Advertisements

Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?

Olympus claims to have fixed the rolling shutter video wobble with the E-M5 - here is the evidence

The great news is that we now have a review sample OM-D E-M5 and we are starting to test it. One of the easiest tests to do is to verify Olympus' claims that the infamous video wobble that is characteristic of many MOS/CMOS sensor type cameras has been fixed.

This problem is noticeable when the camera is unsteady and is amplified by longer focal length lenses because details on the frame are moving around the frame much faster. What happens is that when recording in video mode the camera'selectro-mechanical focal plane shutter can't be used. The sensor has to perform as an electronic shutter. With most MOS-type sensors the pixels are processed from one side of the frame to the other, a line at a time, from top to bottom, for example. This is called a rolling shutter. Unfortunately, if a subject is moving fast in relation to the read-out, it may have moved in the frame by the time it has been recorded from top to bottom. This creates a skewed effect. Verticals lean and when you view this at 25 or 30 frames per second the leaning becomes a swaying effect. If the subject is moving in two dimensions the rolling shutter effect can be even more absurd, as if you're watching a TV screen made out of wobbling jelly.


Here is the evidence - video wobble has been tamed admirably on the E-M5 compared to the Pen E-P3 - only in high speed panning movements is there a very slight line noticeable with the E-M5

All Micro Four Thirds cameras to date have exhibited this effect to varying degrees. In fact practically all DSLRs with video modes have suffered from the rolling shutter effect, until recently. In the last year I have noticed that some newer cameras don't seem to be as badly affected as others. One possibility is that they are using a 'global' electronic shutter sensor. With such sensors, instead of reading off the pixels line by line pixels are read from all over the sensor. Indeed, this is how old-fashioned CCD sensors work and is why you don't see the rolling shutter effect in many compact cameras that use CCS sensors.

The other possibility is that by driving the sensor read-out much faster you can minimise the effect of a rolling shutter. But this would not eliminate the effect. Without any data from Olympus about the new non-Panasonic sensor used in the E-M5, it's hard to be precise, but in our tests we did see a reduction in rolling shutter effect rather than it being eliminated. Olympus certainly uses very high read-out rates - up to several hundred frames per second - to improve focusing speed and reduce flicker in the viewfinder, so my money is on a very high read frequency being used to minimise the problem.

If there is a negative, I have noticed some occasional frame jitter - I would be grateful if other E-M5 users could let me know if this is their experience too. It could simply be an issue with the video encoding method I use. Whatever, on the whole it looks effective and should be a welcome improvement for E-M5 video shooters.

Reader feedback:

Discuss this story:

Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?

Four Thirds User editorial team Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
MOS-type rolling shutter sensor video wobble has been a headache for video fans using the latest dig... (more)

Ned Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
Wow, that's an incredible difference! I've never noticed this much because I tend to shoot cinema st... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
I see a lot of the jello effect when using live view on Pens and E-System DSLRs simply when composin... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
There was a query on YouTube asking if IS was on. Both cameras had IS enabled. Ian... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
I made a small mistake that has been pointed out to me - the E-M5 video was shot at a slightly wider... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
It turns out that the E-P3 video mode crops the sensor, while the E-M5 does not. I didn't make an... (more)

Ned Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
Thanks for your dedication in giving us accurate feedback, Ian! :D... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
No problem - it's a job but I love it! :) Ian... (more)

Sylvain Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
Dear Ian, If I'm not mistaken the cropping effect you're seeing when IS is turned on on the E-Px ... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
Not sure that is correct. I am not aware that Olympus uses digital image stabilisation on the E-P... (more)

Knight Palm E.i.s.
My XZ-1 is using (EIS) Electronic Image Stabilization, and it's cropping the recorded image, due to ... (more)

JRJ Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
It does look like the rolling shutter is reduced, but not "conquered" any more than other new DSLRs.... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
I'm not a video expert, but isn't 1080 60i easily (and often automatically) converted to 30p? Inter... (more)

Knight Palm Europe couldn't care less for 30p & 60i,
rather we would like to see 25p & 50i. Remember this is PAL territory. Haven't seen anybody using 24... (more)

Ian Re: Europe couldn't care less for 30p & 60i,
Mmmmmm... doesn't MPEG4 AVC format use the H.264 codec? :) I, too, would like the option of 25... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
By the way, I got an answer from Olympus in Japan about cropping: it's not for electronic IS, it is ... (more)

Robert Watcher Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
Neither am I an video expert - - - but I'm learning. When I first learned that the E-M5 had 1080p v... (more)

Robert Watcher Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
I read that the Sony a77 is also cropped top and bottom as well as side to side due to the sensor b... (more)

Happy Birder Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
[COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana][COLOR=black][FONT=Verdana]Hi Ian,[/FONT][/COLOR] [COLOR=black][FONT=... (more)

M4/3 Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
The video specs of the OM-D E-M5 appear to me to be similar to the Canon DSLR's like to T3i, 60D, 7... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
Olympus' Toshi Terada responded last night; the E-M5 spec. for video should have been stated as 1080... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
I only had time to do stills comparisons and a short rolling shutter video comparison using the G... (more)

hschnee Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
This disagrees with at least one official Olympus spec sheet, which lists 1080 video as 60i: It s... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
This is a direct quote from Toshi to me last Tuesday: "Dear Ian, Let us correct the specification... (more)

Robert Watcher Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
From anything that I have read - the GH2 will only provide 1080i video, not 1080p. Intersting and c... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
Hm, "1080i video at 60p" is contradictory; it's either i or p or one is converted from the other bu... (more)

Robert Watcher Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
It appears that what I includedmay have been a quote someone made, from this review of the GH2 that... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
The Movie Inspector in QuickTime shows an E-M5 clip as 29.97 frames per second. Ian... (more)

Robert Watcher Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
I guess that in video, 30fps and 29.97 fps essentially mean the same thing right? - ... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
That's my understanding. Ian... (more)

Ned Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
29.97 fps can be referred to as 30fps "drop frame timecode", meaning that a frame is dropped every f... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
I have been doing some more homework on GH2 video and also been talking to Mr.Uematsu at Panasonic. ... (more)

Ned Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
So with the exception of PAL compatibility (25p/50i), does that mean that the Olympus cameras have ... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
On paper very similar but I don't know what the data rate is for the E-M5 (17/24Mbps for the GH2)... (more)

Robert Watcher Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
Apparently with the E-M5 shooting at 1,920 x 1,080 HD, 2 bit rates are available - 17mbps and 20mb... (more)

M4/3 Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
L... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
One thing that does frustrate me is that there doesn't appear to be any useful metadata in these fil... (more)

Ian Re: Has the Olympus OM-D E-M5 conquered the notorious rolling shutter video jello effect?
That suggests 720HD @60p is possible - might be the best choice? Ian... (more)