Superzoom camera group: Image stabilization (cont).

Nikon P100

At 678mm the Nikon P100 sports one of the longest zooms in this group test. That, in combination with the camera's small size and low weight means it's not easy to hold still at the long end of the lens. The Nikon's IS does a decent job though, giving you an advantage of approximately 2 stops and - in our test - 100% usable shots at 1/30 sec. Only at the very slowest setting that we used in this test does the success rate drop noticeably albeit still delivering 60% acceptable images.

Nikon P100 @ 678mm, IS OFF results Nikon P100 @ 678mm, IS ON results

Panasonic FZ35

With its 486mm maximum focal length the Panasonic's 18x zoom lens is the shortest in this group test and therefore less prone to camera shake than its rivals. Having said that, almost 500mm is, to most photographers, still a very long lens and shooting it handheld and unstabilized in any but the best light conditions is certainly not advisable. Luckily Panasonic's OIS performs very well, giving you an advantage of more than two stops. In our tests the FZ35's two OIS modes performed identically.

Panasonic FZ35 @ 486mm, IS OFF results Panasonic FZ35 @ 486mm, IS ON results

Pentax X90

The Pentax X90 is another smaller and lighter camera in this test which makes it more difficult to handhold than the slightly beefier models. It also comes with a quite significantly longer lens than the similarly sized Panasonic. Naturally the handheld results are slightly worse but the Pentax' IS delivers comparable improvements of approximately two stops at the longest end.

Pentax X90 @ 676mm, IS OFF results Pentax X90 @ 676 @ 486mm,IS ON results

Samsung HZ25W

The Samsung IS' improvement is at just over one stop not as impressive as on some of the rivals but the percentage of usable shots at the slowest shutter speed is similar to the Casio or Nikon and better than the Kodak. Overall the Samsung system is one of the less efficient that we've used in this group but switching it on still makes a difference.

Samsung HZ25W @ 624mm, IS OFF results Samsung HZ25W @ 624mm, IS ON results