Dual-IS > OIS > IBIS

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slartz Senior Member • Posts: 2,098
Dual-IS > OIS > IBIS

Following a discussion on another thread regarding the use of OIS/DualIS/IBIS-Only with the 100-400 I decided to do my own testing. For context - there have been some claims of people claiming that Dual IS does not work well and OIS alone is better, and other claims that OIS degrades IQ on the 100-400 vs using IBIS.... These are opposite to my experience where OIS is better than IBIS on the EM1.2 @400mm and that DualIS gets me good results. For those who are lazy to read - the TLDR is short. My original conclusions stand. I saw no degradation of IQ with OIS vs IBIS even at shorter shutter speeds. I did see much better stabilisation with OIS over IBIS, and better with Dual-IS over OIS alone.

So - all test were done with my 100-400 @ 400mm with the EM1.2 and G9. My conclusions. All tests were done shooting an object at about 100+ft away (30+m) to eliminate claims for better performance in short distance. All tests were done with a CAF sequence and examining the sharpness of images resulting.
There were two objects:

- An AC external unit (on an adjacent building, in a shaded area (for slower shutters) - checking sharpness by amount of detail available in the AC's grill (very fine detail from 30+m away)
- An electrical pole getting some sun light - checking sharpness by amount of detail in some of the metal wires holding it in place.

  • OIS > IBIS for Telephoto
    I did several tests with the EM1.2 only.
    • Shooting 1/50 with OIS On - I was able to get *some* very sharp photos with OIS on and acceptably sharp at over 50%. (out of a CAF sequence)
    • Shooting 1/50 with OIS Off (IBIS On) - noticeably worse results. I managed to get one good frame, but all the rest showed clear motion blurriness (just to clarify, looking at the pic as a whole it's not bad in most of these images, but there is no detail left out of the AC grill). This is also VERY noticeable even in the EVF. Switching from IBIS to OIS the EVF becomes noticeably stabler.
    • Finally - I shot the electrical pole at 1/400. There have been claims that OIS makes softer images because of lens elements moving. The idea here was to eliminate a lot of the stabilisation difference to be "left" with the optics. Unfortunately at 1/400 this is only half true as its not fast enough, but unfortunately at f/6.3 even with some sun it was not enough to get a faster shutter. The results, btw, show barely no difference. There is still some edge to OIS, as even at 1/400 there is some movement, and apparently OIS does it better. I also tried to look at the sharpest of each set. I can not tell there's really a diff. Bottom line:
      • I don't really see any optical downside for the OIS
      • Since the lens is slow, even at good light, we often shoot up to 1/1000 - which still gives a good stabilisation the edge, making the OIS more consistent with results.
  • Dual IS > OIS
    • Going back to the original test (1/50 shots). Comparing E-M1.2 with OIS on the 100-400 vs G9 with Dual IS, the results were NOTICEABLY better on the G9. I got more very sharp and acceptably sharp images, and in fact only a small portion were blurred to a point there was no detail in the grill. 1/30 on the G9 produced results more similar to 1/50 on the EM1 - making it about a stop difference.

Bottom line - I am sure people can find specific examples where things behave differently, esp as people have hands moving in different way. But having said all that, *I* get results which reflect what the vendor says.

At long telephoto - IBIS becomes weaker and OIS prevails. And Dual IS can deliver better results than OIS alone.

For me - the G9+100-400 is a great set.

Oh - one more side note - even though I own the G9 for a couple of weeks only and an EM1 (1 then 2) for 3 years - I "find myself" much more quickly on the G9 in terms of usage and ergonomics. going back to the EM1 for this test just made it more apparent how much more convenient the G9 is.

 slartz's gear list:slartz's gear list
Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Panasonic Lumix DC-GX9 Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 15mm F1.7 ASPH Panasonic Leica 12-60mm F2.8-4.0 ASPH Panasonic 8-18mm F2.8-4 +9 more
Olympus E-M1 Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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