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Wondering about stabilization systems, and the necessity of built-in flash

Started Oct 19, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Wondering about stabilization systems, and the necessity of built-in flash
Oct 19, 2013

Hi there. My first post....and let me begin by thanking all the reviewers and commenters who make this site so helpful. I'm shopping for my first decent digital camera and already spent many hours here catching up on what's available.

One thing I haven't been able to figure out is the relative effectiveness of stabilization systems. I'm interested in handheld available light photography, for travel and indoor candids. But going back to when I shot film with a Pentax MX-1, my hands have seemed to be shakier than average and they've gotten moreso with age. With a 50mm prime my shots at 1/125 were noticeably sharper than at 1/60, even when I was paying attention to steadiness.

Does stabilization help markedly with sharpness at typical shutter speeds in the 1/30-1/125 range, or is it most helpful at really slow speeds?

My short list now, for various reasons, is the GX7, E-P5, or E-PL5. The E-PL5 is attractive not just for the lower cost, but because I like the 170-degree tilting screen for self shots. But if the 5-axis stabilization in the E-P5 is noticeably better, it might be worth the upgrade for me even though more than one reviewer has called the E-P5 overpriced.

And, I haven't been able to find any careful comparison of either Oly system to either Panasonic's in-lens stabilization, or to the 2-axis system in the GX7. Has anyone done such a comparison?

With so many specs to try and understand, one route I'm considering is the E-PL5 now, to get my feet wet and start building a m43 lens set. But I'm wondering if the lack of a built-in flash is a dealbreaker. I like the idea of a handy built-in flash for fill, but now with HDR I wonder if it's as necessary as it used to be.

Any thoughts?

Thanks in advance,

Matt T

 mtar925's gear list:mtar925's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX7 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm 1:1.8 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 45-150mm F4-5.6 ASPH Mega OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-42mm F3.5-5.6 II ASPH Mega OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario HD 12-32mm F3.5-5.6 Mega OIS
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