Some reflections about 5-stop IBIS

Started 11 months ago | Discussions thread
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deednets Veteran Member • Posts: 8,688
Some reflections about 5-stop IBIS

There seems to be some mild enthusiasm about IBIS for Fuji and the 5-5.5 stops "usable" gain by way of stabilisation.

I have owned a couple of 5-stop IBIS camera, not just quickly used them at a shop, but used them for a few years, so feel I have some idea as to what works - and what doesn't.

I used first a GX8 (still secretly wished Fuji would put the angled 0.77x viewfinder into one of their models!!) and then the Pen-F. A couple of lenses I used were also stabilised.

After 2 years of using MFT - alongside Fuji - I gave up on MFT despite giving up on IBIS. My theoretical expectations as to what I could use IBIS for were simply not met by practical application. As soon as there was movement in the image, typically whenever people were in it, I discarded the photo. And there were a lot! I shot around 100 photos after dark in the streets of Hanoi with the Pen-F using shutter speeds of 1/20s-1/30s and NONE were in focus due to motion blur. This of course works for some shots where movement is ok, but on those it simply didn't. So I quickly realised that I would also need a faster shutter to take images I typically take. So I needed at least 1/60-1/100s for what I do. Nightscapes I would still prefer a tripod anyway, so this applies to handheld shots only.

And I NEVER shoot in museums, find it boring unless for testing purposes.

So where did this leave my endeavours regarding a well equipped IBIS camera?? I sold them both, although there was a lot to like about them, but found that for what I shoot and what I do a non-IBIS camera was "almost" as good.

"Almost" because I found some scenarios where I used IBIS. Inside buildings:

Peace Hotel, Shanghai

... or

Pudong, Shanghai

But these are hardly shots that I couldn't have taken with an X-T2/20/Pro2, or at least the "gap" would have been rather small

Dubai Mall 1/5s

So the real issue as I found out for what I do was the fact that as soon as there are people in the shots, IBIS was no longer of any help. Here is a shot taken with a Fuji at 1/25s, notice the woman and the bird??:

Hoi An, Vietnam

So in the end I had an extra ... what ... dozen or so "keepers" over a non-IBIS camera. I had expected this to be more!

Much more!!

Hoi An, Vietnam

So maybe it would be a great idea to step back for a minute and ask yourself as to what you shoot rather than thinking along those lines that "IBIS is always better, but never worse" than non-IBIS. I would accept that also but found that for what I do, the benefits were negligible to non-existent.

I am sure your mileage will differ from mine, but you might still consider the TRUE benefits for YOUR type of shooting.


 deednets's gear list:deednets's gear list
Fujifilm X-Pro2 Fujifilm X-T20 Fujifilm XF 14mm F2.8 R Fujifilm 50-230mm Fujifilm XF 56mm F1.2 R +4 more
Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Lumix DMC-GX8
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