*GX8 Shutter Shock test. Mechanical and Electronic both with and without IBIS…

IMG_9722I had never, ever noticed any issue with shutter shock personally.  This goes for my experience with the GX8, the OMD EM5 years back that many claimed to have had issues, and any other camera I’ve owned and shot with.    This isn’t to say that my cameras didn’t suffer from this issue, I’m just saying that I’ve never noticed it.  That may be that I’ve not been a huge pixel peeper (except when doing these types of tests for these articles) or perhaps I’ve just been easily able to excuse any softness for whatever reason.

That said, I have received a few emails over the last couple months asking specifically about the shutter shock issue with the GX8 and so I thought it might be handy to run a test to satisfy my own curiosity, and better equip myself when attempting to answer these types of inquiries.  C’mon in to see the results…

For those who don’t know, or don’t own a camera that suffers from shutter shock, it is a phenomenon where the physical, mechanical shutter’s vibration can affect the sharpness of the finished image slightly, and in certain isolated cases, more egregiously.  It can be easy to ignore if on the slight side if not really looking at a magnified image, so you may have an issue and just not know it.  The GX8’s issue has been stated by users that it occurs most often in exposures with shutter speeds between 1/80th of a second and 1/320th of a second, and often gets cited as most common with the 14-140mm Lumix zoom lens from my research.  I don’t have that lens, so I shot a series with the Leica 42.5mm f/1.2 Nocticron lens which for the life of me, I could not see any difference between the physical and electronic shutter.  I then used the Olympus 75mm lens thinking that Panasonic may have been able to mask this issue by way of Lumix bodies communicating with certain Lumix lenses.  The test below is from this series of shots.

I’ve set the GX8 on the tripod set to the 2 second self timer, and using the Olympus m.Zuiko 75mm f/1.8 lens, set to f/4, I adjusted my exposures by way of shutter speed and ISO using the mechanical shutter at each shutter speed setting (1/3 stops) and equally adjusted ISO in third stops, then replicated the same exposures after engaging the silent, electronic shutter which eliminates the mechanical shutter mechanism.  The first run used the in body image stabilization (IBIS) in the GX8.  While I’ve seen conflicting reports on whether or not the IBIS actually compensated for this shutter shock issue, I decided to run the exact same set of exposures with the IBIS turned off to see if there were any definitive results with my camera.

All shots were taken and converted as RAW files, in Aperture 3.4 and cropped into at a magnification of 200% to really peep the crap out of some pixels.  See below, and click to see full size:


I’m not seeing a huge difference, and in fact I’m seeing so very little that I’d even go so far to say that it is almost imperceptible.  I think that the physical shutter has produced shots that are perhaps ever so slightly softened by this shutter vibration, but nothing in any way that I’d consider a defect.  Just to see what we’re really looking at here, the crop is showing printed numbers that measure a massive 3/32″ (roughly 2.4mm) in height.  The total area in the 200% crops above, physically measures 1.375″ wide (35mm) by 1″ high (25.4mm) for reference.

P1080034 - Version 2

Perhaps it is mostly tied to specific lenses, or perhaps there are shutter assemblies for a particular production run that are faulty, but I cannot see anything I’d consider shutter shock with my GX8, so I’d at least say that if there is in fact an issue, it is isolated, and not universal to all GX8 cameras.


***UPDATE (3/21/16)


Based on a couple of comments (Thanks Andrew and Rich for the suggestion) I’ve tried another run, but instead of being on the tripod (which may potentially add a dampening effect), I’ve placed the GX8 on a flat table, set the same 2 second timer, and using the Olympus 7-14mm f/2.8 lens (at 14mm) with the IBIS off, I ran back through the same range from 1/80 second to 1/320th second with both the mechanical shutter and the electronic shutter.  Instead of going through and spending another hour and a half cropping, formatting and building a new chart, I simply zoomed to 200% to give us enough magnification at the point of focus, placed the mechanical shutter on the left, and the electronic shutter on the right and captured Screen shots.  You can see each larger if you so desire by clicking on them.  

f/2.8  –  iso 1600  –  1/80th second:


f/2.8  –  iso 2000  –  1/100th second:


f/2.8  –  iso 2500  –  1/125th second:


f/2.8  –  iso 3200  –  1/160th second:


f/2.8  –  iso 4000  –  1/200th second:


f/2.8  –  iso 5000  –  1/250th second:


f/2.8  –  iso 6400  –  1/320th second:


So, even by eliminating the tripod, and placing the GX8 on the table, I don’t see any shutter shock with my camera.  Again, it may be that my camera isn’t affected by the issue, but I see no ill effect from the mechanical shutter through this range of “suspect” shutter speeds.

Hopefully this helps eliminate any user or testing error on my part 🙂  Regardless of the methods I’ve tried, I’m not seeing any shutter shock on my camera.  If I can carve out some time, I may even try to hand hold a series.  While I feel that is an incorrect way to test for this type of issue as it adds the human, handshake element into it, it is how we all shoot often times, and would be the only way left for me to test, other than perhaps throwing the camera in the air or something.  

Thank you all, and keep up the comments.  I’d love to hear more about other’s experiences.  



I’d certainly be interested in hearing if others are seeing something different, or experiencing issues with particular lenses.  We could try to compile a bit of data and contact Panasonic about it.  Power in numbers as it were.  Let me know and I’d be happy to reach out to them.

If you do want to check to see if your camera (GX8 or another model) suffers from shutter shock, I’d suggest setting it up on a tripod, although it’s been suggested that a tripod allows for a dampening effect, so maybe try on a tripod, and also on a flat surface, not secured to anything, and do the following:

  • Set your camera to Manual with a set aperture, adjusting the shutter speed and ISO (where you’d need to adjust your ISO in equal increments along with your shutter speed to equal out exposure from one shot to the next) as this will also ensure that your focus and depth of field can stay identical between shots.  
  • Shoot something flat and perpendicular to the camera (again to minimize any focus depth issues).  
  • Set the camera up on a 2 or 10 second self timer (2 is what I used and allowed for plenty of time).
  • Do a series of shots using the mechanical shutter, and then go through the same series of settings with the electronic shutter.  Shutter shock should only be apparent when using the mechanical shutter.
  • Shoot 1/3 shutter speed stops between 1/80 and 1/320 (where most reports state issues between 1/125 and 1/250 mostly from what I’ve seen).  This will be a series of 7 shots total (1/80, 1/100, 1/125, 1/160, 1/200, 1/250, 1/320)
  • Have a look at them on a computer, not just on the back of the LCD as the resolution is not nearly high enough to accurately determine critical sharpness at this level.

If you do go to all this trouble, I’d love to hear how it goes.  Please drop a comment below so we can try to compile as many tests as we can.  Who knows, we may figure this out for Panasonic if we can determine a region, time frame or even serial number run that may be affected.

As it turns out, Adorama is offering up a pretty killer deal on the GX8 + 12-35mm f/2.8 Kit which is $200 off and includes a $500 Adorama gift card, so that’s amazing.  Sadly we cannot apply these gift cards to the purchase as far as I understand it, but the next time you have anything to purchase, $500 off is a pretty solid head start.  

The kit deal (normally $2395.99) on sale for $2195.99 plus $500 Adorama Gift Card runs through the end of the month and you can see them here:

Panasonic Lumix GX8 (Black) with Lumix G 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens 

Panasonic Lumix GX8 (Silver) with Lumix G 12-35mm f/2.8 Lens

The GX8 camera body only is on sale for $200 off also, (normally $1197.99), now on sale for $997.99 via the links below.

Panasonic Lumix GX8 body only (Black)

Panasonic Lumix GX8 body only (Silver)

I’ve also compared the GX8 to the GX7 in an article that lives HERE if you’re interested.

Thanks for the read.  Keep up with any new announcements, articles, reviews and tutorials by adding your email to the top right of the page, (down below if viewing on a mobile platform) and find me on the socials, via Facebook, Twitter, Flickr and Instagram.   

Happy spring (or Fall to you southern hemisphere folk) and happy shooting,


38 thoughts on “*GX8 Shutter Shock test. Mechanical and Electronic both with and without IBIS…

  1. The only trouble I’ve seen personally is a mis-focused photo with the Panasonic 25mm f/1.7 lens. The lens seems to work fine with the E-M1 and GH4. That lens seems too light.

    Lately, my hands are not all that steady but I haven’t specifically noticed shutter shock in any camera body. The GX8 seems to work about as well as the E-M1, but the IBIS doesn’t work so well–with Panasonic or Olympus lenses.


    • Yeah, my hunch is that it is either a small run of cameras or possibly user error as I’ve not yet seen a shutter shock test display images that weren’t hand held.

      I wish I had one of the newer Oly bodies to re-test the Oly vs Pana IBIS, and I will admit that I miss the stabilized live view, but I’m really impressed with the GX8’s IBIS even if my experience with the dual IS has performed worse than the OIS or IBIS alone.


  2. When the GX8 first came out, I rented one and shot head-to-head digiscoped test shots against the GH4. I was curious if I would get better resolution with more MP’s. Surprisingly, I found the GH4 shots to be slightly sharper. I just checked the ones I kept, and they were shot at 1/160s, so I guess that could have been a factor (I was using a remote indoors with a very steady tripod). I owned the Sony a7RII for about a month, and did notice shutter shock quite a bit with that camera.


    • I think that if anyone could determine an issue with shutter shock, it could be you, Tara 🙂 I’d imagine that digiscoped images would certainly provide a good side by side. The GH4 is one Pana cam that I’ve yet to try out, and had really wanted to grab one as pricing went down just prior to the GX8 release, but alas, I opted for the rangefinder style.

      I have also been keeping an eye on the a7rII, as I also have the a7II, and for all its bizarre quirks, is capable of a really solid image file. I just can’t justify paying THAT much for a Sony camera currently with what I’ve seen regarding UI jumble, weird screen coating degredation and electronic inconsistencies in the a7II. Maybe once they announce the a7rIII and the pricing drops down to about 2k, I’ll take a punt, but probably not until then. Now you’ve got me thinking I need to test the a7II for shutter shock 🙂


      • Yes, 1000mm does show any vibration! I could actually see the image move in the viewfinder with the a7RII with each shot. Using a camera for digiscoping does affect the way it behaves, but I really disliked the functionality of the Sony compared to the GH4. I also shoot with a loupe on the LCD since I use manual focus 100% of the time and really need to see clearly, and the resolution on the LCD of the a7RII was SO bad that nothing ever looked sharp – I just had to focus back and forth and chose the point where it looked the least out of focus. On the GH4 LCD I can see sparkly pixels even w/o the focus peaking on in-focus areas. The Sony had 3 levels for focus peaking: too high, way too high, and way, way too high. The zebras were so wide they covered the image, and when I would move from a dark area to a lighter area it would take a long time for the exposure to adjust. I had rented one for 5 days before I purchased, so I know the LCD wasn’t a bad copy, however I’m sure most folks use the EVF, which to me still wasn’t as good as the one on the GH4. Downloading video required special software, and I couldn’t use MPEG Streamclip to trip them…..and there was more. I really love my GH4 and hope that the next model might have 60fps 4K and/or 4K raw.


  3. You’ve added to what is probably already the most comprehensive and fair GX8 review on the web. The 200% crops are pretty impressive. Although the images don’t provoke an emotional response in me like some of your others have! 😉

    Any plans to compare it to the Pen-F? Great looking camera, massively overpriced (to me), seems to have the same sensor as the GX8, but minus an AA filter. Seems to have problems with CAF, if other reviews are to be believed. Its a pity the GX8 isn’t more of a Pen-F in size and looks.

    Keep at it sir.


    • Well, you’re too kind and I’m happy that you feel it so. I think for any of us out here to more definitively prove or disprove these issues as they’re brought up, we’d need access to a lot of copies of the same camera, lens, et al to properly test out a controlled grouping. There are so many little things that can differ in any production process, and when we’re talking about thousands upon thousands of units, especially when working with so many electronic elements, changes in humidity can offer challenges to minute calibration, let alone any human elements. What I can say is that MY camera does not seem to suffer from it (for which I’m happy) but that in no way means it will be universal unfortunately.

      I doubt I’ll be picking up a Pen-F, as I’ve always shaded toward the GX series vs the Pens, mainly because of price, but also because I do really dislike the Oly UI. This is mainly because I jump between different cameras and systems often, and the Oly UI almost requires one to be an Oly shooter solely, to become one with it as it were, because it is so vastly different from anything else I’ve used, and is far from intuitive as I interact with it. It does seem to be a great camera though, even with the odd scene mode effect selection knob on the front. I do wish they’d have added weather sealing, because if we were to ignore the names on these two cameras, on paper, I myself, really think the GX8 is the better camera overall, but luckily for all of us, we get choices and quite a few of them.

      All the best, man.


      Liked by 1 person

      • I rented the Oly EM5 a couple of years ago at the same time I rented a Fuji X-E1, and the UI was SO bad on the Oly that I never took it out of the house. Strangely, I didn’t really mind the Sony, which most people seem to hate, but that Oly was designed by a different species :-). I’m so familiar with the functions and menus on the GH4 I can make most adjustments w/o looking, and I’ve really made the most of the Fn buttons and custom settings.


  4. For my GX8 I have a host of new/new-ish Pani and Oly lenses and have experienced not a single shutter shock – and I zoom to 200% in Photos each pic I have taken. I do that because I have a bit of what is called tremor-simplex that under certain conditions makes my right hand shake.


    • I’m hoping that our experience is the rule, not the exception as I really couldn’t in any way say that mine suffers from shutter shock, which is fine as I’ve always had no shortage of tabled excuses to account for my poor technique when needed 😉

      Thanks for the read and taking the time to comment. I think the more folks we can hear from, the better overall picture we’ll have.


    • I must preface this with: “I am not a doctor” – but with a similar (but far more wide-spread) tremor, I was prescribed a blood-pressure drug by a neurologist that has a known effect for about 40% of those with “essential tremor” of removing the tremor. I used to be able to hand-hold very well some remarkably slow shutter speeds, but when the tremor began, I could rarely hand hold any camera using commonly-used (medium) shutter speeds. Now (in good light, and with the aid of in-lens stabilization!), I can successfully hand-hold equivalent focal-length lenses out to 1.200mm, and (at times) even longer. This may not work for you, and it may be inappropriate for various reasons (and, as with all drugs, there may be side effects!), but Inderal/Propranolol did work for me. Some samples are here:


  5. Interesting results! Definitely comprehensive testing, and I would say there is undeniably no shutter shock visible in those results. If there’s a subtle difference visible at 200% that falls into the “unforgivable pixel peeping” category, as far as I’m concerned.

    I’ve heard theories that the tripod is acting as a mass damper in the system and masks the shutter shock on tests like these. I’m not convinced of the physics on that, but who knows, really. I guess one way to test for that would be put the camera on a table loosely and fire it that way.

    …but given the extent of the work you’ve already done, that seems like a ruthlessly boring and thankless test to perform just to verify a hunch!

    I am guessing the main cause must be some interaction with the OIS or focus groups, or something-or-other in the specific zoom lenses mentioned. You’d think that the Nocticron would suffer from the same, since it’s got all those mentioned bells and whistles and is a very complicated lens, but who knows?

    It’s a shame, since shutter shock seemed to be the only thing that prevented DPReview from giving the cam a “Gold Award.” Whatever that’s worth. A lot of people look to DPReview as an authority though, and use it to inform they’re buying decisions, so that’s got to be a huge bummer for Panasonic.


    • Thanks, Andrew!

      The tripod very well may act as a dampener, and for me I’ve figured that removing any human element would more accurately determine if there were, or weren’t any physical failings on the camera’s part, but it would be good to recreate the test as you’ve mentioned by setting it on a flat surface, and using the same capture method. Couldn’t hurt, I’ll see what I can do 🙂

      I think that as long as DPR are using identical testing techniques, and removing any subjective, personal testing when it comes to the more technical issues when rating a camera or lens, then I think it could be (and in many cases certainly seems to be) a very valuable resource. With different testers, different techniques, and different style and opinion, it is tricky to objectively compare one camera’s value and performance to another, especially when on person is determining the usefulness of a feature like image stabilization, or a perceived detriment like shutter shock (hence my hopes that we can continue this experiment and conversation as we are).

      I certainly suggest we all take any test done by someone else, mine included, with a grain of salt. What I get from the camera in my hands, using my personal techniques may totally differ from yours, which should be the true determining factor in how useful a camera or lens or piece of software, et al, will be for any one of us. It is very useful however to have others provide experience for those of us that may not have the gear in question, and in my opinion, even better when we can get a larger sample size by getting many of us to try to test these things out.

      Thank you for your input as I think it an important addition, and I’ll try to do the test again to further expand the findings from my camera, anyway.




      • I hesitated in buying both the Panasonic 14-42mm PZ and 45-175mm PZ lenses due to reports of “double-image” problems with the “Power OIS” with these lenses, but I eventually tried them both – and with some attempts made to see the problem when used at certain shutter speeds with the mechanical shutter chosen, I was unable to detect a problem. I had almost missed owning these two favorite lenses as a result of such reports! Since then, I have switched to using the electronic shutters in my cameras for most photos, and I have been happy with using shake-free and nearly silent cameras ever since.

        BTW, regarding the above, perhaps placing the camera on a soft pad rather than on a hard surface would then reveal the presence of “the problem”…? Also, I discovered with using long lenses with film SLRs that all tripods are not equal for resisting the effects of mirror-slap and shutter-shock, and, surprisingly, hand-holding or the use of a “floppy-jointed” tripod often could provide better results than when using some “sturdy” tripods (assuming no wind…;-) at commonly-used shutter speeds. I think the reason for this is that heavily-braced and strong tripods tend to “ring” when excited more than do less rigid supports. I used to use a simple test for this: with a finger lightly touching the camera-mount, I would tap once on one of the legs. Surprisingly, the “hurky” tripods would ring for a remarkably long time, while “floppy” tripods would damp quickly. Wooden and carbon-fiber tripods are also generally superior for this than metal tripods (especially ones with cross-bracing on the legs). Generally, for composition and speed reasons, I avoid using tripods when possible, even for night-shooting with short FL lenses and with VERY long lenses used in good light – but I’m lucky to be again quite “steady” myself these days…;-)


  6. Andrew has a valid observation with the tripod serving as a damper for any shutter shock that may or may not exist. Inside the GX8 there is an accelerometer that determines how much and what direction to move the sensor. With the camera rigidly mounted to a tripod camera shake is non-existent. The customary guidance, I believe, is to turn off IS on most camera systems when the camera is on a tripod. For lens based IS the accelerometer would be in the lens to tell the lens how to move the stabilization element.

    For a lens like the Nocitron it is just one set of control constants since it is a fixed focal length. For a lens like the 14-140 it is probably a lot more complex depending on what focal length the lens is set to.

    In addition to the above for the GX8 where there are two control loops acting in tandem coordinating the whole system becomes even more complex.

    Finally, to make the whole mess even more complex the Panasonic engineers have to decide on a range of frequencies and amount of vibration for the IS to work over. The amount and frequency of vibration would be different for let’s say taking a photo out the window of moving car on a heavily washboarded road versus a person trying to hold the camera still and take a photo of some static subject.

    I was never a control system engineer during my working career but I had involvement around the edges. There are a lot of intricacies that need to be addressed in any complex system.

    In closing, right now I have elected to put the GX8 in the auto electronic shutter mode and go take pictures. When in doubt I’ll revert to the silent mode. The 14-140 was one of my favorite lenses – not so much now. I’m hoping that Panasonic releases the promised updates for some of their other lenses soon. In particular the 45-175 which I have found to be a good lens in some situations.

    I hope the above is not too techno-babel but as an engineer by training and profession even though I’m retired i still tend to think about. It’s probably genetic.

    Rich Ball


    • Hi Rich,

      Thank you for your insight and experience. If I’m reading right, I’m guessing that by introducing two parameters in alternating uses (IS on/off with each electronic and mechanical shutter) we may be seeing what results as a complication that would introduce more possibility for an instance of shutter shock?

      I’ve recreated the experiment based on Andrew’s suggestion, using a different lens (7-14mm zoom) on a table top, but have (luckily for me) had the same results. I’m guessing that any GX8 that may be exhibiting any ill effect with shutter shock may be limited to a particular run, shutter assembly, or manufacturing facility perhaps, if we are seeing a true shutter shock issue on certain units?

      Ruling it out on mine anyway, but still interested to hear and see from others.

      Thanks again,



      • Tyson – Perhaps these links will help a little.



        It looks like you will have to copy them and paste them into your browser.

        I’ll elaborate a little on what I had above. Accelerometers can be made quite small. Think of a ‘fitbit’ it has an accelerometer and enough computer to count your steps and calculate mileage and other parameters plus enough battery to last a week or more. Three axis accelerometers are available. In the camera the electronics take and calculate the speed and acceleration of whatever movement is going on and move the sensor accordingly so that the image on the sensor appears to be stable. In the lens the accelerometer is moving the stabilization element to stabilize it on the sensor.

        The stabilization mechanisms have to respond to a variety of speeds of camera movement. From you holding the camera quite still to camera movement happening much faster like my wash board road above. If the camera is on a tripod or stable surface the system should do nothing as your tests have shown. Coordinating all of this is very involved and some fairly heavy duty math probably went on at Panasonic to make it work.

        The photographer public will never know what is happening since I’m sure Panasonic regards it as highly proprietary. However, I would be very surprised if the engineers had not considered the shutter mechanics coupling into the image stabilization system.

        As I think about this more if the sensor is moved by the shutter even a pixel or two it could cause some captured image degradation. Given the very small dimensions of a pixel it could happen. This may have been considered acceptable by the Panasonic design team.

        One possible test you could try. One could set the camera up on top of an operating washing machine or dryer (I’m not kidding). The vibration might be enough to change the test results. Other thoughts – hood of the car with the engine running?

        If I were a working engineer I would want a shaker table capable of some very low frequencies and controlled amplitude. Then I’d have to write a test plan and analyze all the results. Pretty soon I’d have several weeks of work in front of me. The fun wears off after a very short while.

        I hope the above adds a little more clarification.



  7. Pingback: *GX8 Shutter Shock test. Mechanical and Electr...

  8. I have a GX8 and have been reading the shutter shock articles arising as mine seems to do it on occasion. Not sure what it is and it is very inconsistent. You may have a good camera or it may be like mine and not show up very often.

    The last time is happened I could feel the harshness of the shutter in my hand and I could see the shake in the image. It was at 1/60 testing the firmware update on a 12-32mm and I fired off a couple more shots and was convinced it was shutter shock so I put it into silent mode and it cleaned up. I didn’t keep the images and I can’t remember if I power cycled the camera or just turned off silent mode but it went away.

    Other times I think I have experienced it, I was never quite certain. I am being mindful now to feel the shutter as I shoot and keep closer track of what will clear the problem.


  9. Hey Tyson,
    Another exhaustive test well done. You have way more patience than I!

    I have a GX8 and have seen very few instances of anything I’d call shutter shock. Like you, I don’t do much extreme pixel peeping or hunt for flaws. “Flaws” can add an element of… je ne sais qui. 😉 Besides, sharpness, especially as an ultimate goal, is highly overrated, too.

    I’m from the don’t-blame-the-tools side of things and would chalk up a lot of these reports to user error and lack of technique. Throw enough technology at something to solve a problem, right? I HAVE seen SS with the GX1 and 14-140mm II and 14-42mm PZ (bought and returned) and it was easily reproducible. I could count on it being there under certain conditions, rather than head scratching and wondering how I made a shot blurry.

    I know by observing myself, that often when shooting and hurrying, I’ll start moving AS I trigger the shutter and not holding perfectly still until I make the shot. That creates blur. Lazy technique.

    Maybe the physical, mechanical complexity of zoom lenses, coupled with very light lens lens construction, could be a culprit? The 14-140mm II certainly fills those criteria.

    I have noticed occasional blurriest from the 14-140mm II and Olympus 12-40mm, rarely from my Voigtländers. I tend to use those zooms for casual and travel shooting, so that could be user error and sloppy technique again? Who knows. Probably.

    As for the DPReview Silver Award. It seems they don’t take companies that make electronics and cameras (vs. “real” camera makers) very seriously (if not with outright hostility) and amplify small annoyances into major issues. Or because the GH-series obliterates the big boyz in terms of video quality? Probably not to irritate their sponsors (Nikon, Canon, etc.). Look at reviews of GX7 (the EVF), G7 (who is the user?) and GX8 (SS). Whatever. Since they’ve become a mouthpiece of Amazon, and the quality of the reviews has dropped, I tend to trust them less.


    • Thanks Jeff,

      I do think that it is easy for us to forget that we’re essentially operating little super computers, and inside these machines are a multitude of elements and systems working together so that we can push a button and have a pretty stellar image file created for us. Inevitably, there will be situations where all these things that need to be in sync, won’t quite be and I think that in todays age of instantaneous gratification we may rush to judgement when we see something operate in a way we don’t quite like. I’m surely guilty of this too, but always try my best to spend enough time to at least eliminate as many variables as I can think of 🙂

      Yeah, independent sites are fewer and further between, and unfortunately, I think this is just the nature of business. I’d still hope that testers will do enough to try to figure things out, whether it be an isolated occurrence when a particular lens/camera combo may be the offender which seems to at least be partially true in this case (???) and not preach as though its truth, just to get an article posted before others to garner the most hits. I also can understand when people are working for an institution, larger than their own interests, will work to expedite these types of reviews. Then, there are the pitchforks and torches behind the keyboards that so easily come out if one person didn’t think of something that someone else did, which is always fun too.

      We are a funny group, but I wouldn’t have it any other way 🙂

      Us m4/3 users, in context, do seem to be rather rational compared to some systems that I also exist within. I think this article is a great example where suggestions have helped grow a larger conversation as those of us using or interested in this camera are genuinely interested in figuring something out, as opposed to flaming each other. I’m sure there are links to forums around that are inevitably doing so though, and not being able to read Russian, Polish or German, I can only guess what people think of me and my testing methods 😉

      Thanks again Jeff. Always a pleasure getting to chat.



  10. hey, nice writeup. I reckon this issue is all King Wang (as you have ably demonstrated its non issue). Really 200% is pushing it and if its not there then, then its not there.

    The King is Dead, long Live the King. King Wang King Wang king Wang


  11. Hi,
    thanks for the test! I have some experience with shutter shock on the G6+14-140 mk2 combination (my test here: http://www.dpreview.com/forums/post/52582499 ) In use I only consider this a real problem with the 14-140 mk2. I own the 12-35 and 35-100 f2.8 zooms and I do not find any problem big enough to worry about when using these. I think you really should be using base ISO (ISO200?) when doing these tests. I think you may be able to find a discernible (but not important) difference in sharpness then. At ISO800 (and higher) I think the slight shutter shock smearing could be lost in the noise.


    • I believe that shutter shock can be an issue for most any camera with a mechanical shutter under the right circumstances.

      I chose to alter the ISO instead of the aperture because altering the aperture would drastically alter the depth of field (in the second series) and could alter the total sharpness from shot to shot as it stopped down which to me would have been less accurate when testing than noise (which to be fair wasn’t an issue with these shots as the GX8 does really well in good light at most any ISO) when comparing any difference in sharpness being affected by the shutter shock. If any shutter shock smearing was lost in the noise, I’d say it would be nearly indiscernible so I don’t feel my testing method was misleading at all, and actually chose the way I did it intentionally, but thank you for the thought.

      The more information that is co-opted through this post, I feel it is pointing to the issue being lens based, not camera based, at least not wholly.




      • perhaps its been covered already, but would not flash make a good way to eliminate shutter shock from the equation?

        If you had it on second curtain sync and essentially no ambient light worth mentioning, then the flash shot would be the “control” shot because the “bounce” of the shutter would be settled by then and the flash would just silently go off. I agree too that electronic shutter would be more or less the same.


      • It could, in theory, but you’d both need enough flash power to light the scene, and have it with you.

        Eshutter takes care of it if and when it occurs, but I feel the issue is hugely overstated as it is seeming more and more to be lens specific.


      • Hi
        well as a matter of course (dating from testing my 4×5 cameras) I use flash to illuminate a subject … I have a Metz CT-32 for exactly that (and it has some punch). I usually use 4 second exposure on a self timer (or longer on a 4×5) and then “paf” the flash in the middle of that “shutter open” period.

        Puts a lot of issues to bed.

        Anyway, good to see you still doing so much testing. I’ve really enjoyed your Topaz reviews. My own blog has been relatively quiet on these issues for a while.

        Best Wishes



  12. Check out our review of the gx8 here, we DID see the shutter shock issues with the 14-140, but not as much with lenses like the 25 1.4 or Oly 17 1.8.

    We also did a follow-up on the shutter shock and the new firmware.

    Not sure if you are using the latest firmware, but just make sure that your test weren’t done with electronic shutter auto on. That would actually switch it over to e-shutter automatically during those specific shutter speed ranges. Which is essentially panasonic agreeing that there was a problem, and trying to fix it.


    • My tests weren’t done with auto e-shutter, and as an independent and non-sponsored reviewer, I keep up on FW updates to provide solid results. I’ve been around the block enough, and have been doing reviews and tests like this for nearly 10 years, so I feel I’m capable of providing an objective test. While shooting on and off a tripod is debated, the results from both methods here along with the others I’ve done with various lenses that I own and have done handheld, on or off the tripod have not shown one instance of shutter shock at all on my GX8. I, however do not have the 14-140 lens that seems to be the culprit at this point leading me to believe that it (that lens) is part of, if not a main contributor to the problem that people are claiming with the GX8. Further evidenced by comments that claim SS issues with that lens on different cameras.

      Thanks for the link and comment and keep on keepin’ on.




      • Cool man, and just as a note, I was by no means questioning your testing or integrity as a tester. As a second note, we are independent and not sponsored either, we get camera’s lent to us, but we aren’t paid to do the reviews, merely given equipment in exchange for a shout-out. Of course, you could argue that taints our viewpoint, but I would hardly say calling out a negative point on a camera would be something we would be trying to do if that were the case.

        I wonder if it is somewhat model specific. From my experience, it definitely was lens specific with that 14-150. As for the tripod, I would try some handheld tests too. I get that you’d want to eliinate human error, but 1/60th of a second, with a stabilized lens and body at 14mm should be easily hand holdable. What if it is like a kick-back from a rifle where the excessive slap is actually causing some kind of hand shake. Again, don’t think that’s it, just throwing out a theory.


      • Thanks man. I have done many hand held tests to see if I can see anything, which I haven’t. Presenting these on the blog though is not, in my opinion, an accurate way to ‘test’ for shutter shock, definitively anyway as handholding technique will differ from one shooter to another.

        My GX8, with any/all the lenses I’ve used to test this (Oly 7-14/2.8, PL 15/1.7, PL 25/1.4, PL 42.5/1.2, Oly 75/1.8, Oly 40-150/2.8 so far) I’ve not seen one instance of shutter shock. IBIS on, IBIS off, OIS on, OIS off, Dual IS, no IS, handheld, on a table or on a tripod.

        I’ve confirmed that my mechanical shutter is being used when using that, and that the e-shutter is being used when testing it against the mechanical shutter. Nothing on my camera. If I were to make a guess based on my experience and from what I’ve heard others talking about, is that it has to do more with specific lens(es) and some quirk in the electronic communication between said lens and camera, than it does with a camera specifically. Outside of that, I can only think that there may be a production run that is affected.

        A few years ago, there was a similar claim regarding shutter shock with the EM5 (mk 1) which I tried in vain to replicate other’s issues, to no avail. I also had people claiming that my IBIS tests had to be intentionally slighting the EM5 vs the GX7, which at that time saw my hand held results at slow shutter speeds coming out consistently better from the GX7’s 2 axis IBIS vs the 5 axis IBIS on the Oly. People automatically assumed the 5 axis would be better in all ways, but I felt that it, mechanically, almost looked for movement at shutter speeds slower than about 1/10 sec, and perhaps I just was able to hold myself still enough that, akin to being on a tripod, the IBIS system tweaked a little bit while looking for some movement to compensate for or something. Still, my results showed the GX7 to better the EM5 at those very slow, handheld shutter speeds with most every lens I tested, except the Lumix 20mm for whatever reason. Again, could have been my camera.

        The other factor that is nearly impossible to determine with these issues, is sample variation between cameras (or lenses, etc). If we were able to test say, 10 of the same camera, would we see the exact same results ? So many moving parts in one of these machines and their makeup, so I think it is hard to definitively say, only using results from one camera, one lens, et al.

        Thanks man.



  13. Tyson – I’ll continue to beat this subject to death. When I bought the GX-8 to the two selling points were the fully articulated LCD and the dual, body/lens, stabilization. My first outing with the camera was with the 14-140. I had what I considered really bad camera shake. Including a couple that looked a little like double exposures. My firmware for both the lens and body were up to date. Later expeditions with the 45-175. Gave me better results. The 35-100 gave me very nice results (the firmware in the lens was updated). The same with the 100-300 with just lens stabilization.

    Last week I was out and about with the GX-8/14-140 just taking pictures. The camera had the electronic shutter in the “Auto” mode. Most of the photos at intermediate focal lengths were fine or I could attribute their problems to my own failures. However, a couple of the photos exhibited the same double exposure artifact. With two photos of the subject superimposed and slightly offset. They were “grab” shots at the full 140mm focal length and I had no time to think about anything but pressing the shutter. I have never seen the result with the GX7, GH4, GH3 or G5. Although in fairness I didn’t own the 14-140 with the G5.

    At this time I can only attribute the poor results with the 14-140 to poor integration between the body stabilization and the lens stabilization.

    At this point in time the 14-140 has lost it’s utility to me on the GX8. It has been my favorite lens to go out the door with. I can carry it, the 58mm Canon 250D Achromatic close-up lens and a spare battery and have really very versatile setup.

    I’m taking the precaution of down loading the current firmware for my other lenses so that I can hopefully revert to old firmware when Panasonic releases the promised updates for the 14-42pz and 45-175pz.

    I’ll close this off with one more suggested test. That is putting the camera on an large empty plastic tote – the more flexible the better – and repeating your tests with a borrowed/rented 14-140 at maximum zoom. This gives the camera freedom to move when the shutter releases,

    I really don’t expect the “shutter shock” to be an problem with shorter focal lengths. This is because the sensor and correction element in the lens have to move less.

    In the engineering world one the aphorisms is “In every project there is a time where you shoot the engineers and get on with production”. Panasonic may have shot the engineers to soon.

    Best Regards – Rich


    • In my tests with the Dual IS (using the PL42.5/1.2) I undoubtably found the Dual IS to underperform compared to the pure OIS (using the same lens on the GX7 which disabled the IBIS, defaulting to pure OIS). I repeated the test multiple times with the same results. It’s the only Dual IS capable lens, I’ve been able to test on the GX8, but I was amazed at how poor it was comparatively. I hadn’t considered the Dual IS to be the “shutter shock” culprit, but we may be on to something here…


  14. Tyson – Some of the first impressions by Gordon Lange at the Camera Labs web site and the Chris Nichols out of Canada were somewhat tepid on the GX8 IS. With the release of GX80 today and the press release I found on the 43rumors web site Panasonic has as much as confessed their shutter design has issues. This is directly from the press release – ” The LUMIX GX85 adopts a new electromagnetic drive in the shutter unit. The shock caused by the movement of shutter diaphragm is dramatically reduced and the shutter sound is also minimized. ” To say I’m a little bit grumpy about this would be an understatement.

    I haven’t see anything on the new Olympus 300mm lens and its performance on the OM-D E-M1 or E-M5-II. Since it incorporates a dual IS as well.

    Quite frankly I was planning on getting the new 100-400mm lens. I’m rethinking that purchase right now. And I’m rethinking the anticipated GH5 purchase when it is released.

    As always i look forward to your posts. I find them informative and helpful

    Best Regards – Rich


  15. There are people who believe everything they read or hear,

    you can’t fix stupid

    Convincing the already convinced is smart though?


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s