Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?

Started 11 months ago | Discussions
Mr Sincere
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Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
11 months ago

So, I'm afraid I might stir up a hornets nest here, but here it goes...

I wanted to get back into micro four thirds, so I just purchased a used ep5, after reading extensively about the shutter shock issue. I convinced myself before making the purchase that the problem was probably overblown, and that I could overlook it if I did encounter it, etc, etc. I really wanted that ep5. It looked beautiful.

After receiving my camera I did my best not to look for it, never zooming to 100%. Then I noticed some photos I took of my cat with the 45mm 1.8 looked a little blurry, so I hit the zoom button in Lightroom, and... oh crap, vertical doubling so bad it made my eyes hurt.

So then my inner nerd couldn't resist the urge to setup a test scene to see just how bad it was. It was bad. I like to think I'm not too picky about sharpness, but almost every photo shot between 1/80 and 1/250 looked unacceptably blurry. If I was evaluating a lens, I'd return it without hesitation. Everything at 1/400 was tack sharp. Shots below 1/80 did pretty well too. Shot the same scene with my lx7 and d90, and those were nicely sharp also (to reassure myself it wasn't my technique).

I'm attaching two 100% crops from my testing, both shot with the 45mm 1.8. The blurry one was shot at 1/250, and the sharp one 1/400. I did 10 shots at each available shutter speed between 1/80 and 1/250, and I'd guess 50% to 75% of the shots looked like this example.  Some worse, some better. Maybe 10% were sharp.

So, I'm most likely returning the camera. And I'd really, really like to get an em5 to replace it. But will I be just as disappointed in the em5? My reading indicates that shutter shock isn't unheard of on the em5 either. But it doesn't appear to be a big enough problem to warrant being mentioned in the review here on DPReview, like they did with the ep5.

45mm, f/2.8, 1/250, ISO 200

1/400

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Bob Tullis
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

I'm not so sure that is SS or SS & technique or just technique.

What results did you get as you progressively used slow shutter speeds, down to 1/15s?

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Michael Kilpatrick
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

I have used three EM5 bodies - one that I have had for 18 months, two that I bought as backups for holiday trips 12 months apart, then sold after the trip.

After taking thousands of shots with those bodies, I haven't really had an issue with shutter shock, except that with my 100-300, I can go a bit lower in hand held shutter speed, or on a monopod, with 1/8 sec anti-shock engaged. That's kind of to be expected, although the delay is a nuisance sometimes.

I haven't noticed any shutter shock type blurring with any other lens on those EM5 bodies, at any shutter speed - other lenses I have are the 45 mm 1.8, the 12-50 kit lens and the 9-18 ultra wide.

On the other hand, I returned two EM1 bodies in October that were completely unable to produce a sharp image at 1/250 sec with my 9-18, hand held. The problem was verified by the sales guy, who eventually offered a refund, which I accepted. That's a long story that isn't relevant to your question though.

In answer to your question, I expect an EM5 would be better, based on the three that I have used.

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Mr Sincere
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Michael Kilpatrick, 11 months ago

Michael Kilpatrick wrote:

I have used three EM5 bodies - one that I have had for 18 months, two that I bought as backups for holiday trips 12 months apart, then sold after the trip.

After taking thousands of shots with those bodies, I haven't really had an issue with shutter shock, except that with my 100-300, I can go a bit lower in hand held shutter speed, or on a monopod, with 1/8 sec anti-shock engaged. That's kind of to be expected, although the delay is a nuisance sometimes.

I haven't noticed any shutter shock type blurring with any other lens on those EM5 bodies, at any shutter speed - other lenses I have are the 45 mm 1.8, the 12-50 kit lens and the 9-18 ultra wide.

On the other hand, I returned two EM1 bodies in October that were completely unable to produce a sharp image at 1/250 sec with my 9-18, hand held. The problem was verified by the sales guy, who eventually offered a refund, which I accepted. That's a long story that isn't relevant to your question though.

In answer to your question, I expect an EM5 would be better, based on the three that I have used.

Thank you, exactly the sort of feedback I was hoping to hear.

I really don't expect I'd ever go much longer than 45mm, so I'm not worried about longer focal lengths, like you mention you had issues with.

I may pick up an em5 and give it a shot.

Thanks again.

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Mr Sincere
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Bob Tullis, 11 months ago

Bob Tullis wrote:

I'm not so sure that is SS or SS & technique or just technique.

What results did you get as you progressively used slow shutter speeds, down to 1/15s?

Thanks Bob, I'm open to the idea it's technique, but I find it doubtful.  Like I said, similar shots with my d90 and 50mm 1.8, shot at 1/100 with no stabilization were just fine.  So were the shots from my lx7 at 90mm, but that is stabilized.

At any rate, 1/250 should be fast enough for a 90mm equivalent focal length to rule out any shake or poor technique on my end.

Here's a handheld shot at 1/40, which appears to be under the shutter shock threshold.  It's relatively sharp, compared to the 1/250 shot at least.

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Len_Gee
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

Probably same SS issues.

Consider Panasonic GX7 or GM1?

Good luck in your quest.

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Martin.au
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

Did you turn on the EFCS (release time = short)?

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drj3
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

Your problem sounds like the one DPR observed with the EP5.  A very light camera with light lenses is more prone to camera movement as the shutter is pressed.  If so, then it is not shutter shock, it is simply a large camera movement which the IBIS is incapable of reducing (see the Camera/Image shake section under the Image Quality section where they discuss the cause).  I must admit I had planned on buying an EP5 for my wife until I read the review.  This problem is not unique to the EP5, but potentially a problem with any small light weight camera without a grip.  The fact that the camera does not have an EVF, preventing a three point holding technique would certainly increase the problem.  This characteristic may account for many of the "shutter shock" forum topics.

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Bob Tullis
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

Mr Sincere wrote:

Bob Tullis wrote:

I'm not so sure that is SS or SS & technique or just technique.

What results did you get as you progressively used slow shutter speeds, down to 1/15s?

Thanks Bob, I'm open to the idea it's technique, but I find it doubtful. Like I said, similar shots with my d90 and 50mm 1.8, shot at 1/100 with no stabilization were just fine. So were the shots from my lx7 at 90mm, but that is stabilized.

At any rate, 1/250 should be fast enough for a 90mm equivalent focal length to rule out any shake or poor technique on my end.

Here's a handheld shot at 1/40, which appears to be under the shutter shock threshold. It's relatively sharp, compared to the 1/250 shot at least.

I don't know. . . 1/40s is under the SS threshold. This doesn't rule out technique yet (not that I have a sense of your technique, just saying - drj3 touches on technique in this regard, but I think Jeff then takes that further [g]).

I tend to forget I shoot with a 1/8s shutter delay enabled all the time. Helps for IBIS in general, and I never see shutter shock (on the Pens or with the OM-Ds).

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Jeff Tokayer
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In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

After purchasing the E-M1, I sold the E-M5 and replaced it with an E-P5. I wanted a camera with similar specs to the E-M1 + a better color match to my lenses.

All this talk about the E-P5 SS finally got to me. I decided to do my own test.

The camera was handheld. Used the EVF. Camera in M mode. Lens 45/1.8. Aperture at f2.8.

The subject (cereal boxes) were approximately 4' away. The images are 100% crops from the originals. EXIF should be intact. No PP other than cropping the original images.

Original image.

1/80

1/125

1/160

1/250

1/400

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drj3
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Bob Tullis, 11 months ago

Bob Tullis wrote:

Mr Sincere wrote:

Bob Tullis wrote:

I'm not so sure that is SS or SS & technique or just technique.

What results did you get as you progressively used slow shutter speeds, down to 1/15s?

Thanks Bob, I'm open to the idea it's technique, but I find it doubtful. Like I said, similar shots with my d90 and 50mm 1.8, shot at 1/100 with no stabilization were just fine. So were the shots from my lx7 at 90mm, but that is stabilized.

At any rate, 1/250 should be fast enough for a 90mm equivalent focal length to rule out any shake or poor technique on my end.

Here's a handheld shot at 1/40, which appears to be under the shutter shock threshold. It's relatively sharp, compared to the 1/250 shot at least.

I don't know. . . 1/40s is under the SS threshold. This doesn't rule out technique yet (not that I have a sense of your technique, just saying - drj3 touches on technique in this regard, but I think Jeff then takes that further [g]).

I tend to forget I shoot with a 1/8s shutter delay enabled all the time. Helps for IBIS in general, and I never see shutter shock (on the Pens or with the OM-Ds).

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If you read the DPR review, the primary shutter speeds affected were between 1/80 and 1/250, so I would expect your 1/40 photos to be better.  Unfortunately, it may not matter whether its shutter shock or simply movement of the camera, it is a problem either way.  DPR suggests that enabling the 1/8 second delay should help solve the problem.  However, I personally would dislike that solution, since I primarily photograph wildlife.

I have carefully examined my E-M1 photos and have never been able to see any blurred photos (other than the ones where I missed focus and those are generally attempts at BIFs at very high shutter speeds) at any to these shutter speeds for any of my lenses.  However, I do have the grip and I use only the heavier FTs lenses.

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Jim Salvas
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

The factor that bothers me here is that you said the problem shows up in 50-75% of the shots in the trouble zone. It seems to me the camera would behave exactly the same way every time. If it is the camera's fault, then we need to find an intermittent fault.

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Mal_In_Oz
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Take it back and exchange it like Michael K
In reply to Michael Kilpatrick, 11 months ago

Michael Kilpatrick wrote:

I have used three EM5 bodies - one that I have had for 18 months, two that I bought as backups for holiday trips 12 months apart, then sold after the trip.

After taking thousands of shots with those bodies, I haven't really had an issue with shutter shock, except that with my 100-300, I can go a bit lower in hand held shutter speed, or on a monopod, with 1/8 sec anti-shock engaged. That's kind of to be expected, although the delay is a nuisance sometimes.

I haven't noticed any shutter shock type blurring with any other lens on those EM5 bodies, at any shutter speed - other lenses I have are the 45 mm 1.8, the 12-50 kit lens and the 9-18 ultra wide.

On the other hand, I returned two EM1 bodies in October that were completely unable to produce a sharp image at 1/250 sec with my 9-18, hand held. The problem was verified by the sales guy, who eventually offered a refund, which I accepted. That's a long story that isn't relevant to your question though.

Based on these comments and the same from DPReview on the EP5, and the rather polarised view of other users on EM5, EP5 and EM1, I would say that there might be a problem with the 5 axis IBIS on some samples. Perhaps this is a manufacturing defect that shows up from time to time.

Regarding the blurred image in the OP at 1/250s, I have never seen that before at that shutter speed. I would take it back and try another EP5.

In answer to your question, I expect an EM5 would be better, based on the three that I have used.

Regards

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DonSC
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In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

that at 1/250 the first and second curtains are moving together so the entire image would not be exposed BEFORE the first curtain closed. If the blurring was caused by the shutter then only the bottom portion of the sensor would show the blurring. Your image has blurring throughout the entire image.

Most likely it's hand holding technique. Rather than post about it why not put the camera on a tripod and see what you get?

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Paul De Bra
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Use the anti-shock. It really works.
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

Olympus cameras can be set to use a 1/8s anti-shock delay. This really eliminates the shutter shock.

Sure the E-M5 has a bit less shutter shock than the E-P5 according to most users but it definitely still has some and 1/8s delay solves the problem. THe E-M1 also has the problem but it now has a new feature to keep the shutter open at the expense of higher power consumption.

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eclipsechaser1
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

Please test setting release lag to short before you set the shutter delay to 1/8th of a second. Many people have suggested that this is the best way to resolve shutter shock and you don't get that annoying 1/8th of a second delay

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Ken Strain
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

Mr Sincere wrote:

So, I'm afraid I might stir up a hornets nest here, but here it goes...

I wanted to get back into micro four thirds, so I just purchased a used ep5, after reading extensively about the shutter shock issue. I convinced myself before making the purchase that the problem was probably overblown, and that I could overlook it if I did encounter it, etc, etc. I really wanted that ep5. It looked beautiful.

After receiving my camera I did my best not to look for it, never zooming to 100%. Then I noticed some photos I took of my cat with the 45mm 1.8 looked a little blurry, so I hit the zoom button in Lightroom, and... oh crap, vertical doubling so bad it made my eyes hurt.

So then my inner nerd couldn't resist the urge to setup a test scene to see just how bad it was. It was bad. I like to think I'm not too picky about sharpness, but almost every photo shot between 1/80 and 1/250 looked unacceptably blurry. If I was evaluating a lens, I'd return it without hesitation. Everything at 1/400 was tack sharp. Shots below 1/80 did pretty well too. Shot the same scene with my lx7 and d90, and those were nicely sharp also (to reassure myself it wasn't my technique).

I'm attaching two 100% crops from my testing, both shot with the 45mm 1.8. The blurry one was shot at 1/250, and the sharp one 1/400. I did 10 shots at each available shutter speed between 1/80 and 1/250, and I'd guess 50% to 75% of the shots looked like this example. Some worse, some better. Maybe 10% were sharp.

So, I'm most likely returning the camera. And I'd really, really like to get an em5 to replace it. But will I be just as disappointed in the em5? My reading indicates that shutter shock isn't unheard of on the em5 either. But it doesn't appear to be a big enough problem to warrant being mentioned in the review here on DPReview, like they did with the ep5.

45mm, f/2.8, 1/250, ISO 200

I would not assume that all E-P5s with 45mm/1.8s are as bad.  I had an E-PL2 that produced results that were not quite as bad as you see (not at 1/250s), and I concluded it was faulty.  It was old and second hand so I had no recourse.  No  camera I have had or tried since then was as bad (two E-PM2, E-PM1 and GX7 on mechanical shutter).

Since it should be easy to take a sharp hand held picture at 1/250s, I don't see a reason to doubt that anyone using your camera would get similar results.  I can't say whether it is the lens or body or both at fault, but it my case the problem was broadly similar for a couple of lenses (45mm and 14-45mm zoom, for example). The same lenses have been fine on other bodies.

I got some relief from the problem by using a monopod or, with a great deal of care, using the grip method described by Anders W (roughly supporting the camera gently as near the plane of the shutter as possible, but you can look up the detail as I have not bookmarked the post).  But again, your results are even worse than my assumed-broken E-PL2.

Do you think that people would accept this level of blur?  I think anyone with some experience of other cameras,  who uses raw and looks at their images on a screen or makes large prints would wonder what was wrong.  Of course this diagnosis is a guess, but I seems probable to me.

Ken

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Ken Strain
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Re: Use the anti-shock. It really works.
In reply to Paul De Bra, 11 months ago

Paul De Bra wrote:

Olympus cameras can be set to use a 1/8s anti-shock delay. This really eliminates the shutter shock.

Not completely on cameras I have tested.  The shock shown in the OP looks far too large, don't you think?

Ken

Sure the E-M5 has a bit less shutter shock than the E-P5 according to most users but it definitely still has some and 1/8s delay solves the problem. THe E-M1 also has the problem but it now has a new feature to keep the shutter open at the expense of higher power consumption.

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Anders W
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

Mr Sincere wrote:

So, I'm afraid I might stir up a hornets nest here, but here it goes...

As Ken Strain pointed out, it's quite conceivable that there is something wrong with your particular copy of the E-P5. I wouldn't expect blur this bad at shutter speeds as high as 1/250 (where the shutter-shock problem is usually pretty much gone). If you like the E-P5 from other points of view, I think you should look for an opportunity to compare your copy with another one (e.g., find a shop where they sell the E-P5 and ask if you can take some test shots with it).

As to ways of working around the shutter shock you can expect to see even on a reasonably healthy copy (I would think my E-M5 counts as that), see this summary report of my experiences and my way of dealing with them:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52603448

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Lindsay D
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Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
In reply to Mr Sincere, 11 months ago

I wish I could suggest a remedy for this problem, but it's very difficult to determine where the cause lies. It seems that some users experience it and not others. I have the EM1, EM5 and EPL5 and a wide range of Olympus and Panasonic lenses, but I have never seen the problem irrespective of shutter speed. So the issue may be down to the individual user or else technical variances between batches of the same camera. Next time I see the Olympus rep I will ask.

Whilst unrelated, I remember a few years back when many of us were using the original Canon 5D. A lovely camera, but prone to the most horrendous mirror slap at certain shutter speeds (thankfully we do not have that to contend with on the cameras under discussion) but it could be overcome by using a particular handholding technique. The problem could sometimes manifested in the slight doubling the OP is describing, since the 'mirror shock' caused lateral movement. Anyway, it was a question of creating opposing diagonal forces, with the left palm pushing up against the bottom left corner of the camera and the right-hand pushing down towards the left hand, with the soft tissues of the palms absorbing the vibration. It worked unbelievably well. So it may be worth the OP trying some different holding techniques first and then if the problem persists it may be a case of exchanging the camera and seeing what happens.

Technique is very important and often overlooked since we will all generally presume we're holding the camera correctly, or in a stable enough way. This won't always matter much at very high shutter speeds or even very low ones, but the low to mid speeds tend to show up any problems. Due to muscle memory I seem to automatically adopt the "diagonal pressure" technique when my brain thinks it's necessary and it does seem to help whatever camera I'm using. To be clear, I am not suggesting the problem doesn't exist, I'm just suggesting a process of elimination before abandoning the camera.

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