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

Started Jan 26, 2014 | Discussions thread
Ken Strain Regular Member • Posts: 449
Re: Some real world examples of shutter shock, and other random thoughts.

Anders W wrote:

Mr Sincere wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Mr Sincere wrote:

I was kinda hoping this thread would fade off the front page and into obscurity, but since others are bumping it, I might as well too...

Well, I had managed to convince myself to keep the camera, as turning on the short shutter lag option has made a pretty big difference (and, I didn't want to pay a fee to return it, and I otherwise love the camera).

With the short shutter lag option enabled, I'd guestimate that maybe 10% of the shots I'm taking have noticeable signs of shock, and rarely is it bad shock. If I wasn't looking for it, I wouldn't notice it on most.

Until this morning, when I decided to stop and take some photos of a beautiful sunrise. Shutter shock wasn't even on my mind at the time. But of course, I couldn't resist hitting the ol' Z key in Lightroom while reviewing later and, ugh, there it was, clear as day, on 2 of the 10. One of which had my favorite framing of the series. What a bummer that was.

Honestly, at typical screen viewing size nobody would ever notice, so I shouldn't worry about it. But still... it bugs me. I see the blur now, even at normal viewing sizes.

Have you tried the holding technique I would recommend (when the lens is short and light enough as it is in this case)?

Hold the camera with your right hand as you ordinarily would. Hold it with your left hand in roughly the same way as you hold it with your right. Don't support under the lens and (if you use an EVF) don't press the camera to your head. Does that improve your success rate?

Yes, actually, I found that post of yours that you pointed me towards to be quite helpful.

My normal technique with small cameras wasn't too far off: right hand as normal, and then typically cupping the left side of the camera with my thumb up the side and my fingers on the bottom of the camera. I can't say I've ever tried holding a smaller camera by the lens, I suppose because I've never used a lens large enough.

I did some less than scientific testing with different hand holding techniques, such as sandwiching both sides of the camera, with my fingers on the top and thumb on bottom (effectively creating some dampening for any shock). But I really didn't find much variation of note.

Thanks for the suggestion. I may play around some more with different techniques to see how it helps.

Some additional experiments I did myself last night (with the 75/1.8 on the E-M5) suggests that the best left-hand technique is the one I described above, i.e., gripping the camera body via the front and the back. In this test, I found this technique be better than supporting the body with the left hand at the top and bottom, probably because it reduces the likelihood that the displacement takes the form of pitch rather than vertical shift.

Hi Anders,

I came across a technique that, I think, helps to show shutter shock more clearly, and might speed up the kind of grip-testing you are doing.  It arose by chance when I was trying a new lens, checking it was sharp (so had a flash on the camera), and learning how to hold it: I forgot to turn the flash off!

This method depends on the main shock being soon after the shutter opens, at about the same time as the normal (first curtain) flash actuation.  I set the exposure for flash and ambient to be equal: both -1 stop from normal. The flash exposure occurs when the shutter just opens.  The ambient exposure is averaged over the whole exposure time.  The result is, it appears, a clearer double image for even small amounts of shock.

I've not done enough testing to get good statistics, but it looks like the contrast of the shock is enhanced by 5 or 10 times.  My tests were all at 1/60s on an E-PM2, with a focal length around 100mm and Power OIS.

I'm not confident that this always works, but so far in around 100 trials (50 with, 50 without) it makes spotting the shock at the threshold of detection, significantly easier. The target I was using was not very good, so I should try it again with a better one.

What do you think?


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