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Olympus OM-D E-M5 The first Micro Four Thirds camera from Olympus with an integrated Electronic Viewfinder

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Old 12th January 2014
niranhopper niranhopper is offline
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Button press and shutter

Hi,

My first proper camera has been the EM5 and so far enjoying it. While shooting objects in motion, the image captured is a few mill seconds after i have pressed the shutter release button. Is is possible to speed up? Would professional full frame DSLRs have quicker response? Is there any technical measurements or specification available for each camera?

Thanks
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Old 13th January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

All cameras have a delay, even after focus lock has been achieved. Some are terrible (especially the cheaper compacts). The E-M5 seems pretty good to me. I have yet to come across any site that measures and lists this for popular cameras.
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Old 13th January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

2 things happen, that spring to mind, that happen between pressing the button and the picture being taken. 1) Focussing, and 2) Anti-shock delay.
1) Set focussing to Manual teporarily to see if things improve. Just so you know.
2) I suspect shutter (anti) shock delay is set to OFF. (Cog E, Anti-shock) But it is worth checking.
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Old 13th January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by niranhopper View Post

... the image captured is a few mill seconds after i have pressed the shutter release button. Is is possible to speed up?
basically to reduce any delay you need to remove the functions that the camera will perform between you pressing the shutter release and the shutter being released.....

on the basis of the cameras default settings these will be -
1. auto focus
2. auto exposure
3. auto white balance
and their relative impact on any delay will be in that order

you have 2 basic routes to minimising them
1. shoot Manual exposure and M focus with preset (M) WB (there are a number of ways to achieve this including the use of AF and AEL lock buttons, MF with AF buttons as well as M mode with MF as the most basic)
2. half press the shutter release to preset the AF and AE and ignoring the miniscule processing cost of AWB

I've ignored IS because I don't know if it has any effect on this delay, but do know that if you need it on you need it on!

For most people it's the AF (auto focus) that will contribute most to any delay - although for some it can apparently be the camera coming out of hibernation..... most associated with AF can be avoided in practice with experience.
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Old 13th January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

Hi there Niranhopper!

One thing that a DSLR would have to do that your E-M5 doesn't is raise it's mirror - and that will always take a few milliseconds due to the size and weight. Although the E-M5 has to close and then reopen it's shutter it should still be much quicker due to the mass involved ("shutter shock being a smaller issue generally than "mirror slap.")

Provided that you are pre-focssing on the object you want to photograph, there isn't really much you can do to speed the camera up - you really have to learn the art of anticipation (I'm still learning as 100+ pictures of an empty bird feeder this weekend will testify to).

As an asside my fathers first digital camera (back when VGA was high res!) had a great feature where it could take a photo just before you pressed the button. In practice it was constantly taking photos but not storing them to the card, and just had a buffer with the last half second or so of photos stored which it would write to the card when the button was pressed. If only our modern cameras had this ability!

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Old 14th January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

Yes, an early Olympus had that feature. Where, if you just missed a shot, could go back 1 second in time to get the one you missed. This feature disappeared years ago. But I have seen it back on cameras more recently. Or was it on a smartphone?
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Old 21st January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

Thanks. Will try out different setting and see if it improves. At present i use the touchscreen instead of shutter button to snap an instant picture. However this is a hit and miss with sometimes focus on background. It is good to hear that Dslrs wouldnt be a dramatic improvement (i dont need to change system )

Quote:
Originally Posted by ian p View Post
2 things happen, that spring to mind, that happen between pressing the button and the picture being taken. 1) Focussing, and 2) Anti-shock delay.
1) Set focussing to Manual teporarily to see if things improve. Just so you know.
2) I suspect shutter (anti) shock delay is set to OFF. (Cog E, Anti-shock) But it is worth checking.
Quote:
Originally Posted by photo_owl View Post
basically to reduce any delay you need to remove the functions that the camera will perform between you pressing the shutter release and the shutter being released.....

on the basis of the cameras default settings these will be -
1. auto focus
2. auto exposure
3. auto white balance
and their relative impact on any delay will be in that order

you have 2 basic routes to minimising them
1. shoot Manual exposure and M focus with preset (M) WB (there are a number of ways to achieve this including the use of AF and AEL lock buttons, MF with AF buttons as well as M mode with MF as the most basic)
2. half press the shutter release to preset the AF and AE and ignoring the miniscule processing cost of AWB

I've ignored IS because I don't know if it has any effect on this delay, but do know that if you need it on you need it on!

For most people it's the AF (auto focus) that will contribute most to any delay - although for some it can apparently be the camera coming out of hibernation..... most associated with AF can be avoided in practice with experience.
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Old 23rd January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

Not sure I'm with the other posters here. I used to have Canon gear - a 350d, then a 40d and finally a 5dii. On none of them did I ever feel I'd missed a critical moment, whereas I often do feel that way using my u43 cameras.

I think the reason is clear - the EVF/LCD image will always be a little behind the real world action. It's unavoidable - the sensor has to be read continuously (all 16 million pixels) and then the CPU has to run the de-mosaic processing and other image manipulation to make something that's displayable, then it needs to be rendered on the screen. All this takes time - so at the point you press, the real world is ahead of what you see on the screen. Once you press, then the shutter has to close and the sensor has to be cleared down - only then can the shutter open for the real exposure. All this has to happen even if you've already focussed. By contrast, if you're using a DSLR with an OVF, then what you see really is the real world (barring speed of light effects!). When you press the shutter, the only delay before exposure starts is raising the mirror and as any DSLR of today will demonstrate, the manufacturers have got this down to a fine art.

I don't think AWB, exposure etc are factors. Exposure is done before the shutter is pressed and in any case is fairly quick. AWB will be done after the image is taken, although I accept that white balance (auto or otherwise) is one of the things that is done to render the EVF.
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Old 23rd January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

I notice nobody has mentioned the EVF Frame Rate yet. Perceived subject position can be out because of the delay in showing it in the EVF & that rate can be doubled by selecting High in Menu *J, under Built-In EVF (see P 92 in the manual). In other words, if doing action photography, that is a better option although the quality of the image in the EVF display is less, it has less lag time from the real time.
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Old 23rd January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

Quote:
Originally Posted by niranhopper View Post
Hi,

My first proper camera has been the EM5 and so far enjoying it. While shooting objects in motion, the image captured is a few mill seconds after i have pressed the shutter release button. Is is possible to speed up? Would professional full frame DSLRs have quicker response? Is there any technical measurements or specification available for each camera?

Thanks
If you are talking about continual auto focus/predictive tracking then yes a pro dslr will do better.

If you are talking about pre focusing or/and shutter lag then I'd say no there is little if any difference.

And as you are new to what you call a "proper camera" then it may be your lack of experience or technique that is holding you back rather than the camera, all I can say is I have not experienced much trouble in catching the moment with the E-M5 due to shutter lag, caf yes.

In fact I have been invited to be the official photographer for this charity event (Paws In The Park) this year on the strengh of the E-M5 pics I took there last year.


Up and Over by The Craftysnapper, on Flickr


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  #11  
Old 29th January 2014
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Re: Button press and shutter

Thanks everyone for the reply and thanks Paul for the lovely photos. I have now found lots of techniques to improve my continuous focus .

Still have one more question. When an object is moving towards you, it is better to keep moving back (same pace as object) and take the shot or stay still. I have tried staying still but not much luck. Maybe should try wider and crop the picture.
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