Is shutter shock a deal breaker for you?

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by a_hit_of_meth, Aug 23, 2014.

  1. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2012
    Firstly, apologies for yet another shutter shock issue thread, I know this is the type of decision only the individual user can make for him/herself and I'm leaning towards not keeping it but it seems from initial searches, other potential replacement bodies might have it also, so now i'm not so sure if I'm keeping it or not.

    I knew before buying my e-m5, this was potentially an issue with this body. I also wasn't that sure of it since many notice it but just as many claim it's due to user technique or people with unreasonable expectations from their camera. I was hoping it was the latter, or at least something that wasn't as bad as it was made out to be, which can sometimes happens with the internet.
    Now after a week's worth of usage, I'm not totally happy with many of my images and tests done show consistently non-sharp images between 1/60 to 1/320 sec. It's actually not so bad at 1/250 or 1/320 but at 100, 125 and 160, my "favorite" shutter speeds for street and general usage, there is noticeable enough lack of sharpness.

    I've spent the last three days testing multiple different settings, IBIS on/off, IBIS/OIS, anti shock, different holding techniques and so forth. Some users reported the anti shock helps but I haven't had any noticeble differences in my tests. I've searched my images and 95% of them shot at 160 are noticeably softer than most, many quite clearly fuzzy even without having to magnify the image. Lots more between 1/100 and 125, with a few I would call usable images.
    It's not so bad until I start to see just how crisp and sharp images are above 1/400 sec and realize the difference in quality and sharpness.

    I've read a lot of posts with people mentioning it and asking questions and such but none of them mention if they kept their camera's or were fine working around the issue which is why I'm curious to see if people kept it or not.

    I'll post my own pics of what I mean shortly.
  2. dougjgreen

    dougjgreen Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 5, 2013
    San Diego
    Doug Green
    It would be for me. I had problems with a Panasonic G5 that suffered it frequently when the mechanical shutter was used - and fortunately, it also had an electronic shutter that was usable in most circumstances. I also bought an E-M1, which I would not have bought if Olympus had not implemented an anti-shock fix by using an electronic first curtain approach. I also held off of buying an E-P5 prior to that fix being implemented - but once the fix was implemented by Olympus, I bought the E-M1 instead.
  3. kevinparis

    kevinparis Cantankerous Scotsman Subscribing Member

    Feb 12, 2010
    Gent, Belgium
    I'll wait to see some of your shots.. but to me shuttershock is such a non issue...way way dow the list of my worries.... especially if you are shooting street photography.. there are so many other variables in play.. your movement .. the subjects movement, missed focus... all contribute to a lack of the perfect sharpness.

    at the end of the day a unsharp interesting photo always beats a sharp boring one :)

  4. mr_botak

    mr_botak Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 4, 2011
    Reading, UK
    I can honestly say I've never noticed it. My EM5 must be north of 10k shots now. Honestly I'd just use the camera, for what they're selling for now it's a bargain.
  5. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2012
    These are some real world situation samples. I thought I'd do these instead of driving myself crazy with test shots using newspapers which always look blurry to me anyway.



    1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320 and finally 1/400 where there is a big difference in shaprness.

    Here's 1/125 and 1/400 for direct comparison.

    I have half a dozen other examples of the same thing, it's not the focus points or apertures or ibis on/off, antishock, it always sharpens up above 1/400 and below 1/60th.

    14-140 mk1 @ 14mm
  6. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Buggered if I can see much wrong with the last one ... didn't you say that was the worst?
  7. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    Same here. It's nothing compared to mirror shock, but then again I never had a big issue with that either.

    I think the shutter shock people are complaining about is them not using the camera properly, jabbing at the shutter release to induce vibration into the camera instead of gently squeezing the release.

    I've done every type of shot with my camera, long exposure handheld, holding the camera over my head to get a downward shot of the model (didn't have a ladder), tripod, flash bracket...never noticed an issue. Maybe I should try my 500mm, or my long barrel 400mm scope.

    Maybe it's my 30+ years of using SLRs that engrained the ability to absorb any camera vibration.
  8. wanderenvy

    wanderenvy Mu-43 Regular

    May 11, 2012
    Short answer - no.
    Long answer - what shutter shock? Seriously.
  9. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2012
    I may not be as experienced as you but I've had 15 years to learn how to hold and press a camera shutter button. Never had any noticeable problems till now.

    The first ones are the worst. Starting from 1/125 it's present up to 1/400.

    I've tried similar shots like this, it's always the same, non-sharp images up until 1/400. That suggests to me it's something other than my technique.
  10. pellicle

    pellicle Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 10, 2010
    Southport, OzTrailEYa
    Are you using a tripod? If yes are turning off IS?
  11. janneman

    janneman Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 6, 2012
    Jan (John) Kusters
    After a life or mirror- and shutter slapping medium and 35mm film camera's, this is just another -rather small- issue one has to be aware of when taking pictures. It's not a problem, it's called 'learning how to handle your gear'.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. bipinsnair

    bipinsnair Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 7, 2012
    Herndon, VA
    Bipin Nair
    I have E-M5 and never noticed any such issues. I can get really sharp photos even with very low shutter speed. With the IBIS in action, even the 1 second hand held shots look very sharp. Your pic definitely look a little blurry and it looks like there is some issue. I don't know if that is shutter shock and in fact I never heard of shutter shock issue on em5.
  13. I would've have returned my E-M1 if it hadn't been for the firmware update with 0sec anti-shock setting. My E-M5 has only ever displayed a few examples of what might have been shutter shock (blur in a single up-and-down direction between 1/60 and 1/250 sec shutter speed), but from a sample size of over 10,000 shutter releases they are insignificant and may have been caused by simple mishandling.
  14. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2012
    Here's another batch

    Crops 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320, 1/400

    P8220346320_zps49506780.jpg P8220347400_zps0111bd7a.jpg

    Same level of softness as the first batch i posted gradually improving as the shutter speed nears 1/400 then there is a big difference in sharpness.

    Here's the 1/100 next to the 1/400 for direct comarison.

    EDIT: It's not as obvious in these crops but the lettering is really bad in the first four images. Either way, it shows a pattern that doesn't seem normal to me.
  15. MajorMagee

    MajorMagee Mu-43 All-Pro

    Feb 24, 2011
    Dayton, OH
    The last two images are not identical in how they were taken. The easiest way to see it is the texture on the window blind cord in the background. At 1/100 it's in focus, at 1/400 it's not. What else are you changing as you change the shutter speeds? Perhaps you are just seeing differences from diffraction effects because of the changing aperture size? Try changing ISO rather than aperture to get your different shutter speeds, and be careful not to have the focus plane shift.

    Shutter shock typically manifests itself as a double image only along the horizontal edges because of the vertical movement of the sensor rather than a general softness across the image. Also, it's only really visible at the plane of focus since the out of focus areas already have blurred edges that mask being able to see it.

    The typical scale of the double image edges from shutter shock is such that you probably need to be pixel peeping at 250x to 500x to see it with any detail.
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Probably the best test for shutter shock is to shoot a target that contains both horizontal and vertical. Shutter shock will cause the horizontal lines to appear blurred and the vertical lines to remain sharp due to the direction that the shutter travels (up-and-down).

    The following is an example of shutter shock on an E-P5 with an M Zuiko 9-18mm lens. The full image appears generally unsharp and the crop shows the up-and-down direction of the blur, most noticeable on the "Fire Hose Reel" lettering.


    • Like Like x 3
  17. Drdave944

    Drdave944 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Feb 2, 2012
    Honestly I don't know why you shoot at 100th of a second. That is the same shutter speed as a Brownie Hawk Eye. I see the scene is overcast but you could get faster lens speed by using any of the single focus high speed lenses. Do you use a tripod?
    Your "bad "pics seem to show slight blur. I understood shutter shock to be on horizontal lines. You can avoid blur by using a tripod and touch screen. No one ever comments on how great this feature is in reducing shake,especially with a tripod. Or use two second delay or get a GX-7 with electronic shutter. I try to shoot at highest aperture and shutter speed and most shots are 1/1000 and above.
  18. a_hit_of_meth

    a_hit_of_meth Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 7, 2012
    @bipin, I get ridiculously sharp images below 1/40th even when zoomed out to 42mm. Haven't tried 1sec but I don't have issues with the lower speeds.

    @penguin, do yours show up on every shot or is it random? There's no 0sec anti shock on the em5, I've tried the 1/8 sec anti shock but that doesn't seem to have made a difference in my tests.

    Thanks. Maybe not the best example. I'm aware they're not exactly the same and that could account for a bit of a difference but overall this is the same thing that I'm experiencing with my pics. I'm trying to do basic, not so scientific tests to replicate real world situations, hoping this way the differences aren't so extreme. I keep it in auto iso but the aperture changes automatically as well. I've shot many other pics with the same apertures as the soft ones in these examples since that was my initial suspicion but they are all fine. The only thing I've don'e in the tests that show this kind of noticable differences between 1/100 to 1/400.

    Anyway, these are just examples to better show my initial complaint of images between those shutter speeds consistently not being sharp. Shutter shock or whatever it is that's causing this, it's happening regularly enough to be an issue.
  19. I used my E-P5 almost exclusively with the 17/1.8, 25/1.4, and 45/1.8 lenses with which it didn't appear to display any shutter shock issues, but when I tried it with the 9-18mm the shutter shock was quite bad (the 9-18mm being a not very solidly built zoom lens). I ended up selling the camera shortly before the 0sec anti-shock firmware update so I can't confirm how effective it was.

    Another possibly to consider on your E-M5 is whether the problem might be related to the IBIS, noting that even when you have stabilisation set to "off" the IBIS is still working to hold the sensor in place. I had to return my E-P5 under warranty because the IBIS was performing quite poorly. Olympus didn't replace anything but the did "calibrate" the IBIS which fixed the problem. The symptoms were different to yours but there are likely to be multiple ways that a complex system like the 5-axis IBIS might exhibit problems.
  20. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    I spent a lot of time investigating shutter shock when I had an E -P5. My conclusions were:

    - It's definitely a real phenomenon that is not simply bad technique or camera shake
    - The extent of it varies a lot with the lens used. For me the worst was using the Pany 14-42 PZ
    - Even with the "problem free" lenses, some blurring was still there, but very subtle. Many users wouldn't notice it
    - The 0s anti-shock fix completely cured it. No other settings made any significant difference
    - My E-M5 is much less troublesome than the E-P5, but it does show blurring sometimes with some lenses (the 75 seems the biggest problem for me)

    Is it a deal-breaker? Without the 0s anti-shock setting - definitely it would be. I'm amazed that Oly (or anyone else) would release a camera with this sort of problem. We're paying good money for high IQ. What's the point if it's ruined by a fundamental design flaw? I foresee a day when electronic shutters will mostly replace mechanical shutters.
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