Silent Shutter mode on EM1 and EM5ii

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dlhomesolutions, Aug 8, 2016.

  1. dlhomesolutions

    dlhomesolutions Mu-43 Regular

    Sep 30, 2013
    Peoria, IL
    Hi, is there any quality disadvantage to using the electronic silent shutter. I am thinking of switching to this mode for wedding ceremonies, but I am not sure.
  2. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    The rolling shutter that is inherent to electronic shutter can be an issue for objects in motion (not a problem for most ceremonies) and for certain light sources (fluorescents and flash).

    I'd recommend looking around for some descriptions of what rolling shutter is and what impact it has (these are universal issues for all cameras with electronic shutter features)

    Aside from those common downsides of using electronic shutter, there shouldn't be any other significant quality impacts from using electronic shutter on your OMD
    Last edited: Aug 8, 2016
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  3. acnomad

    acnomad Mu-43 Veteran

    Jan 5, 2016
    Real Name:
    Electronic shutter can yield odd effects with a moving object. Even if your shutter speed is fast enough to freeze the action, the movement can be visible in unexpected ways. My friend uses electronic shutter all the time and caught this hummingbird on a GX-7, 115mm, f/5.5, 1/1600 sec.:
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  4. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Real Name:
    Maybe it's wearing a scarf.
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  5. Sniksekk

    Sniksekk Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 7, 2015
    I sometimes get lines with darker color (cause of light) when indoor and using silent shutter.
    But not necessarily every picture in the same shoot.
    To me it seems kind of random when it happens.
    You should try it out a lot before using it in a special occasion in my opinion.
  6. jimr.pdx

    jimr.pdx Mu-43 Veteran

    Dec 5, 2010
    near Longview ~1hr from PDX
    Real Name:
    Jim R
    Since it's semi-random, a burst of shots would probably be good insurance! Since it's silent it hurts nobody - unless you run out of storage. :eek:
  7. walter_j

    walter_j Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 10, 2013
    Hagwilget, B.C., Canada
    Real Name:
    for a wedding - no! You have to be pretty desperate to use it in a critical situation. Em1 v2 supposedly fixes the problem, but I'd want lots of proof if your livelihood depends on it
  8. Replytoken

    Replytoken Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    May 7, 2012
    Puget Sound
    Real Name:
    Some of the bodies reduce the bit depth when using electronic shutters as it reduces the data load so the shutter can perform as expected. I do not remember which bodies do and do not, but it is something to keep in mind if you are deciding to change your settings.

  9. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    I can attest to the oddities as well. I don't have the E-M1 anymore (and I'd have to dig up a sample), but even with not-so-fast moving subjects, shooting in burst, the whole picture would be cattywompus/skewed in some way. It wasn't every frame or even in every burst, but it did happen. I'll try and dig up a pic or two demonstrating what I saw.

    Ok, found one. You can see it looks like the perspective changes (or the image looks like it gets "squashed"). This is burst shooting form the same spot. Individually, you might not notice it, but scrolling the images, you see it right away. I'd hate to see this happen to a brides portrait on her special day :D
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
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  10. Nathanael

    Nathanael Mu-43 Veteran

    Oct 12, 2015
    For an example of what you can run into with fluorescent lights:
    ^ This is from a blog post (not my content) about the Panasonic GX7 electronic shutter.

    Note that this effect won't actually be "random" as mentioned above, but it may seem that way because the results depend on several factors. Mainly, the frequency of the lights (specific to the light itself), the shutter speed, and readout speed of the sensor (specific to the camera body). If the shutter speed approaches the frequency of the light then the banding will usually disappear. Likely somewhere around 1/60 or slower.

    Also I defer to @Replytoken@Replytoken regarding bit depth, I wasn't aware of that but I don't own either of those bodies anyways.

    The best part of electronic shutters is effects like this:
    Which I think are pretty dang cool (also not my content)

    Edit: I stole these images from a google search
    Last edited: Aug 9, 2016
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  11. zensu

    zensu An Old Fool

    Aug 8, 2012
    Alabama, USA
    Real Name:
    I have the same problem using my EM-1s' electronic shutter especially with mixed lighting sources. I once tried to shoot a portrait using classic window light and a reflector. I decide to experiment with this new shutter and still got lines across my image. I thought all the lights in the room were off but an aquarium near the window was lit with fluorescent bulbs. Turning off the aquarium light resolved the stripes but I think I'll reserve the electronic shutter for times when quiet is req'd and 1/60th will get me a good exposure.
  12. ThorEgil

    ThorEgil Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 22, 2012
    I have encountered two problems with the electronic shutter. One, as shown in the first picture, has been there always, and is probably a problem with my camera. There is a slightly lighter bluish area along the left edge of the picture – easier to see with a dark background like here (and I do 99% of my photography in dark concert halls or clubs). I'm usually able to correct this in Lightroom.
    The other one I also thought was a camera error – there are sharp horizontal lines across the face in the second picture. But my Olympus service contact said it was probably an artifact of the stage lights, and I now tend to agree. I had never seen this before, but it was also the first time I used the electronic shutter in this hall. I'm pretty sure they have LED lights, and the effect is the same as with the fluorescent lights shown in the post above – only much sharper.
    The electronic shutter is just perfect for photographing silent concerts where you don't want to disturb the rest of the audience.

    Attached Files:

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  13. PakkyT

    PakkyT Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 20, 2015
    New England
    Ya, nothing will piss off a bride faster than making her look shorter and wider than she really is!!! ;)
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  14. sesser

    sesser Zen Master

    Mar 10, 2015
    Portland, OR
    Real Name:
    It's bad enough the camera adds 5lbs by itself!
  15. b_rubenstein

    b_rubenstein Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 20, 2012
    Melbourne, FL
    To return to the original question - unless you're shooting a wedding ceremony of hummingbirds, the only significant issue to watch out for is lighting. Fluorescent and sometimes other none continuous light sources will display light/dark bars. Take a couple of test shots to check for anomalies. Now, early in the life of the EM-1 there were problems with shutter shock, but the current FW (4.0 or 4.1) have eliminated it. The mechanical shutter is quite enough to not be any sort of problem.
  16. shesmu

    shesmu Mu-43 Rookie

    Dec 18, 2013
    One more theoretical disadvantage of electronic shutter on EM-1 (with 4.1 firmware): it limits your highest ISO to 3200 and slowest shutter speed to 1/8 sec.
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  17. wjiang

    wjiang Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    I use the electronic shutter all the time with my E-M1 for taking photos of my infant as I find that the mechanical shutter is still distracting. I also find I can handhold slower shutter speeds with the electronic shutter versus EFC (0s anti-shock).
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  18. vm666

    vm666 Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 19, 2013
    IMHO, the mechanical shutter of the E-M5 Mk II is very discrete -- much more than the GX7 for example.
    I suspect that the "anti-shock" feature enables an "electronic first curtain", just like the Panasonic GM1 -- this feature is also available on the Sony A7.
    It is a bit more discrete than the full mechanical shutter.