Am I imagining? Or is OM-D E-M5 Image Stabilization that different?

Discussion in 'Open Discussion' started by ohaya, Sep 12, 2017.

  1. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 1, 2016

    I've only gotten back into photography for the last several years, after a long absence, and have, over the last several years, "collected" a number of different cameras, including several Pentax DSLRs (I am a kind of Pentax fan) and then, more recently several different mirrorless cameras (several of the rangefinder-style Olys and one Panasonic) and I kind of stayed away from the Olys with the built-in EVFs because now that I am much older, I really like the size and brightness of the VF-4.

    I also have several of the Panasonic cameras and some higher-end POS.

    Since re-starting, I have been disappointed in the qualify, esp. sharpness of pics I have been taking, and I think mainly because I am now having a hard time hand-holding (back surgery, some unsteadiness, etc.), but I keep trying :)...

    At one point, I was kind of hoping that IS would come to the rescue, but until now I have been still disappointed.

    Recently, I got interested in trying one of the Olys with the built-in EVF, and particularly, the OM-D E-M5, because I was reading about the "5-axis IS", plus I am not into paying $1000+ for a new camera yet.

    Anyway, I was able to get one for a good price from (great people!) recently and I shot a bunch of pics, using several different lenses I have (a 45mm, a 12-32mm zoom) and I've been looking at them and other than motion blur in some pics due to fast action, the pictures are, to my eyes, super-sharp!!

    I know that with some of them, I was hand-holding while standing, when I tend to "rock" and even those look sharp.

    So I am wondering - is the IS on the OM-D E-M5 really that much better than, say, E-PM2, E-P5, etc.?

    Also, which other cameras would have similar (or better) IS (for future reference)?

  2. eteless

    eteless Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 20, 2014
    Look for the cameras which can do pixel shift high resolution, the ones capable of it have the latest IBIS which is slightly more than a generation ahead of the E-M5.
    Currently the PEN-F, E-M5 II, and E-M1 II afaik.
  3. rloewy

    rloewy Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    May 5, 2014
    Do not know about the E-P5 - but the IBIS has improved quite a bit from the E-PM2 days (I have one and still use it at times - but even my E-PL7 has noticeably better stabilization and that is only 3 axis).
  4. ijm5012

    ijm5012 Mu-43 Legend

    Oct 2, 2013
    Pittsburgh, PA
    The 5-axis IBIS in Olympus cameras really is great. In terms of effectiveness, I would rate them from worst to best as follows:
    • E-M5 / E-M10 II / E-P5
    • E-M1
    • E-M5 II / Pen-F
    • E-M1 II
    With each new generation of camera, IBIS is incrementally improved. Having said that, the "first generation" m43 5-axis IBIS in the E-M5 is still very good, as you're aware. With newer cameras, you're really splitting hairs in terms of stabilization improvement, and really the improvements you're getting are in other areas.
    • Informative Informative x 1
  5. Wisertime

    Wisertime Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2013
    I had an EMP2 for a short while years ago. The IBIS on the EM5 was night and day better. I sold the EPM2. Just didn't use it much.
    • Agree Agree x 2
  6. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 1, 2016

    I also have an E-P5, and that is why I am so surprised about the pics I am getting with the E-M5 (the E-M5 pics show much more sharpness/less motion blur even in situations I specifically know are problematic for me - like hand-held standing).

  7. Reflector

    Reflector Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 31, 2013
    I have the E-M5 and E-M1II.

    I can safely handhold a "35mm f/0.9" lens at around 1/2s with a high keeper rate on good days with the E-M5. The E-M1II I can push to a second and maybe even a second-and-a-little-more for roughly the same high keeper rate.
  8. gryphon1911

    gryphon1911 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Mar 13, 2014
    Central Ohio, USA
    The olympus IBIS is so good that I need to be extra careful when I shoot my Nikons! I tend to get a little sloppy in the hand holding technique area when I use the Oly camera for any length of time! :D
    • Agree Agree x 2
    • Funny Funny x 1
  9. Yes. It really is. I too suffer from "perpetual motion" after a stroke. I've become especially sensitive (as you have no doubt) to IS systems. The E-M5 just seems to work for whatever my condition is. Like you I rock while standing, can no longer stand on one leg for more than 2 seconds, dare not close my eyes while standing, etc.
    I've tried several systems, and the E-M5 consistently wins. I will have to look at the Mk2 version.
  10. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 1, 2016
    Hi Walt,

    Wow! Your post sounded like "deja vu" to me :)! I'm glad we are both still kicking tho :). I myself had kind of almost given up on being able to take any non-blurry pics, after going through a bunch of different cameras and types of cameras so I am really happy about having "found" the E-M5!

  11. Rudy

    Rudy Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 24, 2013
    Oakland, CA
    The IBIS in the EM5-1 and the EP-5 are the same.
    Since you seem to be seeing a huge difference, did you by any chance disable IBIS in your EP-5?
    If not, could it be that you are holding the cameras differently. Holding the EP-5 an arm's length away to use the screen would make it much more shaky than pressing the EM5 against your forehead and using the EVF...
    • Agree Agree x 3
  12. CWRailman

    CWRailman Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 2, 2015
    Scottsdale, Arizona
    Go to about the 8:40 minute mark in this video to see what Blunty said about the E-M5 image stabilization. To say the least, he was impressed and later did a comparison of video output against a much more expensive Canon. It was because of this video that despite having problems with three different E-M10 bodies, I purchased my first E-M5. However do not expect "crutches" like image stabilization to make up for poor technique. Proper camera holding (not one handed shooting), smooth depressing of the shutter and appropriate shutter speed to freeze the movement is still a necessity and as you get older you can expect to use faster shutter speeds to achieve good results. Now, whether or not the newer models have "better" image stabilization is always a subject heavily debated by the techno geeks.
    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  13. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 1, 2016
    I will check the IBIS setting on the E-P5, but FYI, I only shoot with the VF-4 when using the E-P5. Also FYI, for now, I am using the same VF-4 with the E-M5, as I am waiting to get an eyecup for the E-M5.
  14. pdk42

    pdk42 One of the "Eh?" team

    Jan 11, 2013
    Leamington Spa, UK
    And to extend Ian's list to cameras with poorer IBIS;

    - EPM2, EPL5/6
    - E-M10i, E-PL8
    • Agree Agree x 1
  15. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    In general, the earlier 2 axis ibis (epm2) is much worse that the later 3 axis (EM10, epl7) which is somewhat worse than the 5 axis models (em5, ep5). The 2 axis in particular had bad reaction to shutter shock.
  16. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 1, 2016
    Thanks. Although it was originally learned many years ago when I was a working photographer, I am still very much aware of technique, but, nowadays, I've found that even good technique is not enough... "need a little help from my friends" :)...
  17. Chris5107

    Chris5107 Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jan 28, 2011
    I too suffer from a little bit of shakeyness. I try to prop up on something when I can. The IS has made the difference in the quality of my shots.

    I had the E-P5 and loved it. Much better than the old EPM2, etc. etc.

    I now have the EM5-II which is supposed to have excellent IBIS. I don't see much gain from the EP5. Maybe that is because I thought the E-P5 was already excellent in this regard.

    If you see a big difference from E-P5 to E-M5-Mk1, something does not seem right.
    • Agree Agree x 1
  18. ohaya

    ohaya Mu-43 Veteran

    Mar 1, 2016

    E-P5 - set to S.IS-A
    E-M5 - set to IS1

    So it seems like both the E-P5 and E-M5 are set to same/similar IS settings? Strange - maybe I am imagining things after all?
  19. Lcrunyon

    Lcrunyon Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 4, 2014
    Your EP-5 body's IBIS may not be functioning at 100%. I have a feeling my old E-M5 Mki (my first camera) also isn't stabilizing like it should.

    My hands do shake a bit, so I definitely appreciate the power of IBIS. When I went to the EM-Mkii and the 12-100mm (and 300mm) Pro lenses, and got dual sync stabilization, I was literally blown away. It really makes a difference.
  20. piggsy

    piggsy Mu-43 All-Pro

    Do you have anti-shock shutter enabled on the E-P5? That makes a big difference. If you need to check - update to latest firmware, then from the main menu, check the gear/cog menu, section E, scroll down to the bottom of page 2, enable 0sec antishock, then turn that on as the active shutter mode.
    • Agree Agree x 3
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