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G5 Electronic Shutter...To Use Or Not

Discussion in 'Panasonic Cameras' started by kevin boyer, Dec 4, 2013.

  1. kevin boyer

    kevin boyer Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Sep 26, 2013
    Bozeman MT / Winder GA
    Kevin
    I posted a thread recently asking how to go about finding bulb mode on my G5 so I could start taking long exposure photos. In no time I was pointed in the right direction on how to go about this, ( thanks to Ger.mcg ). Along with finding bulb mode, I also found that I could now take photos ranging in exposure time from 1 second through to 60 seconds. This was all made possible by turning off the electronic shutter. I'm at a loss as to why the electronic shutter must be off. I've shot in manual w/electronic shutter since I got the G5 3 months ago. So my question is this....when do you use the electronic shutter and when do you not??

    I pm'd with a forum member who also has a G5 who has never shot with the electronic shutter on. Obviously the benefit with it off is that I can shoot longer exposure, but do you lose any IQ with it off? Should I keep it off only when I shoot longer exposure photos, and then turn it back on for all other photos?


    Kevin.
     
  2. yakky

    yakky Mu-43 Top Veteran

    662
    Jul 1, 2013
    I used it to reduce impact on the actual shutter mechanism. The fact that it was quiet was a bonus. It does make for interesting shots in portrait mode of you move the camera. You can make your subject super skinny!
     
  3. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Sep 5, 2011
    Unless you're doing massive time-lapse series, you're unlikely to wear out any modern shutter in amateur use.

    As far as IQ, there are 2 considerations: At certain shutter speed ranges, some mirrorless cameras seem prone to shutter shock, where the initial closing of the shutter causes camera vibration that shows up as image blur. How much of a problem this is, and at what shutter speeds it occurs, seems to vary with the camera and lens (lighter ones being more problematic). I also suspect it's more of a problem when framing with the rear screen, with the camera held out in front of you. It seems to be most prevalent in the range of slower hand-held speeds, maybe 1/30th to 1/100th or so. So in that range, and shooting stationary or slow moving subjects, using the e-shutter is probably superior. You can do your own testing: At several different shutter speeds in that range, shoot 8 or 10 shots with the mechanical shutter, and the same number with the e shutter. See any difference in sharpness?

    The rest of the time, the mechanical shutter is likely to give better results. With rapidly moving subjects, the e-shutter is know to cause distorted images. And, especially if there is high contrast in the scene, areas of the sensor exposed to the very bright light can suffer from something called "blooming." Letting the mechanical shutter close, even briefly, prior to the exposure prevents that.
     
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  4. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Here's a few tips

    Kevin
    The electronic shutter effectively creates the image by scanning the sensor. The main advantage is that operation can be totally silent. The Electronic Shutter (ES) also has some limitations, such as restrictions of how long or short the exposure can be. Also, if you are photographing fast moving objects moving perpendicular to the direction the camera is pointed in, a slight "bending" of the image can occur. It's also not advised to use the ES when shooting under florescent lighting as it can have some strange effects. I believe that in most models, the flash is also disabled when ES is used.

    So, when to use it - mainly when you want to be a stealth photographer!
     
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  5. JoeV

    JoeV Mu-43 Regular

    85
    Aug 22, 2012
    Albuquerque, New Mexico, USA
    Joe Van Cleave
    I've used the e-shutter in public (i.e. "street") situations where I wish to be very stealthy, so its absolute lack of noise is a great benefit. It's also handy in quiet, indoor scenarios where a mechanical shutter would otherwise be very obvious..

    The e-shutter also functions well with manual focus lenses (like the Oly BCL-15-f/8 body cap lens, for instance), since the e-shutter responds a bit faster than the mechanical shutter (it doesn't need to close the shutter and then reopen) and MF lenses doesn't have AF lag. The combined effect is to noticeably improve the camera's overall response, especially important in situations where you have to take quick "grab shots" while remaining stealthy.
     
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  6. kevin boyer

    kevin boyer Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Sep 26, 2013
    Bozeman MT / Winder GA
    Kevin
    Thanks very much guys. I use a tripod and a wired remote shutter release 100% of the time I shoot. I find with this camera, I have a hard time keeping it still when hand held. It's so lite in weight compared to my Nikon DSLR that I had previously. Most of the subject matter that I have shot has been stationary so no big problem using the tripod and remote switch. I only have 1 lens that has stabilization in it and I have used that hand held with fine results. I will begin shooting without the ES off and do some random test shots to see how it turns out. My immediate goal is to shoot some long exposure shots so using the tripod and remote with the ES off should be the ticket.


    Kevin.
     
  7. kevin boyer

    kevin boyer Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Sep 26, 2013
    Bozeman MT / Winder GA
    Kevin
    Thanks Joe. Actually "street" scenes is one of the reasons, along with night scenes, why I want to try long exposure. To achieve the longer exposure times needed to do both of these I'll need to shoot with the ES off.


    Kevin.
     
  8. Wasabi Bob

    Wasabi Bob Mu-43 Top Veteran

    OIS

    One more suggestion. Turn the image stabilization OFF when using a tripod. In some cases you can see a very slight loss of sharpness due to some oscillation of the OIS system. It is generally recommended to disable it when not needed.
     
  9. kevin boyer

    kevin boyer Mu-43 Regular

    83
    Sep 26, 2013
    Bozeman MT / Winder GA
    Kevin
    That's one thing I did know Bob. :thumbup:
     
  10. profgregorio

    profgregorio Mu-43 Regular

    116
    May 21, 2013
    Manila, Philippines
    I had to use the G5's electronic shutter when I was taking photos of a live concert in Hanoi featuring traditional instruments that did not use any loudspeakers. I had no problem taking the shots in a rather small and dark room using a Leica DG 25 f1.4. If it had not been for the silent electronic shutter, I am certain that I would not have been allowed to continue taking the photos using the regular shutter since the noise would have been too much. Fortunately, the concert was not using fluorescent lighting.