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

Started Jan 26, 2014 | Discussions thread
Ken Strain Regular Member • Posts: 449
Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?

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.


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