"Screwy E-M5 IBIS": Theory and evidence

Started Aug 3, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,466
Re: My Klorin, part 2, IS or not, AS or not?

Jonas B wrote:

In my earlier post I found there wasn't much between IS or no IS with the camera on tripod. Since then there also was "sub-discussion" regarding AS (as in AntiShock) where several posters testified in support for AS (but with different ideas about how and when to use it spanning from always with a short delay to when on tripod with a long delay.

I combined my questions marks and came up with a set-up as follows:

E-M5, the Klorin bottle, a white chart with some coarse details, a good tripod, a long and heavy lens (180mm, 825 grams) and a shooting distance of about 6 meters. The distance was learned, or calculated, from the earlier try with the same Klorin bottle and a 60mm lens.

I mounted the camera/ lens combo to the tripod in a sloppy way; not caring about the heavy front weight. The tripod and head are good but they aren't made for this sort of misuse. Despite that the enlarged live view image shook for a couple of seconds only when i tapped one of the tripod legs.

I tried the following modes:
IS1 and IS Off with shutter delay
IS1 and IS Off with AS

I made three exposures of every shutter time and mode combination making sure I wouldn't get some strange anomaly as a result anywhere in the resulting matrix.

You can click this link taking you to the image (2.4 Mb):


You should make your own conclusions. For me next step is to check out the shortest possible AS delay needed for my favourite setups. I'm also happy for the repeated confirmation about the IBIS. Compared to my earlier experience from IBIS in Konica-Minolta, Pentax, Olympus and Sony cameras the E-M5 IBIS performs best and there is seldom any need to turn it off.

So, no "screwy" IBIS but rather smacking first shutter curtain. Half way through the work I really started to miss my Sony Nex-5N. With the 5N or the 7 this discussion would never have taken place. Of course, any IBIS wouldn't have kicked in either...



Many thanks for getting around to doing these tests Jonas. As far as I can see, they confirm very nicely the results I got when trying something similar on my shaky Ultrapod II mini tripod (but with a shorter and lighter lens, 14-45). By way of summary:

  • The first shutter shock (shutter closing prior to exposure) is pretty bad. Let's hope at least this problem will soon be out of the way on future MFT cameras, as it already is on some recent Sonys (like those you mention) and Canons, which can globally reset the sensor prior to exposure without the help of a mechanical shutter.

  • Using anti-shock (a delay between shutter closing prior to exposure and shutter opening again for exposure) eliminates this problem more or less completely when shooting from a tripod, which suggests that the second phase of shutter movement has less harmful effects than the first.

  • IBIS is not to blame in the sense of making things worse than they would otherwise be. The only problem is that it does not eliminate the effect of the shutter shock either.

Two things that still puzzle me:

  • The anti-shock setting appears to eliminate the shutter-shock problem more or less completely when working from a tripod. However, my testing so far indicates that its impact on hand-held shots is less clear-cut. At best, it seems to reduce the problem but not eliminate it.

  • The OIS on the 14-45, unlike IBIS and unlike OIS on the 45-200 and 100-300, seems capable of counteracting the shutter shock when shooting hand-held. At the critical shutter speed (about 1/100) I get consistently better results with the 14-45 handheld at 45 and OIS on than I do with IBIS or with stabilization off. When shooting from my shaky tripod (Ultrapod II), however, the 14-45 OIS didn't do any better as far as I could tell than IBIS or stabilization off. Anti-shock was the only cure in this case.

If you Jonas (or anyone else) would like to comment/respond, feel free to start another thread since this is now running to completion. By combining our efforts, I think we have now been able to come at least some way towards a better understanding of the problem (and thus helpful workarounds) but there is certaintly room for further thought and testing.

 Anders W's gear list:Anders W's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DMC-G1 Olympus OM-D E-M5 Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix G Vario 14-45mm F3.5-5.6 ASPH OIS Panasonic Lumix G Vario 7-14mm F4 ASPH +28 more
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