E-P5 and "shtter Shock"

Started Oct 6, 2013 | Discussions
Andy Westlake
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IBIS is not the cause
In reply to Timbukto, Oct 7, 2013

The double image is not caused by the IBIS:
* Turning IBIS off does not fix the problem
* The effect is independent of IS mode (i.e. It's not a twitchy 'Auto' setting.
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micksh6
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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

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

, 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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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micksh6
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

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.

Do E-P5 images not look similar to the image below? The image is taken with E-M5, link here

E-M5, shutter shock

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Re: IBIS is not the cause
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

The double image is not caused by the IBIS:

IBIS (or OIS) just makes a regular shutter shock worse withing certain range of shutter speeds

* Turning IBIS off does not fix the problem

when it you turn it off it is still working ... it is not that sensor magically becomes physically locked to the body.

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Andy Westlake
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to micksh6, Oct 7, 2013

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

Andy Westlake wrote:

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
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The posture and grip used to produce a touchscreen release may be different from traditional shutter release.  It could be the posture and grip used to produce a touchscreen release involves more support on the bottom of the camera, while the traditional support of shutter release comes from lens support and your other hand gripped in a good position to release the shutter, etc.

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micksh6
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 7, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

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?

I don't think it's very logical, but it's possible. Operator, holding technique, tripod, camera sample variation, lens, focal length for zoom - all this can matter.
I don't know the answer, and I think it can be hard to come up with universal solution - too many variables are involved. There is probably only one thing common for all - if shutter shock appears, it is worst around 1/100s shutter speed.

I am sure that the same problem exists on E-M5 and other Pens. E-M5 may be less prone to shutter shock than Pens, but I saw it on E-M5 too. And it may require different conditions for the issue to appear. So, you won't necessarily see it when shooting side by side with E-P5.

For me it was the worst with Olympus 75mm F1.8 lens. Oly 40-150mm was less problematic, even at longer FL. So, longer and lighter lens doesn't always make things worse.

Take a look at this image, for example. E-M5 and 75mm F1.8. Is it not the same double image you are getting with E-P5? Taken from this thread .

E-M5 shutter shock

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.

As was mentioned, holding technique matters. Try holding camera with "death grip" and loosely, the results will likely be different. For me, more or less relaxed (but not too loose) holding is better. YMMV.

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Anders W
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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.

Hi Andy,

I have been interested in the problem of shutter shock for quite a while by now and have done some fairly extensive testing of the problem as it manifests itself with my E-M5.

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.

As far as I can see, there are at least two mechanisms that are likely to reduce (though perhaps not completely eliminate) the impact of shutter shock when the camera is placed on a tripod.

First, it reduces the amount of camera body movement required to absorb the momentum of the moving shutter blades. This is weight-dependent and attaching the camera body to a tripod effectively increases its weight (both because the tripod weighs something and because, depending on the rigidity of the tripod, the tripod stands on something that weighs still more).

Second, the use of a tripod increases the likelihood (at least with a short and light lens on the camera, e.g., the 45/1.8 you use for your studio scene) that whatever camera movement remains takes the form of translational rather than rotational movement (vertical shift rather than pitch), where translational movement has the advantage of usually implying far less blur than rotational. See here for a more detailed development of this point:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3496076

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.

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?

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.

Second, while the first phase of shutter action (shutter closing to prepare the sensor for exposure) is certainly part of the problem and while a sufficiently long anti-shock delay will certainly eliminate that part from the equation, that's not all there is to it. The remaining phases of shutter action cause problems too.

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.

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Anders W
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 8, 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.

I have done comparative testing with a very long FL (Pany 100-300 at the long end E-M5) and the camera mounted on a fairly decent tripod (Sirui T-1205X with G-10 head) versus resting on the perfectly rigid floor (tiles on top of concrete) of my kitchen. With the camera on the tripod, there are remaining signs of shutter shock in the critical range of shutter speeds (due to the very long FL and center-of-gravity displacements). With the camera resting on the floor, however, I could no longer see any signs of it.

To my mind, this experiment rules out the possibility that the shutter-shock problem is due to vibration (placing the camera on the floor prevents it from moving but not from vibrating). It also supports the idea that the effect of the shock depends on how the momentum is absorbed. In that regard, having it absorbed directly by mother earth as a whole (as when the camera is resting on the tiled concrete floor) is better than having it absorbed with a less than perfectly rigid tripod between the camera and the floor.

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Anders W
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Re: E-P5 and "sh_tter Shock"
In reply to baxters, Oct 8, 2013

baxters wrote:

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.

You are thinking about this

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/EP1/EP1BLUR.HTM

The FW fix concerned IBIS, which initially made the shutter-shock induced blur worse. It didn't eliminate the issue altogether. If the E-P5 issue is not related to IBIS functionality (and I see no reason at this stage to think it is), it's hard to see how a firmware fix could do anything about it.

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Anders W
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 8, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

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.

Can't see why the observation you made should be difficult to reconcile with the shutter-shock hypothesis. That the effect of shutter-shock depends on how you hold the camera was one of the very first observations made and documented when the phenomenon started to be intensely discussed on this forum about a year ago, following the release of the E-M5. And you hold the camera differently when you release via the touch screen than when you release via the shutter button, don't you? So you have in fact two factors here that you vary simultaneously, not a single one: Release mechanism and the way you hold the camera.

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3DrJ
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to micksh6, Oct 8, 2013

My oh my, what a confused lot we are. The source of the effect shown in the image is as mysterious as ever.

In one of my posts above, I included two tiny fragments of images of the same subject, at 1/60 sec shutter speed, one shows the "vertical double" signature, the other doesn't.

I was not aware of any difference in technique, as holding the camera in the same way, and so on. But maybe not exactly the same way, there are always going to be minute variations in handling the camera.  Consequently, I could not conclude the blur in the first sample was "shutter shock".

There's the pivot of the entire plot. The randomness of small, essentially unmeasurable alterations in placement of fingers, pressure applied to shutter buttons, angle and position of camera vs. subject, and countless permutations of these factors leaves no unambiguous way to adequately disentangle user factors from subtle and possibly also variable mechanical operations within the camera itself.

In theory, we might be able to gather sufficient data to allow probabilistic predictions. However, in reality even that is way too difficult to accomplish. We're left with inconclusive tests and anecdotal impression as our only guides.

We are reduced to uttering a chunk of uninspired advice, very much a modern cliché, "YMMV", though truthfully it surely does.

Jules.

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Andy Westlake
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Anders W, Oct 8, 2013

Anders W wrote:

I have done comparative testing with a very long FL (Pany 100-300 at the long end E-M5)

This is great, but I can't help but notice you're talking about the E-M5 - a camera I know very well, as I own one and use it for much of my personal photography. The shake problem that we've seen shooting hand-held with the E-P5 does not show up with the E-M5, in side-by-side controlled testing.

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Anders W
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 8, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

Anders W wrote:

I have done comparative testing with a very long FL (Pany 100-300 at the long end E-M5)

This is great, but I can't help but notice you're talking about the E-M5 - a camera I know very well, as I own one and use it for much of my personal photography. The shake problem that we've seen shooting hand-held with the E-P5 does not show up with the E-M5, in side-by-side controlled testing.

1. Exactly what side-by-side controlled testing have you done with the E-P5 versus the E-M5?

2. The comment of mine that you (partly) quote was not intended to question the difference between the E-P5 and the E-M5 that you claim to have found. I simply described a test that I thought relevant with regard to your exchange with tt321.

3. Not knowing more about your testing than I do at the current stage, I don't think the fact that you observe certain differences of behavior beween the E-P5 and the E-M5 rules out the possibility that it is nevertheless essentially the same phenomenon (shutter shock) that we are dealing with. None of the tests I have seen you report so far is conclusive in that regard. See, e.g., my other replies to you in this thread for details.

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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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Michael J Davis
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A relevant question...
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 8, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

Anders W wrote:

[snip some]

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.

As always, thanks to Andy & Anders for intelligent discussion. Now I haven't touched an E-P5, but have carried out a few (not enough!) tests on my E-M5, and wonder...

With a DSLR I assume that when it in portrait orientation, using, for instance an additional grip, the mirror shock continues to be in the direction of the mirror movement (short side), in spite of the holding position being at 90deg from normal. (I've never had a battery grip for a DSLR so have no experience.)

Has anybody yet tested (I haven't) the shutter shock issue using the battery grip on the E-M5?

From what you are saying -

a) if it is grip position related the shock should be along the long dimension (as the grip has changed but the method of holding is still similar to the 'normal' position), otherwise

b) if it is shutter related the shock should be along the short dimension as the shutter still operates relative to that.

Obviously the E-P5 doesn't have a battery grip afaik, and so this option couldn't discriminate there, but it may help with the E-M5 issues.

Mike

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Anders W
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Re: Shock vs. shake
In reply to Andy Westlake, Oct 8, 2013

Andy Westlake wrote:

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.

Have you seen this test, probably the most serious investigation of shutter shock ever conducted:

http://www.falklumo.com/lumolabs/articles/k7shutter/index.html

See especially section 4.2 where there is a test specifically for vibration. The conclusion is negative. It's a matter of extraneous movement, not vibration.

The test I reported in my post here (to which you already responded) also rules out vibration as the cause. Placing the camera on a concrete floor prevents it from moving but not from vibrating. Nevertheless, there is no blur in this case.

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52289880

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.

My claim was only that a two-second delay rules out the possibility that the problem is due to shake caused by the shutter button and the way it is pressed. Are you saying that you expect shake due to button pressing even after two seconds?

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.

Are you somehow trying to insinuate that what I said is tautological?

The shutter causes a shock. The consequences of that shock for image blur depends on how you hold the camera. If you hold it the wrong way the consequences will be worse than if you hold it the right way. Similarly, the impact of the anti-shock delay varies with the way you hold the camera. If you hold it right, anti-shock will be less helpful than if you hold it wrong (simply because there will be less of a problem for anti-shock to take care of). Do you follow my description and its logic? And do you see anything wrong with it?

Note that holding the camera in the way that is conventionally regarded as optimal in order to prevent ordinary camera shake (supporting under the lens with your left hand, using head support) has been shown not to be optimal in order to limit the impact of shutter shock.

Again, see this post/thread for a discussion of the issues involved:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/thread/3496076

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.

Yes. That's why I said everything else equal.

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.

As far as I can see, your own testing with a two-second delay has already ruled out the possibility that the "feel" of the shutter button has anything to do with it. You aren't seriously arguing that the shock due to button pressing (as opposed to the shutter action that press releases) can manifest itself two seconds after the fact, are you?

A reduced shutter lag shouldn't change anything with regard to shutter shock as long as it is the delay between button press and beginning of shutter action we are talking about. Possibly, changing the time between the first phase of shutter action (shutter closing to prepare for exposure) and subsequent phases might (this is the time addressed by the anti-shock setting), but I doubt that there has been much of a change in this regard or that it would have much of an effect.

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.

I realize that this is your key point but wouldn't be so sure that you are right. While I certainly can't know for sure at this stage, my guess is that you will in the end find the root cause to be the same (shutter shock) although it may well manifest itself in slightly different ways. I look forward to your reply to the question about your comparative testing of the E-P5 and E-M5 that I asked in another post here:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52291888

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Bob Tullis
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Pshaw.
In reply to Simon Cowell, Oct 8, 2013

Simon Cowell wrote:

... 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.

Unless you're talking about a close up of leaves only, there will usually be supporting elements in a composition that won't be affected by the wind, providing clear evidence of one's precision.

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Anders W
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Re: A relevant question...
In reply to Michael J Davis, Oct 8, 2013

Michael J Davis wrote:

Andy Westlake wrote:

Anders W wrote:

[snip some]

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.

As always, thanks to Andy & Anders for intelligent discussion. Now I haven't touched an E-P5, but have carried out a few (not enough!) tests on my E-M5, and wonder...

With a DSLR I assume that when it in portrait orientation, using, for instance an additional grip, the mirror shock continues to be in the direction of the mirror movement (short side), in spite of the holding position being at 90deg from normal. (I've never had a battery grip for a DSLR so have no experience.)

Has anybody yet tested (I haven't) the shutter shock issue using the battery grip on the E-M5?

I might have seen one or more tests regarding the impact of the grip but I no longer remember the details well enough to search for them more effectively than you can do yourself.

From what you are saying -

a) if it is grip position related the shock should be along the long dimension (as the grip has changed but the method of holding is still similar to the 'normal' position), otherwise

b) if it is shutter related the shock should be along the short dimension as the shutter still operates relative to that.

Yes, your reasoning is correct. Note, on top of that, that the grip is likely to reduce the problem by adding weight at the proper point (just below the shutter, thus not changing the center of gravity along the z-axis, i.e., the axis between you and the subject.

Obviously the E-P5 doesn't have a battery grip afaik, and so this option couldn't discriminate there, but it may help with the E-M5 issues.

Mike

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Anders W
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Re: "sh_tter Shock": multiple cases and causes?
In reply to 3DrJ, Oct 8, 2013

3DrJ wrote:

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.

I am among those who on the forum who have been testing for this phenomenon most extensively. Consequently, I am of course perfectly aware of all of the above. In order to test in a manner that allows you to draw reasonably firm conclusions, you have to shoot quite a few images (especially if you are testing hand-held since the problem is probabilistic rather than deterministic; it isn't perfectly reproducible on a shot-to-shot basis), use a target that readily lets you see any minor blur such as the one exemplified here (the print-screen structure is particularly revealing)

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52237265

inspect the results carefully and average them across the sample, and carefully compare differences in shooting conditions (e.g., the shutter speed used), taking care to vary only one condition at a time.

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.

Yes, the phenomenon is likely to vary not only on a shot-to-shot basis but also depending on factors such as for example holding technique, body used, and lens used (not only FL but also other things like length, weight, and OIS might make a difference) to name but a few. The fact that the results vary depending on such parameters does not mean that we do not or cannot have a reasonably firm grasp of the general nature of the problem. It just makes it more difficult to achieve it.

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.

I wouldn't use a word like "obfuscate" but I am somewhat sceptical of DPR's idea that the shutter button and the way it is pressed is the main culprit as far as the E-P5 is concerned (particularly since some recent reports by Andy Westlake here on the forum indicates that the problem persists even with a self-release or anti-shock delay of as much as two seconds, which is sufficiently long to remove any shake due to the button-press itself).

Obviously, camera shake has many sources and that fact may well confuse users as well as testers. However, for reasons spelled out above, it remains possible to isolate the impact of shutter-shock from other sources of blur, provided you are ready to think carefully about how to do it and then carry out the test in a sufficiently rigorous and extensive way.

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