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

Started Jan 26, 2014 | Discussions
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
3

Paulmorgan wrote:

Anders W 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

1/400

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.

Nope. For pretty obvious physical reasons (that I have already tried to explain to you), the effect of the shock as far as blur is concerned is by no means necessarily the same on a tripod as when shooting hand-held.

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.

Yes, this is a simple case of misfocus, which therefore looks significantly different in important regards than the image shown by the OP.

focus locked, shutter pressed all the way

Focus locked, camera moved slightly, shutter pressed all the way

99.9 % of all Shutter shock problems reported in these Forums are not shutter shock at all.

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

We already know that you think so. We also know that you have no valid reasons for thinking so.

Yes you and your little gang of people that are too afraid to report there problems and demand a refund.

Afraid? Evidently, you already saw the post to which I link below but have apparently forgotten about it already:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52972544

And here's the reaction obtained by someone who actually tried to report the problem to Olympus:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/51790172

Ask yourself this, if SS really was a well known problem, then why is it not viral on the web, a little odd don`t you think.

There's plenty of talk about it here as well as on the second largest MFT forum. For reasons spelled out in the link below, that's pretty irrelevant however. What I assume we are interested in are the objective facts rather than people's subjective perception of those facts.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Argumentum_ad_populum

To the poster

There are far to many variables involved to blame on any one condition, hand held.

At f2.8 very little will be in focus, the slightest error will give you what you are seeing here.

If SS was present it will show on shots using a tripod.

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cainn24 Senior Member • Posts: 4,892
Re: Some test data for my fellow camera nerds...
1

Mr Sincere wrote:

I didn't have an interest in enabling a 1/8 second delay as that wouldn't work for most of my real world shooting.

It's an excellent control though. If you shoot an extended series of shots both with and without an anti-shock delay enabled, and consistently observe superior maximum sharpness in the images in the former category, particularly if this tendency holds strongly across multiple test sessions, then you have the sort or empirical evidence that can't reasonably be attributed to some other factor.

This is what I observe with my E-M5, and more recently (although to a somewhat lesser degree) with a new GX7, at least with the Pany 45-150 and Oly 75-300 II anyway. The control with the GX7 is the electronic shutter of course, rather than an anti-shock delay.

I have to say though that it surprises me that shutter shock can be so pronounced at shorter focal lengths, as most of the time I find the effect to be quite subtle even with super telephoto lenses. Sometimes however, when I'm trying to shoot a bird high up in a tree and can't steady my arms against my body as much as I'd normally like to, I'll get ghosting in every single shot. So technique obviously makes a difference. But if you can get sharp shots with some other camera in the same sort of situation with the same technique at the same shutter speed, at even longer effective focal lengths (which I definitely can), shutter shock is a significant problem nonetheless.  In other words, having to be more careful, and declaring troublesome shots that require less than perfect technique off-limits, doesn't make it a non-issue.  This seems to be what you've found as well.

OP Mr Sincere Regular Member • Posts: 336
More test data with various settings, noticeable improvement.

I quickly ran through some more settings (it's nice out, and I gotta get out and shoot something other than candy bar wrappers ).

Quick summary:

IS 1 vs IS Auto: Makes no difference. Didn't think it would, but thought it couldn't hurt to try.

Short Shutter Release: For some reason, enabling this creates a huge improvement. Does anyone have any idea why this might be? I can hear a click when I enable this, which makes me think it changes something mechanical. This improvement alone could almost be enough to make me keep the camera.

Anti-Shock at 1/8th of a second: Also makes a big difference. I anticipated this, but it doesn't hold much appeal to me since I like to shoot a lot of moving subjects. It seemed to create a noticeable difference in shutter lag.

Same as previous post: 2 is pretty bad shutter shock, 5 is no noticeable shock.

1/200 / IS Auto / Normal Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

2: 2
3: 3

1/200 / IS 1 / Normal Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

2: 1
3: 4

1/200 / IS Auto / Short Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

3: 1
4: 3
5: 1

1/200 / IS 1 / Short Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

3: 2
4: 1
5: 2

1/200 / IS Auto / Normal Release Time / Anti-Shock Enabled

3: 1
4: 2
5: 2

1/200 / IS Auto / Short Release Time / Anti-Shock Enabled

3: 1
4: 1
5: 3

1/160 / IS Auto / Short Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

3: 2
4: 6
5: 2

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OP Mr Sincere Regular Member • Posts: 336
Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?

Martin.au wrote:

Did you turn on the EFCS (release time = short)?

This helped a lot, thanks for the suggestion.

Why is this the case?  I'm just curious.  I bought the camera 2nd hand without a manual, so my apologies if it's explained in there.

Ok, I just Googled EFCS.  I had no idea the EP5 had an electronic first curtain, if that is indeed what that setting enables.

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Panasonic LX100
OP Mr Sincere Regular Member • Posts: 336
Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?

Jim Salvas wrote:

The factor that bothers me here is that you said the problem shows up in 50-75% of the shots in the trouble zone. It seems to me the camera would behave exactly the same way every time. If it is the camera's fault, then we need to find an intermittent fault.

-- hide signature --

Jim Salvas

See my reply with the test data.  In the problem zone, pretty much every shot shows some sign of it in the trouble zone.  In some shots it's just so little it's not that bothersome (to me).

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OP Mr Sincere Regular Member • Posts: 336
Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?

eclipsechaser1 wrote:

Please test setting release lag to short before you set the shutter delay to 1/8th of a second. Many people have suggested that this is the best way to resolve shutter shock and you don't get that annoying 1/8th of a second delay

Enabling the short release lag indeed pretty much resolved it.  Not perfect, but tolerable.  Thanks for the suggestion.  I had no idea that setting would contribute to how much shock there was.  My apologies if it's in the manual, but I purchased 2nd hand without one.

Anti-shock helps even more, but I really couldn't work with that lag.  If I decide to take a landscape at night or some such, it's nice to know I have that option.

Thanks again.

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Panasonic LX100
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: More test data with various settings, noticeable improvement.

Mr Sincere wrote:

I quickly ran through some more settings (it's nice out, and I gotta get out and shoot something other than candy bar wrappers ).

Quick summary:

IS 1 vs IS Auto: Makes no difference. Didn't think it would, but thought it couldn't hurt to try.

Short Shutter Release: For some reason, enabling this creates a huge improvement. Does anyone have any idea why this might be? I can hear a click when I enable this, which makes me think it changes something mechanical. This improvement alone could almost be enough to make me keep the camera.

Judging by the evidence presented here

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52306602

the shutter is "cocked" immediately after each exposure when release lag-time is set to short, so that the camera is already prepared to release the shutter again. If it is set to normal, the shutter is instead "cocked" immediately before the exposure. Possibly, the motion associated with the "cocking" operation is sufficiently "violent" to affect the exposure if carried out immediately prior to it.

I put "cock" in quotation marks since the shutters we are talking about here are not spring-loaded (as far as I know). Nevertheless, it seems that the actuator has to be prepared in some way before it can do the job.

Anti-Shock at 1/8th of a second: Also makes a big difference. I anticipated this, but it doesn't hold much appeal to me since I like to shoot a lot of moving subjects. It seemed to create a noticeable difference in shutter lag.

Same as previous post: 2 is pretty bad shutter shock, 5 is no noticeable shock.

1/200 / IS Auto / Normal Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

2: 2
3: 3

1/200 / IS 1 / Normal Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

2: 1
3: 4

1/200 / IS Auto / Short Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

3: 1
4: 3
5: 1

1/200 / IS 1 / Short Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

3: 2
4: 1
5: 2

1/200 / IS Auto / Normal Release Time / Anti-Shock Enabled

3: 1
4: 2
5: 2

1/200 / IS Auto / Short Release Time / Anti-Shock Enabled

3: 1
4: 1
5: 3

1/160 / IS Auto / Short Release Time / Anti-Shock Disabled

3: 2
4: 6
5: 2

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OP Mr Sincere Regular Member • Posts: 336
Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?

eclipsechaser1 wrote:

So as you have had a number of suggestions will you please post a re-test taking on board some of them at least.

Please see my replies further down.  I've changed the subject to make them easy to find.

I did indeed test with the short release time and anti-shock.  Both helped quite a bit.  I had no idea the shorter release time might help, but thought the anti-shock would.  I just didn't have much interest in that due to my typical subject matter.

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Joseph T Lewis III Veteran Member • Posts: 3,234
Re: Use the anti-shock. It really works.

Paul De Bra wrote:

Olympus cameras can be set to use a 1/8s anti-shock delay. This really eliminates the shutter shock.

Sure the E-M5 has a bit less shutter shock than the E-P5 according to most users but it definitely still has some and 1/8s delay solves the problem. THe E-M1 also has the problem but it now has a new feature to keep the shutter open at the expense of higher power consumption.

-- hide signature --

Slowly learning to use the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
Public pictures at http://debra.zenfolio.com/.

Paul

What is the "new feature to keep the shutter open at the expense of higher power consumption"?  (If you can just provide the term or name, I can find it on Google or in the manual.)

Thanks

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Tom

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Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: Use the anti-shock. It really works.

Joseph T Lewis III wrote:

Paul De Bra wrote:

Olympus cameras can be set to use a 1/8s anti-shock delay. This really eliminates the shutter shock.

Sure the E-M5 has a bit less shutter shock than the E-P5 according to most users but it definitely still has some and 1/8s delay solves the problem. THe E-M1 also has the problem but it now has a new feature to keep the shutter open at the expense of higher power consumption.

-- hide signature --

Slowly learning to use the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
Public pictures at http://debra.zenfolio.com/.

Paul

What is the "new feature to keep the shutter open at the expense of higher power consumption"? (If you can just provide the term or name, I can find it on Google or in the manual.)

The option Paul has in mind is that of setting release lag-time to short rather than normal. This doesn't keep the shutter open. Rather, it prepares the shutter for action immediately after instead of immediately before each exposure, so that the delay from the instant when the shutter button is depressed to the instant the shutter opens is shortened. See here for some additional detail:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52988861

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cainn24 Senior Member • Posts: 4,892
Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?
8

Paulmorgan wrote:

Ask yourself this, if SS really was a well known problem, then why is it not viral on the web, a little odd don`t you think.

It's not odd at all, because:

1) the effect is often so subtle that most people probably don't notice it. I mean seriously, I see people post captures in here all the time that they describe as "sharp" which don't actually look particularly sharp to me, so obviously we all have different standards, and therefore a different degree of sensitivity with respect to the IQ equation. In other words, it's a virtual certainty that many examples of shutter shock simply fly under the radar of the average person.

2) a lot of people probably attribute the effect of shutter shock to some other form of camera shake because they aren't cognizant of the issue. In other words, the problem is under-diagnosed.

3) many people simply rarely shoot in the sorts of conditions, or with the combination of gear, that reveals the problem in any obvious way.

4) (related to the above) as I have seen first hand, some people feel that the conditions in which I have personally found the effects of shutter shock to manifest most clearly are simply impossible to shoot in anyway (300mm+ EFLs at 1/125s). So if that really is a no-go zone for certain individuals...

5) when people spend a lot of money on camera gear (or any other sort of gear for that matter) they don't want to believe that there is anything wrong with it, even if it's something minor. So there's also going to be a certain number of people (perhaps a significant number) who actually work against those who are collectively trying to reveal the shape of an issue so it can be properly identified and subsequently more effectively mitigated.

Joseph T Lewis III Veteran Member • Posts: 3,234
Re: Use the anti-shock. It really works.

Anders W wrote:

Joseph T Lewis III wrote:

Paul De Bra wrote:

Olympus cameras can be set to use a 1/8s anti-shock delay. This really eliminates the shutter shock.

Sure the E-M5 has a bit less shutter shock than the E-P5 according to most users but it definitely still has some and 1/8s delay solves the problem. THe E-M1 also has the problem but it now has a new feature to keep the shutter open at the expense of higher power consumption.

-- hide signature --

Slowly learning to use the Olympus OM-D E-M5.
Public pictures at http://debra.zenfolio.com/.

Paul

What is the "new feature to keep the shutter open at the expense of higher power consumption"? (If you can just provide the term or name, I can find it on Google or in the manual.)

The option Paul has in mind is that of setting release lag-time to short rather than normal. This doesn't keep the shutter open. Rather, it prepares the shutter for action immediately after instead of immediately before each exposure, so that the delay from the instant when the shutter button is depressed to the instant the shutter opens is shortened. See here for some additional detail:

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52988861

Thanks very much, Anders.  I had seen the posts about the short release lag time, but did not make the connection.

-- hide signature --

Tom

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eclipsechaser1 Regular Member • Posts: 317
Re: More test data with various settings, noticeable improvement.

Ok with the vast improvements you have made would you like to post up the pics you are not happy with.

skyglider Veteran Member • Posts: 4,550
Re: More test data with various settings, noticeable improvement.

Anders W wrote:

Mr Sincere wrote:

I quickly ran through some more settings (it's nice out, and I gotta get out and shoot something other than candy bar wrappers ).

Quick summary:

IS 1 vs IS Auto: Makes no difference. Didn't think it would, but thought it couldn't hurt to try.

Short Shutter Release: For some reason, enabling this creates a huge improvement. Does anyone have any idea why this might be? I can hear a click when I enable this, which makes me think it changes something mechanical. This improvement alone could almost be enough to make me keep the camera.

Judging by the evidence presented here

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52306602

the shutter is "cocked" immediately after each exposure when release lag-time is set to short, so that the camera is already prepared to release the shutter again. If it is set to normal, the shutter is instead "cocked" immediately before the exposure. Possibly, the motion associated with the "cocking" operation is sufficiently "violent" to affect the exposure if carried out immediately prior to it.

I put "cock" in quotation marks since the shutters we are talking about here are not spring-loaded (as far as I know). Nevertheless, it seems that the actuator has to be prepared in some way before it can do the job.

Hi Anders W,

Could you expand on your explanation above? I thought that mirrorless cameras have to keep the shutter open in order to display the scene on the screen or in the view finder. If the shutter is cocked immediately after each exposure, then wouldn't the shutter then be blocking the light negating live display on the screen or viewfinder?

I'm just really interested in learning how the "short shutter release" actually works.

Thanks,
Sky

Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: More test data with various settings, noticeable improvement.

skyglider wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Mr Sincere wrote:

I quickly ran through some more settings (it's nice out, and I gotta get out and shoot something other than candy bar wrappers ).

Quick summary:

IS 1 vs IS Auto: Makes no difference. Didn't think it would, but thought it couldn't hurt to try.

Short Shutter Release: For some reason, enabling this creates a huge improvement. Does anyone have any idea why this might be? I can hear a click when I enable this, which makes me think it changes something mechanical. This improvement alone could almost be enough to make me keep the camera.

Judging by the evidence presented here

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52306602

the shutter is "cocked" immediately after each exposure when release lag-time is set to short, so that the camera is already prepared to release the shutter again. If it is set to normal, the shutter is instead "cocked" immediately before the exposure. Possibly, the motion associated with the "cocking" operation is sufficiently "violent" to affect the exposure if carried out immediately prior to it.

I put "cock" in quotation marks since the shutters we are talking about here are not spring-loaded (as far as I know). Nevertheless, it seems that the actuator has to be prepared in some way before it can do the job.

Hi Anders W,

Could you expand on your explanation above? I thought that mirrorless cameras have to keep the shutter open in order to display the scene on the screen or in the view finder.

You are perfectly right about that.

If the shutter is cocked immediately after each exposure, then wouldn't the shutter then be blocking the light negating live display on the screen or viewfinder?

By "cocking" I mean "preparing the shutter for action". Even if shutters are no longer spring-loaded but driven by coreless micro motors (if this Wikipedia article is correct), it seems as if some preparatory steps must be taken before the shutter can go into action. Judging by the post I linked to in my reply to the OP, the difference between short and normal "release lag-time" is that with short, this preparation is done immediately after each exposure, before the shutter button is pressed for the next shot, whereas with normal, it is done right after the shutter button is pressed and right before the exposure.

I'm just really interested in learning how the "short shutter release" actually works.

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Jim Salvas
Jim Salvas Veteran Member • Posts: 5,284
Re: More test data with various settings, noticeable improvement.

How about simply trying a 2 second delayed shutter release. If things are better then, it is your technique which is a problem. In other words, camera movement from pressing the shutter button.

For what it's worth, I've found it useful on my E-PM2 to wrap my right hand completely around the camera,  so that my thumb is under the camera and my index finger extends all the way around the top. A squeezing motion instead of push sets off the release.

Very light camera. No shutter shock.

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Jim Salvas

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gnewylliw Regular Member • Posts: 243
Re: Shutter Shock: My ep5 is bad. Would an em5 do better?

Mr Sincere wrote

Here's a handheld shot at 1/40, which appears to be under the shutter shock threshold. It's relatively sharp, compared to the 1/250 shot at least.

I would put my money on up-down camera shake at 1/40, being at a 45mm FL.

You may also try shooting rotating the camera sideways.

If you have a return policy, why not just pick up another e-p5, or if you're inclined to get a e-m5, buy it and test it? If you were buying used, this would be another issue.

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Steen Bay Veteran Member • Posts: 6,974
Re: More test data with various settings, noticeable improvement.

Anders W wrote:

skyglider wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Mr Sincere wrote:

I quickly ran through some more settings (it's nice out, and I gotta get out and shoot something other than candy bar wrappers ).

Quick summary:

IS 1 vs IS Auto: Makes no difference. Didn't think it would, but thought it couldn't hurt to try.

Short Shutter Release: For some reason, enabling this creates a huge improvement. Does anyone have any idea why this might be? I can hear a click when I enable this, which makes me think it changes something mechanical. This improvement alone could almost be enough to make me keep the camera.

Judging by the evidence presented here

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52306602

the shutter is "cocked" immediately after each exposure when release lag-time is set to short, so that the camera is already prepared to release the shutter again. If it is set to normal, the shutter is instead "cocked" immediately before the exposure. Possibly, the motion associated with the "cocking" operation is sufficiently "violent" to affect the exposure if carried out immediately prior to it.

I put "cock" in quotation marks since the shutters we are talking about here are not spring-loaded (as far as I know). Nevertheless, it seems that the actuator has to be prepared in some way before it can do the job.

Hi Anders W,

Could you expand on your explanation above? I thought that mirrorless cameras have to keep the shutter open in order to display the scene on the screen or in the view finder.

You are perfectly right about that.

If the shutter is cocked immediately after each exposure, then wouldn't the shutter then be blocking the light negating live display on the screen or viewfinder?

By "cocking" I mean "preparing the shutter for action". Even if shutters are no longer spring-loaded but driven by coreless micro motors (if this Wikipedia article is correct), it seems as if some preparatory steps must be taken before the shutter can go into action. Judging by the post I linked to in my reply to the OP, the difference between short and normal "release lag-time" is that with short, this preparation is done immediately after each exposure, before the shutter button is pressed for the next shot, whereas with normal, it is done right after the shutter button is pressed and right before the exposure.

I'm just really interested in learning how the "short shutter release" actually works.

Any downsides to using short release lag time? If not, then I don't quite understand why 'short' isn't the default setting (since it seems to reduce vibrations), and why it's even possible to choose between 'short' and 'normal'.

Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: More test data with various settings, noticeable improvement.

Steen Bay wrote:

Anders W wrote:

skyglider wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Mr Sincere wrote:

I quickly ran through some more settings (it's nice out, and I gotta get out and shoot something other than candy bar wrappers ).

Quick summary:

IS 1 vs IS Auto: Makes no difference. Didn't think it would, but thought it couldn't hurt to try.

Short Shutter Release: For some reason, enabling this creates a huge improvement. Does anyone have any idea why this might be? I can hear a click when I enable this, which makes me think it changes something mechanical. This improvement alone could almost be enough to make me keep the camera.

Judging by the evidence presented here

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52306602

the shutter is "cocked" immediately after each exposure when release lag-time is set to short, so that the camera is already prepared to release the shutter again. If it is set to normal, the shutter is instead "cocked" immediately before the exposure. Possibly, the motion associated with the "cocking" operation is sufficiently "violent" to affect the exposure if carried out immediately prior to it.

I put "cock" in quotation marks since the shutters we are talking about here are not spring-loaded (as far as I know). Nevertheless, it seems that the actuator has to be prepared in some way before it can do the job.

Hi Anders W,

Could you expand on your explanation above? I thought that mirrorless cameras have to keep the shutter open in order to display the scene on the screen or in the view finder.

You are perfectly right about that.

If the shutter is cocked immediately after each exposure, then wouldn't the shutter then be blocking the light negating live display on the screen or viewfinder?

By "cocking" I mean "preparing the shutter for action". Even if shutters are no longer spring-loaded but driven by coreless micro motors (if this Wikipedia article is correct), it seems as if some preparatory steps must be taken before the shutter can go into action. Judging by the post I linked to in my reply to the OP, the difference between short and normal "release lag-time" is that with short, this preparation is done immediately after each exposure, before the shutter button is pressed for the next shot, whereas with normal, it is done right after the shutter button is pressed and right before the exposure.

I'm just really interested in learning how the "short shutter release" actually works.

Any downsides to using short release lag time? If not, then I don't quite understand why 'short' isn't the default setting (since it seems to reduce vibrations), and why it's even possible to choose between 'short' and 'normal'.

The downsides are higher power consumption and that the camera may misbehave if subjected to "sharp impacts". Apparently (I haven't verified this with the original source), the E-M1 manual says:

Also make sure that the camera is not subject to sharp impacts while in use. Such impacts may cause the monitor to stop displaying subjects. If this happens, turn the power off and on again.

In other words, take care not to shock the shutter.

What I imagine happens is that the shutter is "charged" (this is the term used on Copal's home page when they describe what coreless micro motors are good for) and held back by some mechanism sensitive to impact. If there is such an impact, the shutter may close accidentally so that live view is interrupted.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
Steen Bay Veteran Member • Posts: 6,974
Re: More test data with various settings, noticeable improvement.

Anders W wrote:

Steen Bay wrote:

Anders W wrote:

skyglider wrote:

Anders W wrote:

Mr Sincere wrote:

I quickly ran through some more settings (it's nice out, and I gotta get out and shoot something other than candy bar wrappers ).

Quick summary:

IS 1 vs IS Auto: Makes no difference. Didn't think it would, but thought it couldn't hurt to try.

Short Shutter Release: For some reason, enabling this creates a huge improvement. Does anyone have any idea why this might be? I can hear a click when I enable this, which makes me think it changes something mechanical. This improvement alone could almost be enough to make me keep the camera.

Judging by the evidence presented here

http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52306602

the shutter is "cocked" immediately after each exposure when release lag-time is set to short, so that the camera is already prepared to release the shutter again. If it is set to normal, the shutter is instead "cocked" immediately before the exposure. Possibly, the motion associated with the "cocking" operation is sufficiently "violent" to affect the exposure if carried out immediately prior to it.

I put "cock" in quotation marks since the shutters we are talking about here are not spring-loaded (as far as I know). Nevertheless, it seems that the actuator has to be prepared in some way before it can do the job.

Hi Anders W,

Could you expand on your explanation above? I thought that mirrorless cameras have to keep the shutter open in order to display the scene on the screen or in the view finder.

You are perfectly right about that.

If the shutter is cocked immediately after each exposure, then wouldn't the shutter then be blocking the light negating live display on the screen or viewfinder?

By "cocking" I mean "preparing the shutter for action". Even if shutters are no longer spring-loaded but driven by coreless micro motors (if this Wikipedia article is correct), it seems as if some preparatory steps must be taken before the shutter can go into action. Judging by the post I linked to in my reply to the OP, the difference between short and normal "release lag-time" is that with short, this preparation is done immediately after each exposure, before the shutter button is pressed for the next shot, whereas with normal, it is done right after the shutter button is pressed and right before the exposure.

I'm just really interested in learning how the "short shutter release" actually works.

Any downsides to using short release lag time? If not, then I don't quite understand why 'short' isn't the default setting (since it seems to reduce vibrations), and why it's even possible to choose between 'short' and 'normal'.

The downsides are higher power consumption and that the camera may misbehave if subjected to "sharp impacts". Apparently (I haven't verified this with the original source), the E-M1 manual says:

Also make sure that the camera is not subject to sharp impacts while in use. Such impacts may cause the monitor to stop displaying subjects. If this happens, turn the power off and on again.

In other words, take care not to shock the shutter.

What I imagine happens is that the shutter is "charged" (this is the term used on Copal's home page when they describe what coreless micro motors are good for) and held back by some mechanism sensitive to impact. If there is such an impact, the shutter may close accidentally so that live view is interrupted.

Thanks. Guess that sensitive (and power consuming) mechanism could be an electromagnet.

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