Image stabilization; who has the best?

Started Feb 21, 2013 | Questions thread
joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

With people yearning for in-body stabilization in NEX, it is clear that once you get used to in-body stabilization, it just works to expand your choices.

Personally, regardless of IBIS or OSS, I prefer not having to use it. But if I don’t have a choice, then I prefer to rely on it for no more than couple of stops. If more stops are necessitated, chances are, the imaging circumstances aren’t good enough. For example, if Sony had 4-stops of image stabilization with a fast 200mm lens on APS-C, we’d be looking at 1/20s at best. But, what would be the point of using such lens at such shutter speed? Chances are, the most I would find useful would be 1-stop (1/160s) which can reasonably freeze motion, although, ideally, I would rather have stabilization turned off to speed up AF.

In the end, I feel there is limited use within reason (1-2 stops) and then there is marketing-only.

If you intend to shoot things in motion, VR only becomes useful at super-telephoto lengths as you've noted. For anything else, the more, the better in my opinion (with several caveats about optical performance, size and weight, cost, etc.). The difference between what would yield acceptable camera shake in a shot taken on a tripod versus handheld without stabilization can easily be 10 stops or more. Any photographer would prefer to shoot at base ISO versus something higher given the choice. For plenty of subjects, shooting wide open is not ideal either. So in a common dim indoor lighting scenario where f/2.8 is yielding 1/30" at ISO 3200, you'd need 5 stops of stabilization just to get to ISO 100. If you want to stop down to f/8, there's another 3 stops. If you are shooting at 100mm, that's another 2 stops necessary to get to a reasonable shutter speed for that focal length.

Of course, rooms can get much darker, focal lengths can get longer, and apertures can get smaller too.

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Nikon Coolpix AW100 Nikon Coolpix P7700 Nikon D300S Nikon D3S Nikon AF-S DX Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8G ED-IF +5 more
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