Do you need/not need image stabilization??

Started Nov 17, 2009 | Discussions thread
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Larry Lynch Veteran Member • Posts: 8,106
Do you need/not need image stabilization??

This question comes up, from time to time, when someone is thinking of buying the E-410/420 et al.

My first stabilized body was the E-510.. I shot with it for just under a year, and I have about twenty thousand "keeper" photos to show for it..

Of those twenty thousand shots, about fifteen hundred were taken through the advantage of Image stabilization.. This may seem to be a small portion, but all of them are good shots that I would have missed without the IS in the body. They were all shot at focal lengths of 50mm or longer, using shutter speeds MUCH slower than the recommended setting, hand held. (like full zoom on the 40-150 at shutter speeds of 1/20 to 1/50).

I dont leave the IS on.. I shut it off when Im not consciously shooting long and slow, I turn it on when I think it is needed.

If you cannot see yourself really wanting to shoot long and slow (and remember most things are moving, which IS does nothing for) then you certainly dont NEED a stabilized body.

Since "using up" my E-510 ( I broke it, it didnt crap out), I have moved on to the E-520, and now the E-620.. The number of times I have NEEDED the stabilization has remained a very small portion of my shots. I have not bought a body BECAUSE it had IS since the E-510.. I just figure its better to have and not need it, than it is to need it and not have it.

The thing to remember when considering the extra cost of buying the camera that has the In Body IS is this:

How often are you going to be shooting under conditions that proper exposure/framing REQUIRE 50mm or longer and shutter speeds of 1/20 to 1/60, and how important are those shots going to be to YOU.:

Some of my favorite bodies dont have IS, and I still choose to use them over bodies that have IS from time to time, for example:

Panasonic L-1.. I love this body with the 14-42 or my 18-125 for a "walk around town (sunny day or cloudy bright day rig).

E-330... Still the best darn "live view" camera ever built in my opinion.. Great for when Im going to be just "hanging out" with a group of people, and I dont want them TOO aware that I am shooting.

E-300/500... Around the house, around the farm, around the town, like the L-1.. very handy for "relaxed" shooting, where there is no pressure to "get the shot".

The advice I give in person to someone who asks about In body IS:

Take your current camera, and a fairly longinsh lens (more than 50mm) and shoot 200 shots of "things not moving", like people watching an event, or animals dozing or resting, and do it in less than optimal light, and use proper exposure (dont under expose to get faster shutter speeds)

Look through those 200 shots and see how many could be better if the camera hadn't "jiggled" a bit...

Those are the shots you can save with IS, and if they arent many, or they arent important to you, then you certainly dont need to spend the extra money to get the IS.
Larry In Mystic Connecticut, USA
Equine Event shooter
Sometimes Wildlife shooter
Sometimes 'Street' Shooter
A clear conscience is usually the sign of a bad memory..

'I can't use the cell phone in my car. I have to keep my hands free for making gestures.'.......

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