Image stabilization; who has the best?

Started Feb 21, 2013 | Questions
TrapperJohn Forum Pro • Posts: 16,486
None of the above

The most effective is the Olympus EM5, with it's 5 axis electromagnetic IBIS system.

I have shot handheld at 200mm (400mm FF) down to 1/30 and 1/20, and gotten blur free shots. Not just one or two, most of them. Oly claims 5 stops with this system, and I believe them. It really does work.

And it works on legacy glass - manually enter the focal length.

EinsteinsGhost
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?

joejack951 wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

I didn't say it was useless. In fact, one of the images I posted was mentioned with use of 2-stops of stabilization. My point being overstated need and overhyping of number of stops needed to get it right.

Do you prefer to shoot at ISO 1600 or 3200 vs. 100? If not, then you could have used more stops of stabilization for some of your photos. Nothing was moving so shutter speed is a non-issue. You wouldn't have shot at those high ISOs on a tripod, right?

To prove something? Or to actually rely on EVERY other aspect of the tool at hand? I prefer to shoot for the conditions, and definitely don't see a need to push limits on one thing when it can be spread across other areas. So, ISO 1600 worked with 2-stops of stabilization, instead of pushing for ISO 100 with 6-stops, holding 100mm (150mm equivalent) FL for 1/2s. May be if my cameras disappointed at anything but ISO 100, I would be pushing for help elsewhere.

And yes, I would likely use ISO 100, 1/2s and have the OS off with tripod because then I won't be pushing any limits.

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Allan Olesen Veteran Member • Posts: 3,391
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?
1

joejack951 wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

I didn't say it was useless. In fact, one of the images I posted was mentioned with use of 2-stops of stabilization. My point being overstated need and overhyping of number of stops needed to get it right.

Do you prefer to shoot at ISO 1600 or 3200 vs. 100? If not, then you could have used more stops of stabilization for some of your photos. Nothing was moving so shutter speed is a non-issue. You wouldn't have shot at those high ISOs on a tripod, right?

I don't know about you and EinsteinsGhost, but in my experience, there is almost always some kind of action when I use long focal lengths. Apart from the occasional moon shot, I can't remember using long focal lengths for still subjects. And if there is action, I need some rather high shutter speed anyway, no matter how good the image stabilization is. I pretty much agree that 2 stops of stabilization help is all I can utilize without getting motion blur from subject movement.

So that leaves the short focal lengths. I sometimes shoot non-moving subjects at short focal lengths, but most of the time it is only slow-moving objects like living humans or leaves in trees. With a 2 stop improvement it should be possible to hand hold an APS-C camera at around 1/10 of a second at 28 mm focal length. If the shutter speed get slower than that, even a slow-moving subject will be blurred.

So yes, if you are taking photos of really non-moving subjects, you may be able to utilize more than 2 stops of stabilization improvement. But if you shoot action or slow-moving subjects, I doubt it.

Leon Wittwer Forum Pro • Posts: 13,243
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?

Most systems correct for pitch and yaw which are the dominant problems particularly at longer focal lengths.

Chris R-UK Forum Pro • Posts: 17,393
The one being used by the steadiest photographer

A reputable British photo magazine did a large IBIS v ILIS test a few years ago using 8 bodies and about 10 lenses including Sigma lenses that were available for both IBIS and ILIS systems.  At the time Olympus had both IBIS and non-IBIS DSLRs and some ILIS lenses so it was possible to use the same lens for testing both systems.

Their results were all over the place with no best/worse consistency.  Their conclusion was that the biggest factor was the ability of the tester to hold the camera steady which probably depended on how much sleep he got the night before and how many cups of coffee he had had for breakfast.

I have never seen a test as to whether the efficiency of one system against another depends on the focal length, e.g. is IBIS better at shorter focal lengths and ILIS at longer.

Note that almost all mirrorless cameras use ILIS - I think that Olympus is the only exception.  However this may be due to overheating in video mode.

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Chris R

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joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

joejack951 wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

I didn't say it was useless. In fact, one of the images I posted was mentioned with use of 2-stops of stabilization. My point being overstated need and overhyping of number of stops needed to get it right.

Do you prefer to shoot at ISO 1600 or 3200 vs. 100? If not, then you could have used more stops of stabilization for some of your photos. Nothing was moving so shutter speed is a non-issue. You wouldn't have shot at those high ISOs on a tripod, right?

To prove something? Or to actually rely on EVERY other aspect of the tool at hand?

No, to get the best shot/image quality. If your camera offers four stops of stabilization, why not shoot at ISO 400 and take advantage of it (other than laziness or lack of confidence in the system)?

I prefer to shoot for the conditions, and definitely don't see a need to push limits on one thing when it can be spread across other areas. So, ISO 1600 worked with 2-stops of stabilization, instead of pushing for ISO 100 with 6-stops, holding 100mm (150mm equivalent) FL for 1/2s. May be if my cameras disappointed at anything but ISO 100, I would be pushing for help elsewhere.

Well, that'd be dumb to suggest trying to shot at ISO 100 when your camera clearly doesn't have that capability (6-stop stabilization that is). But ISO 400 should have been well within your reach.

Pushing ISO decreases image quality. Pushing stabilization does not.

And yes, I would likely use ISO 100, 1/2s and have the OS off with tripod because then I won't be pushing any limits.

Yes, the tripod solves a lot of problems. If you could get that sort of stable support in-body, wouldn't you use it much more frequently?

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Zone8 Forum Pro • Posts: 17,241
I have the best!

Yes folks ...... ME!

As long as I go easy on the vino plonko before any shooting session!  

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joejack951 Senior Member • Posts: 2,682
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?

Allan Olesen wrote:

I don't know about you and EinsteinsGhost, but in my experience, there is almost always some kind of action when I use long focal lengths. Apart from the occasional moon shot, I can't remember using long focal lengths for still subjects.

Look up Lance B.'s gallery. He posts a lot in the Nikon SLR lens forum. He frequently shoots wildlife with a 500/4VR and takes advantage of both the lens's VR and animals' freakish abilities to sit still.

And if there is action, I need some rather high shutter speed anyway, no matter how good the image stabilization is. I pretty much agree that 2 stops of stabilization help is all I can utilize without getting motion blur from subject movement.

That depends on the focal length, of course. At 800mm (not unreasonable with teleconverters and/or a crop camera), you can still freeze some action even at 3 stops of stabilization (1/100").

So that leaves the short focal lengths. I sometimes shoot non-moving subjects at short focal lengths, but most of the time it is only slow-moving objects like living humans or leaves in trees. With a 2 stop improvement it should be possible to hand hold an APS-C camera at around 1/10 of a second at 28 mm focal length. If the shutter speed get slower than that, even a slow-moving subject will be blurred.

Dark interiors of rooms/churches/museums seems to be popular for short focal lengths and stabilization. Not something I shoot much of but I've seen enough pics like that to know that some people do a lot of it.

So yes, if you are taking photos of really non-moving subjects, you may be able to utilize more than 2 stops of stabilization improvement. But if you shoot action or slow-moving subjects, I doubt it.

On super-telephotos a large benefit of in-lens stabilization is helping with framing and AF. You aren't counting stops there but the better the stabilization works, the easier it is to use those lenses even for action.

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MPrince Senior Member • Posts: 1,614
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?

Smartypants wrote:

No, no reason, I just wanted to better understand if one system is better that another.

I shoot Sony a850 with IBS and that great as I own older Minolta glass.

I'm thinking about moving to a Canon or Nikon and starting over with new glass and I've been looking at the current lenses by both vendors and thought I'd ask here.

thanks

That being the case, you should consider that with IBS, all your lenses are stabilized, whereas with Canon/Nikon, only certain lenses will be stabilized, and they will cost more and be heavier.  Some people claim in lens is better than in body, but I'm not convinced - I can get good results at 200mm (my longest lens) at 1/8s with my Pentax K-7.  Once you get much longer that you're probably better off using a tripod anyway, imo.

EinsteinsGhost
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?

joejack951 wrote:

Allan Olesen wrote:

I don't know about you and EinsteinsGhost, but in my experience, there is almost always some kind of action when I use long focal lengths. Apart from the occasional moon shot, I can't remember using long focal lengths for still subjects.

Look up Lance B.'s gallery. He posts a lot in the Nikon SLR lens forum. He frequently shoots wildlife with a 500/4VR and takes advantage of both the lens's VR and animals' freakish abilities to sit still.

Does he hate using tripod?

And if there is action, I need some rather high shutter speed anyway, no matter how good the image stabilization is. I pretty much agree that 2 stops of stabilization help is all I can utilize without getting motion blur from subject movement.

That depends on the focal length, of course. At 800mm (not unreasonable with teleconverters and/or a crop camera), you can still freeze some action even at 3 stops of stabilization (1/100").

Personally, I opt out of stabilization when shooting action. But, at least we're not talking about needing 5-stops anymore. That being said, what kind of action are we talking about freezing at 1/100s?

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rjjr Forum Pro • Posts: 13,370
Tripod nt
EinsteinsGhost
EinsteinsGhost Forum Pro • Posts: 11,977
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?

joejack951 wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

joejack951 wrote:

EinsteinsGhost wrote:

I didn't say it was useless. In fact, one of the images I posted was mentioned with use of 2-stops of stabilization. My point being overstated need and overhyping of number of stops needed to get it right.

Do you prefer to shoot at ISO 1600 or 3200 vs. 100? If not, then you could have used more stops of stabilization for some of your photos. Nothing was moving so shutter speed is a non-issue. You wouldn't have shot at those high ISOs on a tripod, right?

To prove something? Or to actually rely on EVERY other aspect of the tool at hand?

No, to get the best shot/image quality. If your camera offers four stops of stabilization, why not shoot at ISO 400 and take advantage of it (other than laziness or lack of confidence in the system)?

As I said, to get the best IQ possible, under less than ideal conditions (no tripod/flash allowed), I personally prefer not to push one aspect to the extreme, but taking advantage of all aspects. Instead of ISO 1600, 100mm, f/8 and 1/40s (an example I posted earlier), I see no point to going ISO 400, 100mm, f/8 and 1/10s when the camera can deliver the results I care about. May be if it didn't.

I prefer to shoot for the conditions, and definitely don't see a need to push limits on one thing when it can be spread across other areas. So, ISO 1600 worked with 2-stops of stabilization, instead of pushing for ISO 100 with 6-stops, holding 100mm (150mm equivalent) FL for 1/2s. May be if my cameras disappointed at anything but ISO 100, I would be pushing for help elsewhere.

Well, that'd be dumb to suggest trying to shot at ISO 100 when your camera clearly doesn't have that capability (6-stop stabilization that is). But ISO 400 should have been well within your reach.

Pushing ISO decreases image quality. Pushing stabilization does not.

Not necessarily. Why don't you show me your handheld examples so we have something to discuss where you did not want to move past ISO 100.

And yes, I would likely use ISO 100, 1/2s and have the OS off with tripod because then I won't be pushing any limits.

Yes, the tripod solves a lot of problems. If you could get that sort of stable support in-body, wouldn't you use it much more frequently?

It seems you missed my point. If tripod were an option, there would be no need for IS much less the need to push the limits of IS.

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headfirst
headfirst Contributing Member • Posts: 670
Re: The one being used by the steadiest photographer

Chris R-UK wrote:

Note that almost all mirrorless cameras use ILIS - I think that Olympus is the only exception. however this may be due to overheating in video mode.

Sony have said that they didn't go with IBIS for NEX for next due to space considerations - they wanted the thinnest bodies.

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KimTeo Contributing Member • Posts: 949
The chicken ..
Midwest Forum Pro • Posts: 17,157
Re: Image stabilization; who has the best?

MPrince wrote:

Smartypants wrote:

No, no reason, I just wanted to better understand if one system is better that another.

I shoot Sony a850 with IBS and that great as I own older Minolta glass.

I'm thinking about moving to a Canon or Nikon and starting over with new glass and I've been looking at the current lenses by both vendors and thought I'd ask here.

thanks

That being the case, you should consider that with IBS, all your lenses are stabilized, whereas with Canon/Nikon, only certain lenses will be stabilized, and they will cost more and be heavier. Some people claim in lens is better than in body, but I'm not convinced - I can get good results at 200mm (my longest lens) at 1/8s with my Pentax K-7. Once you get much longer that you're probably better off using a tripod anyway, imo.

With a DSLR, you need optical stabilization. It stabilizes the optical viewfinder view as well as the image that the autofocus and metering have to work with. You may not be convinced that optical works better than in-body but the weight of expert opinion from all I have seen is that optical is decidedly better than in-body.

Optical stabilization does not make lenses noticeably heavier, and when even inexpensive kit lenses can have it, it is not that expensive a proposition either.

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