E-PL3 blur issues with IBIS

Started Mar 16, 2012 | Discussions thread
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oluv Senior Member • Posts: 1,973
E-PL3 blur issues with IBIS

after my disappointing experience with the x14-42 from panasonic, you can find here: http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1041&message=40683719

i thought i might switch system entirely and jump over to olympus. the E-PL3 was the most tempting costing only 80€ more including the 14-42 II kit-lens than the x14-42 lens alone.

so i decided to give the E-PL3 a try. i always wanted a tilt-display and i always dreamt about having all lenses stabilized due to built in IBIS.

the first 14-42 II lens came unsharp. the whole left and bottom side were soft, so i asked for exchange and received a new camera including lens yesterday. although the second lens is better than the first, it is still unsharp to the left side. i have no idea if this is usual olympus quality control, but my old 14-42 that i also own is considerably sharper with a constant fall-off to all corners.

unfortunately i found another serious problem. many of my shots came out somewhat blurry. i was really surprised and started to experiment with turning off IBIS and comparing shots with IBIS on/off.

interestingly most blurry shots were taken with active IBIS and i started digging deeper and found the 3 year old blur issue from imaging resource:

imaging resource suspected the old 14-42 kitlens to be the main reason, but funnily it seems as this blur issue still exists with E-PL3 regarldess which lens is mounted.

i have taken lots of shots with the E-PL3 and with times around 1/100 the ones with active IBIS are considerably softer.

here are some crops, all taken hand held, the ones to the left are taken with IBIS the ones to the right without IBIS:

i got even some pretty extreme examples like the following one, which i was able to repeat a second time:

so in order to avoid any possible hand-holding influence, i wanted to see how the IBIS would behave when mounted on a tripod. i also thought that one E-PL3 could be defective, as i had still both i tested both and found that at shutter speeds 1/60 and slower up to 1/160 IBIS creates some image-blurring.

the images were taken through a dirty office-window and stopped down to f/8, so despite the suboptimal testing-conditions there is visible impact in image-sharpness with IBIS turned on.

is this a known problem? IBIS was the main reason i wanted to go for olympus, but if shutter speeds like 1/60 where you could already suffer from hand-shake cause even more softness due to IBIS then i find it pretty useless.

 oluv's gear list:oluv's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-GM1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH Panasonic Lumix G 20mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica Summilux DG 25mm F1.4 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital 45mm F1.8 +1 more
Leica X1 Olympus PEN E-PL3
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