Shutter Shock - Size DOES Matter!

Started Jan 22, 2014 | Discussions thread
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Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: Since it is a vibration/resonance of course size matters.

Paul De Bra wrote:

It is not just the movement of the shutter and the relative weight of the shutter mechanism versus the rest of the camera that causes the visible effect in the pictures. In fact, shutter shock comes from the shutter closing before it opens, so its action is finished before the exposure starts.

That's certainly not the whole story. The shutter opening for exposure (and coming to a halt in open position) has an impact too.

It is vibration and possibly resonance in the camera+lens setup that causes blurred images.

Vibration/resonance is just one possibility. Shock, pure and simple, is another. In my own tests, I have only found evidence of the latter so far. But I am open to the possibility that there are other mechanisms involved with gear combinations (or specific copies of gear combinations) that I don't have access to.

Whether that is significant depends on the exact camera/lens combination and also on how the camera is held (possibly dampening the effect). That makes the visible effect of shutter shock so unpredictable, and some people who do look carefully will not have it while others do.

The general wisdom is that to eliminate the problem the camera should wait after closing the shutter until the vibration is gone. Recent Olympus cameras offer such anti-shock delay. So what really is the problem is manufacturers trying to make their camera too fast, taking a shot before everything is stable.

Again, that's not the whole story. See above.

Since the vibration is caused by the shutter mechanism another way to eliminate it is to make the camera/lens combination much much heavier so the shutter mechanism has negligible influence. On my dslr setup I had before shutter shock was never a problem. The camera was larger and heavier and so were the lenses and the vibrations from the mirror slap were much larger than those from the shutter could ever be.

One problem with weight as the explanation in this case is that the blades of an APS-C or FF shutter are presumably heavier than those of an MFT shutter (since they have to cover a bigger area, four times bigger on FF). Furthermore, the blades on an APS-C or FF shutter have to move faster in order to reach the same flash sync speed (since they have to move a larger distance in the same time). The implication is that there is more kinetic energy and momentum involved in the shutter action of a DSLR than in an MFT camera and that the difference in this regard may well be larger than the difference in body weight that serves to "absorb" the impact.

In any case I believe that in the near future all new m43 cameras will have an electronic first curtain meaning there is no moving shutter before the exposure starts.

Yes, let's hope so.

The minute GM1 already shows that the electronic first curtain eliminates shutter shock. And the E-M1 has a similar feature but it is optional and uses power but it too eliminates shutter shock. So we are simply dealing with a design flaw that is being dealt with by manufacturers, albeit of course only in new models that come out.

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