Super Telephoto IS Mode 1 vs Mode 3

Started 5 months ago | Discussions thread
OP an_also Contributing Member • Posts: 561
Re: Super Telephoto IS Mode 1 vs Mode 3

Tannin wrote:

Mode 3 is significantly superior with long lenses.

In theory, they are the same. However, any in-practice image stabilisation system while hand-holding has two effective components.

We are used to thinking about the IS mechanism in the lens keeping things steady, but there is also a human hand-eye system at work. You look through the viewfinder and you try to hold the image as steady as you can.

Of course we normally ignore this second (human) component when we are talking about IS because we assume that it is beyond Canon's control. With Mode 3 IS, however, it is possible to hold the camera much more steadily because you can see exactly what you are doing, and because you have direct feedback on your actions.

This last point is the key one: you can *see* what corrections need to be made to hold the camera steady in a way you simply cannot do with Mode 1 IS. (With Mode 1, you have no way of telling whether the image you see at a given moment is steady because you are holding the camera still, or because the in-lens IS system is correcting for your movements. You have no direct feedback on your steadiness, and it suffers accordingly.

You really have to experience this to properly grasp it. it is a BIG difference.

I can hand hold my 100-400 II down to crazy-low shutter speeds because of IS Mode 3. Ditto the 600/4 II. I don't have any short lenses (e.g., under 100mm) with Mode 3 ability but I suspect that it would not make so much difference there.

But with the longer lenses, it is much better. Worth a couple of stops, easily.

Thank you for this detailed reply. Do you find you get more in focus shots for action wildlife in Mode 3 vs Mode 1?

I used to shoot the 400 5.6 for a couple of years ago so I can certainly channel my muscle memory of seeing a non stabilized viewfinder view. After i got the 100-400 ii then sold that towards the 400 DO II, I've been using Mode 1 exclusively.

Also is it safe to assume Mode 3 doesn't produce as much wear and tear on your SuperTele's AF system because its not always engaged when you are engaging the camera to focus like Mode 1 does?

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