues other m4/3s cameras.

What I'm wondering is:

1. What micro four-thirds lenses and cameras have actual, documentable problems with shutter-shock that adversely affect photos on a consistent basis -- problems that that are clearly recognizable in daily use.

2. Are there remedies (such as my avoiding of certain shutter speeds with the GX1 and PZ14-42) that obviate the problem?

3. Is there visual evidence, with a camera such as the G5, that photos are actually improved by shifting from the mechanical to the electronic shutter?  Has anyone done comparison tests on a tripod that documents the improvement?

4. Do readers think the "shutter shock" problem is exaggerated or over-generalized to equipment where it doesn't really apply?  I'm wondering whether "electronic shutter" will become a new must-have feature, because we've hyped a new disease that it is designed to cure.

I'm putting this on the table to hear readers thoughts.  I'm not sure what I think about these questions, so I thought I'd draw on the experience of others.  I DO KNOW, though, that the electronic shutter on the G5 bothers me some. I'm used to feeling and hearing a shutter with a "real camera" -- haven't experienced that kind of silence since I used a small-sensor Lumix P&S. It also annoys me that certain constraints are imposed on shots with the electronic shutter. I leave it set to on, and then when I pick up the camera to take a quick flash shot, the flash doesn't work.  It takes me a while to remember that the flash has been disabled because the electronic shutter is turned on.

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Anders W
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to bowportes, Nov 12, 2012

bowportes wrote:

The new gremlin on this forum seems to be shutter shock. I own a G5, GH2, GX1 and several lenses, including what is supposed to be one of the most notorious shutter-shock offenders, the PZ 14-42.

My observation is that my PZ14-42 is _very_ sharp for a pancake zoom. I only observe the image softness on my GX1 and GH2 between about 1/60th and 1/200th of a second, which I studiously avoid. It's easy to do so because I generally want to shoot at 1/200th or higher outside, and often need to go slower than 1/60th inside. Its excellent OIS gives stellar results at 1/8th and 1/15th of a second.

I've not observed similar softness in the 1/60th to 1/200th range with any of my other lenses, and yet we are beginning to see "shutter shock" references and suspicions applied liberally in the forum. The GX1, which is an amazing little camera, is written off by some with a sweeping "shutter shock" dismissal. Some tout the new G5, saying its electronic shutter eliminates the shutter-shock that plagues other m4/3s cameras.

What I'm wondering is:

1. What micro four-thirds lenses and cameras have actual, documentable problems with shutter-shock that adversely affect photos on a consistent basis -- problems that that are clearly recognizable in daily use.

Probably most/all have it to some extent although the degree to which it is documented varies.

2. Are there remedies (such as my avoiding of certain shutter speeds with the GX1 and PZ14-42) that obviate the problem?

The primary remedy is to avoid certain shutter speeds. A secondary remedy, available on Oly bodies, is to use the anti-shock setting to introduce a delay between two phases of shutter action: shutter closing prior to exposure and shutter opening for exposure (then closing again for readout, then opening again to continue live view).

3. Is there visual evidence, with a camera such as the G5, that photos are actually improved by shifting from the mechanical to the electronic shutter? Has anyone done comparison tests on a tripod that documents the improvement?

See this thread:

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/42375664

4. Do readers think the "shutter shock" problem is exaggerated or over-generalized to equipment where it doesn't really apply? I'm wondering whether "electronic shutter" will become a new must-have feature, because we've hyped a new disease that it is designed to cure.

I certainly don't think the problem has been exaggerated. It's a very real issue in my experience.

I'm putting this on the table to hear readers thoughts. I'm not sure what I think about these questions, so I thought I'd draw on the experience of others. I DO KNOW, though, that the electronic shutter on the G5 bothers me some. I'm used to feeling and hearing a shutter with a "real camera" -- haven't experienced that kind of silence since I used a small-sensor Lumix P&S. It also annoys me that certain constraints are imposed on shots with the electronic shutter. I leave it set to on, and then when I pick up the camera to take a quick flash shot, the flash doesn't work. It takes me a while to remember that the flash has been disabled because the electronic shutter is turned on.

Some more general info:

The best summary of the problem of which I am currently aware is this thread, including the links in the first two posts.

http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/post/42406972

The link in the first post is dated and should be replaced by the following:

http://cameraergonomics.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/micro-43-shutter-shock-revisited-omd-em.html

This link is also of interest:

http://cameraergonomics.blogspot.com.au/2012/05/micro-four-thirds-shutter-shake.html

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radsaq
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to bowportes, Nov 12, 2012

bowportes wrote:

4. Do readers think the "shutter shock" problem is exaggerated or over-generalized to equipment where it doesn't really apply? I'm wondering whether "electronic shutter" will become a new must-

Probably. I've seen no evidence of shutter shock in any of the thousands of photos I've taken with an E-PL1 and E-M5 using the 25mm, 45mm, 100-300mm, and 12-50mm. Not to say that I don't think it exists, but just that it seems a bit overblown.

The circumstances surrounding it have to be either more complex (or perhaps more simple) than people are thinking. For example, at one point I thought I had a problem with the stabilization in the E-PL1, but then I realized it was a problem with rotational movement of the camera in a series of shots with me holding the camera out at arm's reach.

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Skip
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to bowportes, Nov 12, 2012

"I DO KNOW, though, that the electronic shutter on the G5 bothers me some. I'm used to feeling and hearing a shutter with a "real camera" -- haven't experienced that kind of silence since I used a small-sensor Lumix P&S."

It was my understanding that the electronic feature and the silent feature were two different things. In other words, the electronic shutter can still make noise if desired. No?

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tt321
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to bowportes, Nov 12, 2012

Existence of shutter shock: Just hold your GX1 by the thumb and middle finger and let the camera hang down vertically hanging from these two fingers - middle finger on the front grip and the thumb on the back. Press the shutter button with your index finger. Now feel the shutter shock itself through the fingers. My G3 feels like it's thrown about a bit, like a whip.

Whether this affects image quality: Read the IS test on slrgear about the non-X 14-42 lens. The awkward shutter speed range is also confirmed with the two cheaper X zooms. Try the same lenses with mechanical and electronic shutters and see the difference.

Numerous documented accounts about similar behaviours with IBIS in Olympus bodies.

Then try a Panasonic or Olympus compact camera and see the amazing improvements IS can provide when a mechanical shutter is not used. It's inconceivable that companies with such deep and successful experiences in IS should stumble like this, if it's not for the mechanical shutter.

One remedy, since you've got the G5, is to use the electronic shutter when the metering tells you to get into this shutter speed range.

Hopefully global shutters will become implementable economically on M4/3 and this will be a solved problem.

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grumpyolderman
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to tt321, Nov 12, 2012

I certainly sometimes had the feeling the body of the G3 was flexing from the shutter impact (you can feel how the movement of parts of the camera relative to each other in the fingertips), not that I have seen results on the shots.

The G5 seems a bit more substantial, did not note anything like "body flex" on it.

With the G3 and the 100-300 you see quite strong disturbances between 1/40 and 1/200, I saw it on moonshots, got the camera off the tripod, on the floor and added a back of screws on top of the lens (about 2kg worth of screws), that did calm it down completely. I never noticed anything in normal shooting, but also did not look for it

JL

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Karl
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to Anders W, Nov 12, 2012

The primary remedy is to avoid certain shutter speeds. A secondary remedy, available on Oly bodies, is to use the anti-shock setting to introduce a delay between two phases of shutter action: shutter closing prior to exposure and shutter opening for exposure (then closing again for readout, then opening again to continue live view).


I use an Oly Pen (E-PL2, recently purchased) do you know if the feature you mention is available on that camera? and if so, how to access it?

thanks

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bowportes
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to Skip, Nov 12, 2012

Skip wrote:

It was my understanding that the electronic feature and the silent feature were two different things. In other words, the electronic shutter can still make noise if desired. No?

No.  The electronic shutter itself makes no noise, and you can't cause it to do so.  That said, you can have the camera give you a sonic signal that the electronic shutter is firing.  If you turn this artificial aural stimulator off, though, there is a deathly, eerie silence.

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Anders W
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to Karl, Nov 12, 2012

Karl wrote:


The primary remedy is to avoid certain shutter speeds. A secondary remedy, available on Oly bodies, is to use the anti-shock setting to introduce a delay between two phases of shutter action: shutter closing prior to exposure and shutter opening for exposure (then closing again for readout, then opening again to continue live view).


I use an Oly Pen (E-PL2, recently purchased) do you know if the feature you mention is available on that camera? and if so, how to access it?

thanks

AFAIK yes. Check the exp/ISO section of the custom menu.

You turn the feature on and set the amount of delay via that menu. Once you have done that, you will get a set of new drive modes to choose from in the SCP (if the E-PL2 works roughly as the E-M5). For example, you will now be able to switch between single frame with anti-shock and single-frame without anti-shock via the SCP.

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Karl
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to Anders W, Nov 12, 2012

Thanks!

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Guy Parsons
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Have a listen......
In reply to bowportes, Nov 12, 2012

For a total thrill, hold your ear hard against the camera body and fire the shutter. Sounds = vibration and my E-PL1 sounds like a jet plane crash into a hardware store.

Regards....... Guy

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s_grins
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to bowportes, Nov 13, 2012

Based on my humble origins, I'm a paranoid person by definition, but I am fortunate for not having fears of shutter shock, car engine vibration, and airplane flights.

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Anders W
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Re: shutter shock
In reply to s_grins, Nov 13, 2012

s_grins wrote:

Based on my humble origins, I'm a paranoid person by definition, but I am fortunate for not having fears of shutter shock, car engine vibration, and airplane flights.

I must say shutter shock gives me the creeps. Shudder.

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SterlingBjorndahl
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For me, PZ 14-42 works much better on E-PL1 than GH2
In reply to bowportes, Nov 13, 2012

My PZ 14-42 on the GH2 shows blurriness (not double-image) in the problematic shutter speed range. This problem disappears when I mount the lens on my E-PL1 (bought cheaply refurbished through Cameta).

Thus the E-PL1 is my pocket camera (with a wrist strap), and the GH2 is reserved for more serious shooting.

This was with the E-PL1 and PZ 14-42, 1/160th @ f/8 @ 42mm. A printed 8x12 is very sharp and I'm sure it could go bigger with no problem.

Tennessee Warbler, stunned from having hit a window. (Ended up OK.)

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bowportes
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Re: For me, PZ 14-42 works much better on E-PL1 than GH2
In reply to SterlingBjorndahl, Nov 13, 2012

Interesting to hear your strategy.  My impression too is that the PZ14-42 is good enough that it's worth figuring out how to use it effectively

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Re: Have a listen......
In reply to Guy Parsons, Nov 13, 2012

Guy Parsons wrote:

For a total thrill, hold your ear hard against the camera body and fire the shutter. Sounds = vibration and my E-PL1 sounds like a jet plane crash into a hardware store.

Regards....... Guy

And here I thought one of the big benefits of going mirrorless was to eliminate those big things that slapped around and caused vibrations and spoiled pictures to the point that mirror lock-up options were needed on the dslr's.

On a typical dslr was the mirror slap masking shutter slap, or do the mft's use some sort of inferior shutter design?

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Steven 2
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Re: For me, PZ 14-42 works much better on E-PL1 than GH2
In reply to SterlingBjorndahl, Nov 13, 2012

Maybe it's better with IBIS.

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Anders W
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Re: Have a listen......
In reply to Skip, Nov 13, 2012

Skip wrote:

Guy Parsons wrote:

For a total thrill, hold your ear hard against the camera body and fire the shutter. Sounds = vibration and my E-PL1 sounds like a jet plane crash into a hardware store.

Regards....... Guy

And here I thought one of the big benefits of going mirrorless was to eliminate those big things that slapped around and caused vibrations and spoiled pictures to the point that mirror lock-up options were needed on the dslr's.

On a typical dslr was the mirror slap masking shutter slap, or do the mft's use some sort of inferior shutter design?

Not inferior but different. An MFT shutter does double duty. Unlike the shutter on a DSLR using its OVF, it is open (for live view), when the shutter button is pressed. It then first has to close (to reset the sensor prior to exposure), then open (for exposure), then close again (for readout), and finally open again (to continue live view).

The first part of this sequence (shutter closing before exposure) is somewhat analogous to the mirror slap on an SLR and is responsible for at least part of the shutter shock (perhaps the most significant part). On Oly (but not Pany) bodies, there is something analogous to mirror lock-up known as the anti-shock setting. This setting introduces a delay between the time the shutter closes prior to exposure and its opening again for exposure, thereby eliminating the shock caused by the first stage of shutter action.

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Skip
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Re: Have a listen......
In reply to Anders W, Nov 13, 2012

Anders W wrote:

Not inferior but different. An MFT shutter does double duty. Unlike the shutter on a DSLR using its OVF, it is open (for live view), when the shutter button is pressed. It then first has to close (to reset the sensor prior to exposure), then open (for exposure), then close again (for readout), and finally open again (to continue live view).

The first part of this sequence (shutter closing before exposure) is somewhat analogous to the mirror slap on an SLR and is responsible for at least part of the shutter shock (perhaps the most significant part). On Oly (but not Pany) bodies, there is something analogous to mirror lock-up known as the anti-shock setting. This setting introduces a delay between the time the shutter closes prior to exposure and its opening again for exposure, thereby eliminating the shock caused by the first stage of shutter action.

Thanks for the explanation. I now get the difference in operation between mft and dslr. How does the mft operation compare to say my fz150? Does it have that same close-open-close-open cycle?

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grumpyolderman
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Re: Have a listen......
In reply to Skip, Nov 13, 2012

AFAIK, the Fz150, like all superzooms, P&S, has a leafshutter between lens and sensor, close to the lens. This is very small and nearly silent. In interchangeable lens systems this can not be used and with larger sensors it is also to slow, you would create a difference in exposure between centre and outer parts of the sensors.

It gets even more complicated, most P&S and bridge cameras can have only around 1/1000s as shortest exposure, the m4/3 reach often 1/4000. To be able to do this there is two curtains in the shutter, and the exposure is actually the time lag between the two curtains slumming shut.

JL

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