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Are there downsides/limitations to using an electronic shutter

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by ean10775, Jun 30, 2014.

  1. ean10775

    ean10775 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jan 31, 2011
    Cleveland, Ohio
    As the title suggests, I'm wondering what are the downsides/limitations to shooting with the electronic shutter available in Panasonic cameras. I have a G5 and I guess I'm just wondering why I wouldn't want to leave that feature turned on all the time. Are there shutter speed limitations? IQ compromises? Admittedly I don't understand exactly how the electronic shutter works, but I like that its silent.
  2. Kalifornier

    Kalifornier Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Apr 29, 2014
    From my experience (GX7) I haven't seen any downsides. But some reviews said a combo of high ISO and certain light condition (indoors) could cause banding/striping in the pics.
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  3. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The scan speed of an electronic shutter is quite slow. So, whereas each part of the image gets the exposure you select, the complete scan of the frame may take several hundred milliseconds. This can lead to moving subjects appearing stretched - the usual example is a car looking like it's leaning forward or backward.
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  4. Shadetree

    Shadetree Mu-43 Regular Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2013
    Chattanooga, TN
    The flash won't work with the electronic shutter.
  5. Sootchucker

    Sootchucker Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 9, 2012
    United Kingdom
    Whilst there are many upsides to using the electronic shutter (no shutter shock, silent operation, wear and tear saving on mechanical shutter etc.) These are the limitations of the electronic shutter as I have found (some as mentioned above)

    1. Rolling effect with moving objects (objects appear distorted due to the slow scan rate of the electronic shutter). Only really applicable for items moving across the frame though.

    2. No flash at all.

    3. Limited ISO range (my GX7 is ISO3200 and GH3 ISO1600 capped).

    4. Limited slow Shutter speeds (my GH3 for instance is limited to one second - 60 seconds with mechanical shutter).

    5. Can produce some severe banding if used with fluorescent lighting as the main light source.
    • Like Like x 1
  6. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Along with what Sootchucker has listed above, there is also reduced dynamic range. It's a great feature (especially the full silent mode), but it isn't something to use everywhere and all the time. This article does some testing and explaining (and I think there are more tests elsewhere on his blog).


    But you can also get some cool effects...
    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)
    Santa Fe, NM by GFFPhoto, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 4
  7. poopstick

    poopstick Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2013
    Burlington Ontario
    Among Panasonic cameras, the reduced dynamic range only applies to the GM1 and the GH4.
  8. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    Are you sure about that? I remember a thread here where someone was doing some actual testing and he indicated that all suffer a DR loss when using the E-shutter.
  9. poopstick

    poopstick Mu-43 Regular

    Aug 9, 2013
    Burlington Ontario
    • Like Like x 1
  10. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 1, 2013
    Very interesting indeed, I had no idea about the loss of DR, though I seem to recall easier highlight clipping on my G5 with the E-shutter. Will have to go back and test. I'm a huge HUGE fan of e-shutter, so this makes me sad.
  11. Jay86

    Jay86 Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 26, 2012
    Biggest cons IMO are rolling shutter & some pretty crazy banding with funky lighting situations. Oh and loss of dynamic range. In general, I avoid e-shutter if its an available option unless I absolutely must have complete silence from the shutter. Like street shooting up-close... you know where your pretending your not taking a picture of the person right in-front of you but you are, LOL.
  12. GFFPhoto

    GFFPhoto Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2013
    From what I have read, you get more noise in the shadows. I haven't heard anything about highs clipping easier. Poopstick seems to be sure the DR loss only applies to the GM1 and GH4 anyways. The article he linked didn't test the G5 though (only the GH3/4), but it should be easy enough to test at home.
  13. xdayv

    xdayv Color Blind

    Aug 26, 2011
    Tacloban City, Philippines
    • Like Like x 1
  14. biomed

    biomed Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 22, 2013
    Seattle area
    The only time I do not use the electronic shutter is when I am photographing under fluorescent lighting or the subject is fast moving in relation to the camera. 95% or more of my photos have been taken in silent mode. The big advantage is elimination of any possible shutter shock which IMHO is a major reason to use the electronic shutter. I have never noticed any reduction in DR. On my GH3 and GX7 I have programed a button to turn "silent mode" off and on.
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