Two different shear sample geometries were employed to investigate the elastoplastic and failure behaviour of three automotive alloy rolled sheets; a highly anisotropic magnesium alloy (ZEK100) and two relatively isotropic dual phase steels (DP600 and DP780). The performance of the so-called butterfly type specimen (Mohr and Henn 2007, Dunand and Mohr 2011) was evaluated at quasi-static conditions along with the shear geometry of Peirs et al. (2012) using in situ 3-D digital image correlation (DIC) strain measurement techniques. It was shown that both test geometries resulted in similar trends of the load-displacement response; however, the fracture strains obtained using the butterfly specimen were lower for the ZEK100 and DP780. It was demonstrated that the ZEK100 exhibits strong anisotropy in terms of the shear work hardening rate and failure strain. Scanning electron microscope (SEM) images of the fracture surfaces revealed that both shear specimens led to a smooth fracture surface compared to the dimpled fracture surface obtained in uniaxial tension.