Bill Millhouser Question About MFT Shutter Shock

Posted Jan. 2nd, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

Hi Daniel,
I have a lot of Canon gear, but recently bought a complete used GH 3 kit with 4 lenses, including 100-300. You mentioned the issue of shutter shock with GH cameras and not-so hot IS with some telephotos. Is this problem with GH 3 and GH 4 and the long zoom? I am going to Africa for Safari next year and I do not want to take the Lumix if I can not get good tele shots. I don’t think I can rely on the electronic shutter to address these problems.
Thanks, Bill Millhouser


Sorry for the delay in answering this question. Shutter shock is a strange issue that I’ve had a change of heart on after spending more time with my GH cameras. Quite simply, I’m not seeing it as I thought I had early on. That said, I do try to keep my shutter speeds up when shooting the 100-300mm lens.

I not sure which post you’re referring to when you mention my concerns. It may have been the post where I was comparing the 100-300mm Lumix to my Nikkor 600mm in Kenya. I have mentioned in past posts that there are times where I see conflicting results with both the 100-300mm and the 45-175mm zooms. Sometimes both of these lenses are stellar! Other times I get images that make me say, “yea, that’s kind of what I expected from such an inexpensive lens.” I can’t put my finger on it other than I know both of these zooms are not professional grade, sometimes producing excellent results, other times letting me down. Unlike my 35-100mm, which is extremely sharp and as good of quality as any Nikkor zoom I’ve ever shot.

I recently bought the new Olympus 40-150mm zoom and so far I’m extremely impressed with the glass performance. It is sharp, sharp, sharp. One big downside is I loose all IS (Image Stabilization) since Olympus builds all IS in to their camera bodies. That could be a deal breaker for some folks but I figure I shot for 25 years before IS came along, I can adapt my shooting techniques again in exchange for truly professional optics and a great range for wildlife and nature.

I’m leaving in early January as part of our Invitational Photo Tours.  We’ll be in Kenya for a month, then in Patagonia for three weeks, back up to Yellowstone for a week and then to Costa Rica for two weeks. I’ll be using mostly the GH4 with the new 35-100mm, 40-1500mm and 100-300mm zooms. Stay tuned to the Blog/Corkboard for my take on how this gear performs in such diverse locations.

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There are 6 comments on this post…
  1. ScottOn Jan. 19th, 2015

    I was wondering how much you would be willing to sell that 40-1500mm [sic] you mentioned in the last paragraph? 😉

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 21st, 2015

      Scott, I just got in from two weeks in the Kenya bush and in to Nairobi for a short break before our second group arrives. Then back to the Kenya wilds. Since my last post I’ve shot almost 15,000 images, many of them using the new Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8. All I can say is I won’t be selling that lens anytime soon. Even without image stabilization it is performing superbly! Can’t say enough great things about it other than don’t let the lack of IS scare you off. With the higher ISO settings we can shoot with the GH4 and the F/2.8 maximum aperture, lack of IS has not been a problem at all. Stay tuned for samples and more info on using the new Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8.

    • ScottOn Jan. 21st, 2015


      Sorry, I was having some light hearted fun with the typo in the last paragraph of the article where you said, “I’ll be using mostly the GH4 with the new 35-100mm, 40-1500mm…” I assume you meant 40-150mm, not 40-1500mm. I’d REALLY like to have a 40-1500mm! 😉

      I’m glad to hear you had good luck with the 40-150mm. My technique just isn’t good enough to try to use non-IS lenses. I used to have some non-IS lenses, but was getting only about a 50% sharp focus rate because of hand movement.

      I bought my GH3 with the 12-35mm f/2.8 lens and have really enjoyed it. However, I’ve recently started shooting my kids sports and just got the 35-100mm f/2.8 lens because I needed more reach. I really like it.

      How would you say the 35-100mm and 40-150mm lenses compare (in their overlapping focal range)?

      Thanks for your great articles! I have a full time tab open in my browser for when you post new articles.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 22nd, 2015

      No worries Scott. I didn’t realize I had the 40-150mm typoed as the 40-1500mm. It’s all about having fun with your photography here on the NE Blog/Corkboard so your comments fits well:-) I also have the 35-100mm and I plan to make that my main travel, cultural lens when I don’t want to carry the larger 40-150mm. They are both equally sharp. I haven’t done any actual sharpness tests between the two but they seem very comparable. As far as other items I actually like the rubber zoom ring better on the 35-100mm as opposed to the metal ring on the Olympus 40-150mm. Overall both are superb and the new 40-150mm has deepened my commitment to the MFT category of cameras. Will have more on my Kenya experience with this new lens in a couple of weeks.

  2. BILL MILLHOUSEROn Jan. 2nd, 2015

    Hi Daniel,
    Thank you for your response. Ideally I would like to see a pro-grade M4/3 super tele in the range of 100- 200, or 25O mm at the max, with IS. I would gladly pay Panasonic 2 or 3 times the price of the current 100-300 mm Pany zoom for high quality lens which can match Canon and Nikon equivalents. Panasonic has great starting point in their GH4 body and several of their pro lens, but they really need to have more “systematic” approach to meeting the needs of nature photographers. As of now I am thinking the new Canon 100-400 zoom will be my go-to lens for Africa.

    I hope you trips go well– I look forward to reading your reports.
    Thanks, Bill

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Jan. 2nd, 2015


      Can’t agree more with your need and desire for a super tele-zoom. I’m truly hoping Panasonic brings us an updated 100-300mm F/4 with the glass quality and build of the current 35-100mm F/2.8. They already have such a great collection of lenses with this one major hole in the lineup. I really appreciate you adding your thoughts and desires since I’m hopeful that Panasonic will read these posts and understand the need for such a lens/lenses. Good luck in Africa and have a great time.

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