1. Welcome to Mu-43.com—a friendly Micro 4/3 camera & photography discussion forum!

    If you are thinking of buying a camera or need help with your photos, you will find our forum members full of advice! Click here to join for free!

E-P5 Shutter Shock: Tested

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Luckypenguin, Oct 25, 2013.

  1. It would be an understatement to say that DPReview's recent review of the Olympus E-P5 has taken some of the shine off that camera, specifically due to the big deal made about the "shutter shock" that they experienced during their review. Shutter shock is not a new term in the mirrorless world but to the best of my knowledge this has been the most high profile finger pointing done to date.

    As a newly minted E-P5 owner one of the first things that I wanted to check is whether the problem was a general issue with the E-P5. I decided to conduct my own test, the results of which are shown here. The "shutter shock zone" has been demonstrated previously to be in the region of about 1/60 to 1/200 second. For my test I chose three shutter speeds 2/3 stop apart, being 1/60, 1/100, and 1/160 second. I chose three lenses and focal lengths which I would commonly use of 17mm, 25mm, and 45mm, represented by the Oly 17/1.8, PanaLeica 25/1.4, and Oly 45/1.8. I also chose to use the same settings and technique which I would normally choose in the field, those being shooting handheld, IS on, anti-shock of 0 seconds. I also used the normal shutter button to trip the shutter rather than the touchscreen. I believe that this combination of settings is considered to be a worst case scenario for seeing the effects of shutter shock.

    The images below are 100% crops of OOC jpegs (settings are untouched from the factory defaults). ISO was at 400, and I adjusted the aperture to match exposures: f/2.8 @ 1/160, f/3.5 @ 1/100, f/4.5 @ 1/60. I have converted these to B&W to remove any evidence of white balance shift which might distract from the results (images were shot indoors under artificial lights). My target was a graph paper pad whose vertical and horizontal stripes mean that I could analyse which direction any blur might be occurring in (shutter shock should occur in the vertical direction, resulting in blurring of the horizontal lines).

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    17mm 1/60sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    17mm 1/100sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    17mm 1/160sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    25mm 1/60sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    25mm 1/100sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    25mm 1/160sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    45mm 1/60sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    45mm 1/100sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    45mm 1/160sec

    To start off with, there is nothing here to indicate to me any dramatic problem to do with with shutter shock with my E-P5. Shutter shock to the extent experienced by DPReview should have been extremely obvious to see on this test. There is one particular outlier image that I notice in terms of not being quite as sharp as the rest and want to make note of, being the 45mm @ 1/160sec, and perhaps also the 17mm @ 1/100sec. I can't say whether these are in fact examples of minor shutter shock or due to another cause. There were numerous variables involved in the test, mostly intentional since I wanted to simulate the normal use of the camera. One such variable was that I was handholding the camera as mentioned earlier, and also that I was refocusing each time using autofocus. I also only took an image with each combination of focal length and shutter speed once. Even if they aren't caused by shutter shock they still stand as examples of something not being 100% right on those occasions, be it either me or the camera at fault.

    This test is by no means definitive or applicable to every E-P5, but it has put my own mind at ease about my copy in regards to this issue.

    To see DPReview's own findings, here is a link to the part of their review where they describe shutter shock along with some examples where it occurred for them

    • Like Like x 13
  2. byegad

    byegad Mu-43 Rookie

    May 10, 2013
    It would help me if those tests were conducted with a 300mm telephoto lens. I avoided the E-P5 and bought the E-P3 on the strength of my predominantly using long lenses for bird photography.
  3. Djarum

    Djarum Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Dec 15, 2009
    Huntsville, AL, USA
    Thanks Nic. Was IS turned on or off for the test?
  4. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    From what they say, I'd have expected it to be mainly visible with the 45/1.8, not so much with the 17/1.8, between 1/100 and 1/200s.

    That said, I suspect there's a lot of variability here between different samples, including the stiffness of the shutter mechanism and the shutter release.
  5. Unfortunately I can't test it with a 300mm lens unless someone posts one to me :smile:. 200mm is the longest I can go, and I should test those longer focal lengths as well.

    The IS was on and set to the normal auto setting, which on the E-P5 is called S-IS 1. Not quite sure what the first S stands for as it was just called IS 1 on the E-M5.

    The shutter release actually feels quite different on the E-P5 compared to the E-M5. The E-M5 has more of a "click" when you go from half-press to full-press, whereas the same action on the E-P5 is less distinct. Despite that the actual pressure required to depress the button doesn't feel noticeably different between the two cameras.
  6. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team Subscribing Member

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    The DPR review was somewhat confusing since it was saying on the one hand that the blurring they saw was due to shutter shock, but then on the other saying it was down to camera shake when pressing the release. I think your tests Nic show that there isn't any serious systemic issue here, but it would be good if someone could do this test with the camera on a sturdy tripod with a remote release to remove all potential camera shake issues.
  7. RevBob

    RevBob Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2011
    NorthWestern PA
    I like the way you conducted this test. It was very helpful for those of us who mostly shoot handheld. For folks doing studio work or exposures needing a tripod a test on a tripod would be useful. On a tripod IS would be off and couldn't compensate for any shutter shock (if, indeed, it does compensate for it).
  8. bcaslis

    bcaslis Mu-43 Veteran

    Jul 3, 2011
    Wilsonville, OR, USA
    Brian Caslis
    Nice test. I've had over time a G1, E-P1, G3, E-M5, and now E-M1. I've at times seen this issue with shots around 1/100 looking slightly blurred. Personally, I don't believe this "shutter shock" hysteria (you should see the threads on dpreview). My personal theory is that it's camera shake and / or a bug in IBIS. While I think the 5 axis IBIS is extremely helpful, it's not perfect and sometimes I think people expect way too much from it.

    But I guess it's easier for people to blame the camera than take personal responsibility for blurred photo.
  9. My trusty graph paper pad is at work, so to test longer focal lengths I had to use a different target, being the box from my E-M5.

    The test was performed similarly to the first, with the difference being I was using a flash to (attempt to) control exposure, the aperture was constant at f/6.3 for each shot, and the ISO was set at 200. The lens used was an adapted 4/3 Zuiko 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 MkI set at 100mm and again at 200mm. The target was about three metres away from the camera if that means anything. 100% crops with relevant settings are as follows

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    100mm @ 1/60sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    100mm @ 1/100sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    100mm @ 1/160sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    200mm @ 1/60sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    200mm @ 1/100sec

    Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

    200mm @ 1/160sec

    When looking at the results, keep in mind that this is a solid hunk of Zuiko HG glass so there are no wobbly barrels that any shutter vibration might set off. It could be that if I had a lightweight and lower grade Micro 4/3 telephoto lens that the results might be different.

    Now excuse me while I go and stare lovingly at my 50-200mm, because that thing is badass sharp for a 400mm equiv zoom...
    • Like Like x 1
  10. I actually don't even own a tripod, so that test is above my paygrade unfortunately.
    • Like Like x 1
  11. For what it's worth, I have only seen the "double image" effect when using either the 14-150 or 40-150 lenses. This is on my EPL2, and in all cases the shutter speed was in the 1/100 to 1/150 range.
  12. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    The problem with tripod tests is they're only useful if your typical use-case involves shooting on a tripod.

    Unfortunately Olympus persists in their brain-dead refusal to include an electronic shutter option, so there's no way to do a good apples-to-apples comparison.
  13. nstelemark

    nstelemark Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 28, 2013
    Halifax, Nova Scotia Canada
    This is the reason I bought into m43. And the E-M1 finally brings it to full potential.
  14. gochugogi

    gochugogi Mu-43 Veteran

    You have a very steady hand! I have to use a tripod a lot more than I used to. I had a lot of trouble with camera shake on my E-P3 a couple years ago. When I pressed the shutter button I often messed up 1/100, something I never had problems with on my DSLRs. A few months of practice and it was all good but smaller cameras seem to require more careful technique, especially if not braced against the face.
  15. Re: handholding, you're exactly right. It must be almost three and a half years now since I bought my first E-P1 (no viewfinder option, of course). I loved the mirrorless concept immediately and the camera itself but I realised that after five years of shooting with DSLRs I needed to adapt to using a camera that I had to hold away from my body. With a bit of practice I was up and running quite quickly. I would liken it to trying to learn how to drive a manual transmission over an automatic. If you missed a few gear changes on the first day would you decry that manuals are terrible things and automatics are indisputably the best way to drive?
  16. dcisive

    dcisive Mu-43 Veteran

    Feb 19, 2010
    Salt Lake City, Utah
    Speaking ONLY for myself. I've had the P1, PL1, OMD-EM5 and now the EM1. I've owned countless lenses from both Panasonic and Olympus in the mft arena. I have too many pictures taken with these to remember. I have YET to run into what would be construed as "shutter shock" in regards to a resulting loss of resolution in my pics. ALL were done handheld with mft cameras. I never used a tripod. So I am not about to lose sleep over what "some" people seem to be running into in regards to this phenomenon. Real or not I guess I just haven't been effected by it, so I'm not going to let it bother me. And don't go saying "well you just haven't looked closely enough. I use a color calibrated 27" high rez Samsung monitor with a 6 core processor using Photoshop and Lightroom for my typical work flow. I always examine my images at 100% first and foremost so if it was an issue I'd know it.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
  18. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    I've tried and tried with a variety of lenses over the range of shutter speeds in question but can't seem to be able to make the "shutter shock" problem occur on my E-P5 (even checking images at up to 500X). Mine was purchased from Japan back in June, so perhaps it really is just a matter of one particular production lot versus another.

    For now I'm back to just shooting with confidence and not worrying about it anymore.
  19. And this is what leads me to ask the question: once DPReview found that the camera they had to test showed a significant fault, did they seek to obtain a second unit to confirm their findings or just continue on with the assumption that their camera was representative of the model? They obviously tried a number of different methods to reduce camera shake but there is nothing in the review that I can see where they sought to verify their findings.
  20. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    They did go back and add a paragraph that they tested it with the 1/8 sec anti-shock turned on and the problem went away, but they left the negative conclusion and Silver rating unchanged.
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.