Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Panasonic G5 – Electronic Shutter Test

So the question came up recently on the forums regarding shutter shock and very long lenses on the G5. The question being:

Does the G5’s electronic shutter help when shooting with a long lens at low speeds like 1/25 or 1/50? Or does the mechanical shutter work as well?

Simple enough, yes? I decided to test it with the 100-300 with OIS switched off at the lens and with the camera on an old Velbon tripod with 2s timer release. Since I have the shutter on a function button, this was trivial to do without moving the camera at all. Note that 300mm is 600mm effective, so this is a lot of magnification and should be sensitive to shutter shock.

I set Shutter Priority (I knew there was a use for that dial position :-) at 1/25s and ISO at 1600 since I was shooting in a dark room. The following juxtaposed 100% crops show that there is a tiny difference between the electronic and the mechanical shutters, but it is close to undetectable.

To see it properly, you will have to click on the image and then click again to see the expanded image in your browser.

Someone then asked how this applied to the Tamron mirror lens, which of course is 1000mm EFL. But I went one better this time, and used the Tamron 1.4x teleconverter with it for an EFL of 1400mm. Yowsa!

If there was any doubt that it mattered in the first series, that is completely erased in this series. The electronic shutter is unequivocally superior!

So there you have it. If you wanna shoot the moon and the planets with a normal tele on a mirrorless, you will be wanting the G5 or GH3 and setting that e-shutter on.