How limiting is lack of image stabilization in Pany bodies?

Started Feb 13, 2013 | Questions thread
Anders W Forum Pro • Posts: 21,468
Re: Old School

mrxak wrote:

Anders W wrote:

mrxak wrote:

I guess I'm old school, because all this newfangled stabilization seems fairly superfluous to me. So far my experience has been with Panasonic bodies and I'll leave OIS on if it's available with the lens I'm shooting with, but for lenses without, I don't care one bit. It makes no difference.

When I started with photography, digital wasn't even a thing yet, and when I got some formal training, it was with film. There was certainly no image stabilization involved with any photography I did until I got into M43. Heck, excluding point-and-shoot cameras, M43 is the first time I'm doing color photography.

So, anyway, decisions about shutter speed and such are second nature to me. I've used beanbags before. I've shot on tripods with a mechanical remote shutter release. You know, one of those little pokey-things in a cable. I know how to get pictures without making them all blurry (unless blur is something I want!).

Any shot where image stabilization is going to be a critical factor in the outcome of the picture is probably well outside your typical experience in photography. I'd even bet I can get the same exact shot without image stabilization, too, with a little creativity. Long shutter times can be compensated for easily, cheaply, if you have a bit of experience and enough motivation.

I suppose that what you mean when you say that "long shutter times can be compensated for easily, cheaply, if you have a bit of experience and enough motivation" is a sturdy tripod. As far as I am aware, that's the only thing that can really replace as opposed to merely supplement a stabilization system built into the camera or lens (but let me know if I am wrong).

Such a tripod merely weighs like an FF body or two with a bulk of three or four so no problem for MFT users who bought into the system on the promise of getting into the real big and heavy stuff. They are also really slow and conspicuous in use so that everyone around will know that you are a serious photographer. Only advantages as far as I can see, wouldn't you say? So who really needs any other kind of stabilization system?

Or a monopod, or a bean bag,

Both of which add weight and bulk as well without really doing the job fully. Great isn't it?

or resting your arm against something as you hold the camera, or any other technique that accomplishes the same thing.

And the fact that by resting your arm against something and simultaneously taking advantage of body- or lens-based IS gives you three stops extra on top of what you can get by merely resting your arm against something doesn't really count, does it? I could surely have gotten this shot leaning out the window of a lower Manhattan hotel with my elbows on the window sill without OIS somehow, couldn't I? I mean, the exposure time is only 0.4 s after all. Short focal length too. Who really needs stabilization for WAs?

There are many. Photography is not a new thing, and plenty of folks have been taking pictures in all sorts of situations for a long time with lots of success. They developed ways of getting around problems, and those ways are still available to everyone to use with any camera.

I know. My first SLR, bought in the early 70s, was a Konica Autoreflex, the first SLR with any market penetration to offer some form of automated exposure. I remember how experienced photographers, especially pros, scoffed at that: As if we wouldn't know how to set shutter speed and aperture right without having the camera do it for us?

I didn't say OIS or IBIS is bad, just that it's superfluous. Good technique and a little creativity will provide you with plenty of cheap, easy solutions. The OP was asking if Panasonic's lack of IBIS is a limitation. It's not, because IBIS is just the latest solution to a problem with many solutions. Nobody needs IBIS. You can accomplish the exact same things without it.

I think you put the finger on exactly the right spot here. Nobody needsIBIS. Nobody needs TTL metering, zoom lenses, AF, or a digital sensor either. It's perfectly possible to take good pictures without all this newfangled technology.

 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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