Sunday, November 24, 2013

Shutter shock - the biggest problem of mirror-less cameras


Why Panasonic G5 offers an electronic shutter? Mostly trying to solve the so called shutter shock problem.

Mechanical vs. electronic shutter (shutter shock effect): 



However, electronic shutter has problems of its own:
  • It cannot be used with a flash.
  • It cannot be used when ISO is above 1600.
  • It suffers from rolling shutter when the object is large and is moving too fast.
Mechanic vs. electronic shutter (rolling shutter effect):



Learned from Sony, in the new GM1, Panasonic now uses electronic method only for the first curtain. So far the perfect solution. More details here:

http://slrgear.com/reviews/zproducts/panasonic14-140f35-56/panasonic14-140f35-56.htm#Blur

And here (the section by Dave Etchells):

http://www.imaging-resource.com/PRODS/panasonic-gm1/panasonic-gm1A.HTM

If you want to know more, just google "shutter shock", such as this one:

http://cameraergonomics.blogspot.com/2012/09/micro-43-shutter-shock-revisited-omd-em.html

Here I summarize with my own experience:
  • Almost all lenses produce blurry photos to some extent, but some are more notorious, such as the Panasonic PZ x14-42mm which revealed this "shutter shock" issue to general public. The new 14-140mm is also pretty bad on this, see above slrgear link.
  • Some cameras are worse, such as Panasonic GX1. G5 is not too bad, even using mechanic shutter.
  • Longer focal length is worse. I can see blur even at 25mm, but 42mm is guaranteed.
  • It is also shutter speed related, mostly between 1/30 and 1/300, depending on the combination of lens and camera.
  • Olympus's solution, shutter delay, is lame to say the least.
  • A tripod won't help, at least not much.
For now, I use G5's electronic shutter whenever possible. When price finally goes down, I'll buy something like the GM1 that has this problem solved. Some cameras, such as G3, will use electronic shutter for high speed burst shooting (20 fps) - a workaround. On G5, burst mode uses electronic shutter too and no ISO limit! However, burst mode is limited to half size JPEG only (no RAW).

1 comment:

  1. Re: "Olympus's solution, shutter delay, is lame to say the least."
    I dunno what you mean but you activate the Anti-Shock option in the Olympus menu from the E/EXP sub-menu. If you select the second 0 option, the camera will use an electronic first curtain instead of the default mechanical one to reduce any blur caused by the shutter impact.
    Stopping drinking too much coffee if your hands shake helps also.

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