IBIS, claims versus reality

Started 2 months ago | Discussions thread
Jonas Palm Senior Member • Posts: 1,083
Stop drinking Expresso? Never!

Shadowsurfer wrote:

bobn2 wrote:

I saw this on another forum. PhotoMagazin has done a cross-brand IBIS test of combined IBIS/OIS. I haven't got the actual article (maybe one of our German friends has access) so I don't know what is their test methodology, and it's unlikely to be the same as CIPA. The Olympus E-M1 III does pretty well, about as good as the Canon R5 (even though it claims eight stops) and better than Sony or Fujifilm. They haven't tested an mFT Pansonic, but the S1H is about as good as the E-M1 III. Neither makes it to the claimed seven stops - about five is as far as they go.

I think the lesson is, both have good IBIS but take the claims with a pinch of salt.

Reality, concerning the efficiency of IBIS is a can of worms, just perfect for DPR forum "battles", because the operator has a huge impact on the results and how much coffee he has drunk before the shoot can also have an important part in the outcome.

My own personal experience will be different to others, but it is highly relevant to my photography.

I bought the original EM5 and found the IBIS "thing" to be something from another world, after a lifetime of non stabilized lenses/cameras. I could shoot in circumstances that were impossible before. It was very good down to 1/15 and at a pinch I could go to 1/8.

But I became lazy with my shot discipline, as I was to discover further down the line.

If one follows certain specific camera system forums, you get dragged into the mythology of that product and you come to believe it too. One of the myths of the M43 forum is that the only good worthwhile stabilization, is to be found on M43 gear with Olympus IBIS at the top of the heap.

For reasons that are not pertinent here, I started using an old D810 with a couple of VR lenses. Folklore tells me that I could forget about those crazy low hand held shutter speeds. In fact my first outings were disastrous. But relearning my old hand holding techniques, I astoundingly managed to get good results down to about 1/15 with the D810 too. Operator error accounted for a couple of stops.

Right now I am playing with a new technique. I love doing architectural photography, and this means shift lenses. Shift lenses mean FF unfortunately.

Common wisdom, is that shift lenses must be used on a tripod. But with the viewfinder level in my Z7, it was worth exploring using my shift lenses hand held, where tripods are banned ( nearly all monuments).

I am finding that with care I can get down to about 1/6 with my 24TS and my other Nikon Z lenses. I make quite a few shots to make sure I have at least one very sharp picture. But I get the results I want.

So in conclusion, with care the old VR stabilization can work, the IBIS in the newer FF cameras is very good, but more care must be taken, especially with the higher resolution sensors.

Olympus IBIS is still undoubtedly at the top of the heap, but I feel the gap is getting smaller.

But the operator makes the biggest difference beyond the test charts and the tests in the OP.

Coffee is more important than photography.
But your point regarding operator technique is well taken. I made the same journey, buying the original E-M5, and enjoying the benefits the universal stabilization system. But there is no question that I’ve gotten sloppier with my shooting technique (some would probably call it "spontaneous", but lets call a spade a spade)

I think I’ll let your post inspire me a bit, it’s about time I gave my physical technique some attention again.

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Olympus E-M1
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