E-P5 and "shtter Shock"

Started Oct 6, 2013 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: "sh_tter Shock": multiple cases and causes?

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)


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:


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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