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

Started Jan 26, 2014 | Discussions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?

Mr Sincere wrote:

Paulmorgan wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Paulmorgan wrote:

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


This looks more like a simple case of miss focus to me, as in attaining focus lock but then moving the camera backwards or forwards slightly before pushing the shutter all the way.

That looks like prototypical shutter shock to me. Much more vertical than horizontal blur. Certainly not a matter of misfocus.

Do some test using a tripod.

If you want to know how shutter shock works when shooting hand-held, you need to test hand-held.

That is pretty dumb, if SS was there it would show even on a tripod.

This is a simple case of miss focus, at even f2.8 by simply moving the camera a very small amount will throw the focus out, it is easily proved.

There is far to much scare mongering going on and people here need to blame there poor camera handling technique on something.

I'm hesitant to even reply to posts with this kind of confrontational tone, but here it goes anyway..

1) This wasn't a single test shot. I did 10 shots at each shutter speed, and the problem was somewhat consistent at the shutter speeds that had been reported as problematic. If the camera was missing focus that much, than it has a separate issue that's just as bad.

2) I've been shooting for more than 20 years, and I don't even want to mention on how many different cameras. 35mm film cameras, crappy point and shoots, early unstabilized DSLRs, newer DSLRs, you name it. I know how to hold a camera and not move after focusing.

3) In almost all of my examples it was clearly vertical ghosting or double images. Misfocusing rarely causes that.

4) Anders was right. I was doing a real world test. I don't even own a tripod. If in my typical real world shooting only a fraction of my photos between 1/80 and 1/250 are sharp, then there's obviously something wrong.

Just in case you didn't already know, Paulmorgan (alias Alumna Gorp alias Silvernitrate) is the number-one shutter-shock denier on the forum. Judging by the evidence we have this far, no rational argument will make him change his mind.

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