E-P5 and "shtter Shock"

Started Oct 6, 2013 | Discussions
John Dyke
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E-P5 and "shtter Shock"
Oct 6, 2013

Why do we keep talking about E-P5 and shutter shock when this is not the problem

In my understanding, the vertical double image which appears in certain situations is caused by the inability of the IBIS to cope with camera movement causes by the operator depressing the release button.

Placing the camera on a tripod solves the problem.

I wonder if using a cable release while holding the camera in the hand as usual would help. Otherwise, paying very careful attention to technique in the same way as a rifle shooter pays attention to squeezing the trigger, as opposed to jerking it, might help.

Finally, is it possible that Olympus can produce a software fix?

I have an E-P5 and have not experiences any double images...but I am a long time expert rifle shot.

I also use a GH3. I have recently abandoned the E-P5 and gone back to the GH3 which, in comparison, I find to be sublime.

Anyone want to buy a (very) slightly used E-P5?       JD

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Anders W
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Re: E-P5 and "shtter Shock"
In reply to John Dyke, Oct 6, 2013

John Dyke wrote:

Why do we keep talking about E-P5 and shutter shock when this is not the problem

In my understanding, the vertical double image which appears in certain situations is caused by the inability of the IBIS to cope with camera movement causes by the operator depressing the release button.

That may be your understanding but it is most likely the wrong understanding. That's why other people keep talking about shutter shock.

Placing the camera on a tripod solves the problem.

Placing the camera on a tripod can be expected to help no matter which of the alternative causes we have in mind.

I wonder if using a cable release while holding the camera in the hand as usual would help. Otherwise, paying very careful attention to technique in the same way as a rifle shooter pays attention to squeezing the trigger, as opposed to jerking it, might help.

Finally, is it possible that Olympus can produce a software fix?

I have an E-P5 and have not experiences any double images...but I am a long time expert rifle shot.

I also use a GH3. I have recently abandoned the E-P5 and gone back to the GH3 which, in comparison, I find to be sublime.

Anyone want to buy a (very) slightly used E-P5? JD

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3DrJ
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"sh_tter Shock": multiple cases and causes?
In reply to Anders W, Oct 6, 2013

Great term!  Especially the "fill-in-the-blank" missing vowel between 'h' and 't'.

Putting a 'u' in there, and reading the numerous posts about it, quite a few hypotheses have been put forward that might account for unexpectedly blurry images.  So it seems not a settled issue.

Whenever there's multiple "explanations" for something, leads me to wonder if there's more than one thing going on.  Perhaps the "cause" of blur is different in various cases.  Disentangling which is which may not be so easy.

So it's conceivable the problem could be "shutter button jab", shutter vibration, IS or AF mechanism "looseness", other factors not yet teased out, or >=2 of these at the same time.

As a side note, it's good to see this being investigated rather calmly and patiently, without "hysterics" that sometimes have been evident with other issues.

I've had instances of mysterious blur with the E-M5, but I've just started to review the situations re: lens, shutter speeds, etc., and consistent patterns not yet emerged.  However, I'm going to keep looking at it, and maybe will have more to report later.

Jules.

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Anders W
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Re: "sh_tter Shock": multiple cases and causes?
In reply to 3DrJ, Oct 6, 2013

3DrJ wrote:

Great term! Especially the "fill-in-the-blank" missing vowel between 'h' and 't'.

Putting a 'u' in there, and reading the numerous posts about it, quite a few hypotheses have been put forward that might account for unexpectedly blurry images. So it seems not a settled issue.

Whenever there's multiple "explanations" for something, leads me to wonder if there's more than one thing going on. Perhaps the "cause" of blur is different in various cases. Disentangling which is which may not be so easy.

So it's conceivable the problem could be "shutter button jab", shutter vibration, IS or AF mechanism "looseness", other factors not yet teased out, or >=2 of these at the same time.

As a side note, it's good to see this being investigated rather calmly and patiently, without "hysterics" that sometimes have been evident with other issues.

I've had instances of mysterious blur with the E-M5, but I've just started to review the situations re: lens, shutter speeds, etc., and consistent patterns not yet emerged. However, I'm going to keep looking at it, and maybe will have more to report later.

If you search for "shutter shock" on this forum (which you potentially might do even more effectively via google than the internal search function), you will encounter a large number of prior threads on the subject as well as quite a few tests. Many of the comments in the threads on the subject that have surfaced during the past few days are poorly informed because the posters aren't informed about what has been said and done in the past. In reality, I think we have a pretty good understanding of what's going on and not.

Here's an example of fairly recent thread (two months ago) which contributes some new tests as well as links to previous ones:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51907504

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3DrJ
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Re: "sh_tter Shock": multiple cases and causes?
In reply to Anders W, Oct 7, 2013

Anders W wrote:

3DrJ wrote:

Great term! Especially the "fill-in-the-blank" missing vowel between 'h' and 't'.

Putting a 'u' in there, and reading the numerous posts about it, quite a few hypotheses have been put forward that might account for unexpectedly blurry images. So it seems not a settled issue.

Whenever there's multiple "explanations" for something, leads me to wonder if there's more than one thing going on. Perhaps the "cause" of blur is different in various cases. Disentangling which is which may not be so easy.

So it's conceivable the problem could be "shutter button jab", shutter vibration, IS or AF mechanism "looseness", other factors not yet teased out, or >=2 of these at the same time.

As a side note, it's good to see this being investigated rather calmly and patiently, without "hysterics" that sometimes have been evident with other issues.

I've had instances of mysterious blur with the E-M5, but I've just started to review the situations re: lens, shutter speeds, etc., and consistent patterns not yet emerged. However, I'm going to keep looking at it, and maybe will have more to report later.

If you search for "shutter shock" on this forum (which you potentially might do even more effectively via google than the internal search function), you will encounter a large number of prior threads on the subject as well as quite a few tests. Many of the comments in the threads on the subject that have surfaced during the past few days are poorly informed because the posters aren't informed about what has been said and done in the past. In reality, I think we have a pretty good understanding of what's going on and not.

Can't say how informed posters have been, but to me it's pretty clear subtly blurred images can occur via an array of factors. Shutter-induced blur is not necessarily easy to distinguish from camera or subject motion blur.

Here's an example: I had a series of shots at different shutter speeds, holding the camera at a distance, using the monitor for framing. Of course, this is likely to give inconsistent results (vs. camera on a tripod), but illustrates what one might encounter in "real-world" camera use.

This scene was the test subject:

Test photo 1. Test photo 2 looks the same at normal magnification.

Two test photos, only showing first. Second photo looks essentially the same at normal viewing magnification. However looking at the image at 250% reveals a difference:

Detail at 2.5x from test photo 1 (1/60 sec). Shutter shock?

Detail from 2nd test photo (1/60 sec). No blur evident.

These photos were both taken in quick succession (at 1/60 sec shutter speed setting) with the E-M5 and 45mm. On close inspection the first appears to have the vertical "double" blurring of shutter shock, but the second doesn't. IMO, the first is just common camera movement blur. I think camera users may see such results in images and wonder if it's shutter shock or not.  Maybe there's no simple or single answer.

Here's an example of fairly recent thread (two months ago) which contributes some new tests as well as links to previous ones:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51907504

Thanks for the reference.  However I've seen the topic and read a good number of threads over the last 3-4 years or so.  The fact that the topic emerges fairly regularly, and new tests are invented, seems to suggest variability of the shutter shake phenomenon.  Naturally, interest in it arises with new camera models as each introduction potentially brings with it twists in how the problem presents and where it stems from.

In recent threads it was discussed how DPR seemed to obfuscate the issue in the EP5, stating differences when using touch screen vs. shutter button.  In other words, if we believe DPR's idea, the source of "shake" that affects images is broader than just the mechanical action of the shutter, thus confusion among camera owners as well as testers.

Jules.

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Andy Westlake
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Shock vs. shake
In reply to 3DrJ, Oct 7, 2013

3DrJ wrote:

In recent threads it was discussed how DPR seemed to obfuscate the issue in the EP5, stating differences when using touch screen vs. shutter button. In other words, if we believe DPR's idea, the source of "shake" that affects images is broader than just the mechanical action of the shutter, thus confusion among camera owners as well as testers.

'Shutter shock' should look like mirror shock on SLRs, and have the same characteristics. Crucially, mirror shock is visible on a tripod, and 100% reproducible shot-to-shot. It's also independent of how the shutter is released (shutter button, remote release, touchscreen etc). This is well known, and it's why most SLRs have a mirror lock-up function.

The phenomenon we observed with the E-P5 does not look this at all. With the camera on a tripod, there's absolutely no hint of blurring, in all the test shots I've taken (which runs into hundreds). This is true not just on the properly-solid tripods I normally use for testing, but also on the lightest, flimsiest tripod I own, which is very wobbly indeed (I wouldn't dream of using the E-P5 on it normally). The shake also substantially goes away if you use the touchscreen to release the shutter when shooting handheld. This doesn't fit a 'shutter shock' explanation at all.

The shake does substantially go away if you shoot-hand with 1/8 sec anti-shock. It's visible again if you shoot hand-held with a 2 second self-timer, and my impression is that this has often been considered clinching proof of a shutter shock mechanism. The problem is that this comparison changes two variables at once, which any trained experimentalist will tell you is a bad idea. The correct comparison with 2 second self-timer is 2 second anti-shock - and in my testing, shake is (perhaps unexpectedly) similarly visible with both - it comes back again with the longer anti-shock delay. Again, I don't see how this observation can fit a 'shutter shock' mechanism.

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tt321
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

3DrJ wrote:

In recent threads it was discussed how DPR seemed to obfuscate the issue in the EP5, stating differences when using touch screen vs. shutter button. In other words, if we believe DPR's idea, the source of "shake" that affects images is broader than just the mechanical action of the shutter, thus confusion among camera owners as well as testers.

'Shutter shock' should look like mirror shock on SLRs, and have the same characteristics. Crucially, mirror shock is visible on a tripod, and 100% reproducible shot-to-shot. It's also independent of how the shutter is released (shutter button, remote release, touchscreen etc). This is well known, and it's why most SLRs have a mirror lock-up function.

The phenomenon we observed with the E-P5 does not look this at all. With the camera on a tripod, there's absolutely no hint of blurring, in all the test shots I've taken (which runs into hundreds). This is true not just on the properly-solid tripods I normally use for testing, but also on the lightest, flimsiest tripod I own, which is very wobbly indeed (I wouldn't dream of using the E-P5 on it normally). The shake also substantially goes away if you use the touchscreen to release the shutter when shooting handheld. This doesn't fit a 'shutter shock' explanation at all.

The shake does substantially go away if you shoot-hand with 1/8 sec anti-shock. It's visible again if you shoot hand-held with a 2 second self-timer, and my impression is that this has often been considered clinching proof of a shutter shock mechanism. The problem is that this comparison changes two variables at once, which any trained experimentalist will tell you is a bad idea. The correct comparison with 2 second self-timer is 2 second anti-shock - and in my testing, shake is (perhaps unexpectedly) similarly visible with both - it comes back again with the longer anti-shock delay. Again, I don't see how this observation can fit a 'shutter shock' mechanism.

Removing shake, but giving shock a chance to shine, I'd have thought one should place the camera stably on a hard surface, but not screwed down so that whatever that surface is made of does not become the same body, thus increasing the mass.

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Andy Westlake
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to tt321, Oct 7, 2013

tt321 wrote:

Removing shake, but giving shock a chance to shine, I'd have thought one should place the camera stably on a hard surface, but not screwed down so that whatever that surface is made of does not become the same body, thus increasing the mass.

You could do this, I suppose, but I seriously doubt it'll show anything different to my 'wobbly tripod' tests. You certainly don't need to do it to see mirror shock in SLRs (the whole problem with which is that it doesn't go away, no matter how heavy the tripod), and 'shutter shock' should have exactly the same properties.

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Simon Cowell
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Thanks for the samples but...
In reply to 3DrJ, Oct 7, 2013

... in my view outdoor shots cannot be used for experimentation because simply you cannot control all the parameters.

For instance, at 1/60 even a slight wind may cause the leaves to sway.

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PicOne
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

tt321 wrote:

Removing shake, but giving shock a chance to shine, I'd have thought one should place the camera stably on a hard surface, but not screwed down so that whatever that surface is made of does not become the same body, thus increasing the mass.

You could do this, I suppose, but I seriously doubt it'll show anything different to my 'wobbly tripod' tests. You certainly don't need to do it to see mirror shock in SLRs (the whole problem with which is that it doesn't go away, no matter how heavy the tripod), and 'shutter shock' should have exactly the same properties.

What might be learned shooting in continuous mode, ie looking at the 2nd shot in series vs. the first in the series.?

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tt321
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

tt321 wrote:

Removing shake, but giving shock a chance to shine, I'd have thought one should place the camera stably on a hard surface, but not screwed down so that whatever that surface is made of does not become the same body, thus increasing the mass.

You could do this, I suppose, but I seriously doubt it'll show anything different to my 'wobbly tripod' tests. You certainly don't need to do it to see mirror shock in SLRs (the whole problem with which is that it doesn't go away, no matter how heavy the tripod), and 'shutter shock' should have exactly the same properties.

Intuitively, there is a difference between mirror swing and shutter shift. The first is not simply up and down but has an element of front/back as well so is 2D rather than 1D motion, which could flex the mirror box for all we know hence removing some of the significance of a tripod. Also, securing through a screw at the bottom of the camera may be more resistant to 1D motion which goes directly through that screw than to bendy 2D motion.

Even with a wobbly tripod, it depends on how wobbly it is and where that wobble is, i.e. what the more securely coupled additional mass is.

I have tried to put my G3 on stone and concrete and this has so far worked badly - no better than hand holding, which is counter-intuitive and opposite what I got from using the same technique with compacts, or using the camera on a tripod. I will need to test more before making any concrete statements though.

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AndyGM
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Re: E-P5 and "sh_tter Shock"
In reply to John Dyke, Oct 7, 2013

What I don't get about this issue, is that every image I have seen that demonstrates it shows a distinct "double image" and not a smear (a blur along a vertical line). As though during the exposure the camera started at one position, was pitched up/down by a jolt so quick that the light captured during this time has little effect on the image, and then finished the exposure stationary at this pitched up position.

If what is seen in the final image is due to continuing vibrations or resonance after a "shock", I would expect there to be a smear as the pitch of the camera vibrated up and down.

Also, lets think about this for a second. The changes in movement or motion that could jolt the camera are during acceleration events:

a. Shutter button pressed

b. Bottom shutter curtain starts moving up

c. Bottom shutter curtain gets to the top and stops

d. Bottom shutter curtain starts moving down (start of exposure)

e. Bottom shutter curtain gets to the bottom and stops

f. Top shutter curtain starts moving down

g. Top shutter curtain gets to the bottom and stops (end of exposure)

Steps e and f are in this order because the shutter speeds affected are below the cameras flash sync speed. Which is another thing to take into account, the shutter curtains in the EP5 are moving twice as fast as in previous PEN cameras and it the shutter curtains aren't a quarter of the mass of before, then their movement is putting more energy in. Flash sync of 1/320s seems to have pushed things too far.

The anti shock delay, which seems to reduce the effect of this, goes between step c and d, correct? Normally, the delay between these 2 steps is how long it takes to clear and reset the sensor, which is about 4ms, so adding another 125ms is going to make a big difference here, since the bottom curtain has a double inertia effect here (it stops, then it changes direction). However, if the shock that is causing it is just before the start of exposure, wouldn't the double image show more at the bottom of the image (which is exposed first) than at the top? That's not what I've seen in the examples, its happening equally across the image.

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John Dyke
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Re: E-P5 and "sh_tter Shock"
In reply to AndyGM, Oct 7, 2013

Some very intelligent comments....but no answers! I bet the Olympus engineers have been working overtime to solve the problem. The Dpreview comments were quite severe and would not help sales. I wonder if a software solution is possible.

For information, a wireless release (third party) is available, costs about $100 but would mean that one could not use the VF4.

Olympus also make a cable release which uses the USB port and costs $74.88 can.          JD

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knickerhawk
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Check your studio scene shots
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

The phenomenon we observed with the E-P5 does not look this at all. With the camera on a tripod, there's absolutely no hint of blurring, in all the test shots I've taken (which runs into hundreds). This is true not just on the properly-solid tripods I normally use for testing, but also on the lightest, flimsiest tripod I own, which is very wobbly indeed (I wouldn't dream of using the E-P5 on it normally). The shake also substantially goes away if you use the touchscreen to release the shutter when shooting handheld. This doesn't fit a 'shutter shock' explanation at all.

Absolutely no hint? Compare the ISO 200 and 400 studio shots. The Low Light versions are very slightly sharper than the Day Light versions. The low light versions have a bit more contrast and moire in the horizontal converging line resolution strips. More moire and aliasing also appears in the resolution stip below center with better contrast and also in the etching of the family scene. The differences are minor but visible. The E-M1 and E-M5 exhibit a greater difference than is visible in the E-P5 for whatever reason.

The Daylight versions at those two ISO speeds are in the supposed shutter shock danger zone but the Low light shots are well below the danger zone. Assuming here that there were no changes between shots other than shutter speed, how would explain this consistent pattern other than by attributing it to shutter shock?

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baxters
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Re: E-P5 and "sh_tter Shock"
In reply to John Dyke, Oct 7, 2013

Back in the early days of PEN M43, didn't the EP1 have a similar issue which was blamed on the wobbly 14-42 zoom? I recall someone posted a WAV file of the shutter, like Guy did recently, to illustrate the vibes that were going on. Olympus released a firmware fix which probably changed the timing of the shutter curtain relative to catching the image that seemed to make the yelling about the problem go away. DPR updated its review after the FW change came out too. Maybe this happened with the EPL1 and not the EP1. It was a while ago.

Here, I suppose they could do the same thing. If Andy Westlake's hypothesis is correct, they will change some parameters so that the sensor is in a more stable position when the exposure happens. I bet it will take about two months to happen. Lots of testing needed to make sure something else didn't get broken.

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Andy Westlake
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Studio scene shots
In reply to knickerhawk, Oct 7, 2013

Whatever blurring you think may be visible on the studio scene shots (and we replaced the ISO 400 version that we originally published with a noticeably better one), it's absolutely not the clear vertical double-imaging we're talking about in the E-P5 review.

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3DrJ
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

Thank you very much for the prompt and thorough response.  I think it helps clear up some of the confusion and misunderstanding regarding problems with the EP5, and perhaps other cameras too.

Andy Westlake wrote:

3DrJ wrote:

In recent threads it was discussed how DPR seemed to obfuscate the issue in the EP5, stating differences when using touch screen vs. shutter button. In other words, if we believe DPR's idea, the source of "shake" that affects images is broader than just the mechanical action of the shutter, thus confusion among camera owners as well as testers.

'Shutter shock' should look like mirror shock on SLRs, and have the same characteristics. Crucially, mirror shock is visible on a tripod, and 100% reproducible shot-to-shot. It's also independent of how the shutter is released (shutter button, remote release, touchscreen etc). This is well known, and it's why most SLRs have a mirror lock-up function.

Is it possible that effects of shutter action in mirrorless cameras might look somewhat different than mirror shock, given mirror and shutter components have different movement, timing, mass, and direction?  In principle the idea is similar, but could differences in mirror and shutter mechanics produce variant effects that aren't easily classified?

The phenomenon we observed with the E-P5 does not look this at all. With the camera on a tripod, there's absolutely no hint of blurring, in all the test shots I've taken (which runs into hundreds). This is true not just on the properly-solid tripods I normally use for testing, but also on the lightest, flimsiest tripod I own, which is very wobbly indeed (I wouldn't dream of using the E-P5 on it normally). The shake also substantially goes away if you use the touchscreen to release the shutter when shooting handheld. This doesn't fit a 'shutter shock' explanation at all.

Yes, quite clear now that you are saying the EP5 did not manifest shutter shock at all.  But there were other sources of shake/blur that are harder to characterize.  Finding the use of touch screen vs. shutter button reduces the shake/blur is puzzling: what would we call this form of shake-induced blur?

The shake does substantially go away if you shoot-hand with 1/8 sec anti-shock. ...

If not "shutter shock" what is going on that accounts for this observation?

... It's visible again if you shoot hand-held with a 2 second self-timer, and my impression is that this has often been considered clinching proof of a shutter shock mechanism. The problem is that this comparison changes two variables at once, which any trained experimentalist will tell you is a bad idea. The correct comparison with 2 second self-timer is 2 second anti-shock - and in my testing, shake is (perhaps unexpectedly) similarly visible with both - it comes back again with the longer anti-shock delay. Again, I don't see how this observation can fit a 'shutter shock' mechanism.

For me it's difficult to parse what happens in each instance or combination of AS and 2sec delay.  If not fitting classic "shutter shock" patterns, it leaves open questions about exactly what phenomena are actually represented in the resultant images.

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Andy Westlake
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I truly appreciate your effort to clarify the issue, and the meaning of "shutter shock" is indeed clearer thanks to your exposition.

What questions remain center around a derivative query: if not shutter shock, then what is the nature of these other patterns of shake/blur we are seeing?  A consistent, descriptive terminology is sorely needed to relieve persistent confusion.

Thanks,

Jules.

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Andy Westlake
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to 3DrJ, Oct 7, 2013

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, although this will be visible to a greater or lesser extent depending on other factors (for example, noise reduction at high ISOs will tend to mask it completely).

Note that the E-P5 is very different to the E-M5 here - this specific double-image blurring simply isn't visible from the latter when the two are shot side-by-side under controlled conditions. This doesn't necessarily mean there's no such thing as 'shutter shock' at all, either - just that I don't think it explains the specific blurring we see from the E-P5.

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3DrJ
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

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, although this will be visible to a greater or lesser extent depending on other factors (for example, noise reduction at high ISOs will tend to mask it completely).

Note that the E-P5 is very different to the E-M5 here - this specific double-image blurring simply isn't visible from the latter when the two are shot side-by-side under controlled conditions. This doesn't necessarily mean there's no such thing as 'shutter shock' at all, either - just that I don't think it explains the specific blurring we see from the E-P5.

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Andy Westlake
dpreview.com

OK, that's clear enough.  I'll let it go as a peculiarity of the EP5, based on something in its construction that makes it "high strung".  I understand many odd things are hard to account for, and the EP5 may be one of them.  I certainly am not insisting on "answers" when there really aren't any.

Glad the E-M5, and I imagine the forthcoming E-M1, don't manifest the same problems.  In using the E-M5 for 17 months encountered few problems.  There have been occasional occurrence of blur when I didn't expect it, but no pattern I can identify.

One thing I have noticed with the E-M5 is that IS becomes less effective when battery power is low, i.e., the "two-stripe" warning is showing.  Low shutter speed shows this the most, say 1/8 sec and longer.  Perhaps it's been reported before, but I don't regard it as a big problem.

Thanks,

Jules.

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Timbukto
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Re: Studio scene shots
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

Whatever blurring you think may be visible on the studio scene shots (and we replaced the ISO 400 version that we originally published with a noticeably better one), it's absolutely not the clear vertical double-imaging we're talking about in the E-P5 review.

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Andy Westlake
dpreview.com

Something is inconsistent with the testing.  The EM-5 looks really good now (it avoids the 1/80th shutter speed that the other Oly's hit).  Others still look bad at 1/80th comparatively.

Also I do not think we can rule out double-imaging since the testing scenario is different...one is handheld on a 17mm with IBIS on, the other is a 45mm 1.8 tripod with anti-shock on and IBIS off.  Does IBIS induce the double imaging?  It should be tested if turning off IBIS remedies the situation for the E-P5...if so its got some of the same heritage as first and second generation cheaper PENs (E-PM1/2, PL-3/5)

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