IS reaction time - is IS fast enough?

Started Nov 15, 2012 | Discussions thread
Noogy Senior Member • Posts: 1,762
IS can be a life-saver when...

photostarts wrote:

Earlier this week a salesman in Jessops gave me the "hard sell" in trying to persuade me to buy the non-IS version of the 70-200mm f/4L lens. I guess he thought I'd find the price attractive, as the version with IS costs a whole lot more.
"But it gives you up to 4 extra stops," I pointed out.
"In what way?" he replied. "It's still f/4, so you won't get any benefit."
I explained that having IS meant you could stop down or use a slower shutter speed.
"No, no," he said, "By the time the IS has done its job, you'll have missed the shot."
Of course, I'm not involved in the exciting world of Royal paparazzi photography, unlike the man advising me (yes, really, or so he claimed) but I can't believe Canon's IS is so slow that you'd miss very many shots.
According to Canon, this happens when you half-press the button:
* The special stabilizer lens group, which is locked in a central position when not active, is released.
* Two gyro sensors start up and detect the speed and angle of any camera movement.
* The sensor data is passed to a microcomputer in the lens that analyses it and prepares an instruction for the special stabilizer lens group.
* This instruction is transmitted to the stabilizer lens group that moves at a speed and direction to counteract the camera movement.
* This complete sequence is repeated continuously so that there is an instant reaction to any change in the amount or direction of the camera shake.
-end quote-
In recent lenses, all of this happens in half a second (according to Canon). Because the sequence is repeated continuously, subsequent shots will be corrected instantly.
I'm just wondering, has anyone had experience of missing a vital shot -- in sports, action, or any other kind of photography - because the IS was slow to react?

Street-shooting at night and I don't want to bump up by ISO too high.  Hard I imagine how I can decently capture good images, handheld, at 1/5 - 1/10 shutter speeds without IS.  This is the degree of confidence I feel when shooting with an image stabilized lens.

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"Photography is therapeutic."

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