PEN-F vs G9 IBIS Surprise When Using Viewfinders

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Joseph T Lewis III Veteran Member • Posts: 3,574
PEN-F vs G9 IBIS Surprise When Using Viewfinders

As a senior citizen with minor hand tremors, I have always had better luck shooting with the LCD folded out and my camera pressed against my belly to steady it, than holding the viewfinder against my face. For me, the camera is more stable when hanging down at waist level, and the images captured are sharp. I've shot this way since 2005.

However, after getting my medications changed and seeing my hands become steadier, I experimented with using the viewfinders on my PEN-F and G9. I had the Oly 45mm prime on the PEN-F, and my Oly 12-40 Pro zoom on the G9.

Both cameras are in good working order, and have low shutter counts.

With the same settings (AF-S, shutter speed of 1/50 (and also, 1/60 for another set of shots), normal IBIS, 40mm focal length etc.), I took several dozen photos of an analog alarm clock about 9-10 feet away, using the viewfinders of each camera. I was surprised to find that virtually without exception, the PEN-F and 45mm pics were noticeably sharper, and showed little or no evidence of hand shake. On the other hand, the G9 / Oly 12-40 photos tended to be anywhere from not at all sharp, to downright blurry, even when taking more time than with the PEN-F, and doing all I could to steady the bigger camera.

Admittedly my tests were not rigorous or scientific, but I am surprised at how much better the PEN-F did, especially since the IBIS on the G9 is supposedly a full stop better.

I'm thinking the difference is due to the ease of holding the smaller / lighter / more shallow PEN-F combo against my face, as opposed to trying to hold the larger / heavier / deeper G9 and 12-40 steady.

If anyone else has had similar experiences, or has any opinions on this they'd care to share, I would appreciate it. If I'm on to something here, it may well affect the type of gear I buy in the future!

Thanks in advance

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 Joseph T Lewis III's gear list:Joseph T Lewis III's gear list
Canon PowerShot G7 X Olympus E-M1 Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Lumix DC-G9 Olympus M.Zuiko Digital ED 9-18mm F4.0-5.6 +6 more
Olympus PEN-F Panasonic Lumix DC-G9
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