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E-M5 IBIS tested with a REALLY long lens

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Jman, Jun 25, 2012.

  1. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    Did a test yesterday to see how well the IBIS would fare when used with a really long lens..in this case 600mm (1200mm effective FOV). The result? Pretty darn well, actually. The viewfinder jumps a fair bit when framing the shot, but it does a great job actually stabilizing the image.

    Full test and methodology here: OM-D E-M5 IS Effectiveness with Long Lenses @ Admiring Light
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    So the E-M5 doesn't stabilize the viewfinder when you half-press the shutter, or it's just not sufficient at such a long focal length?

    Looks pretty good. 2 stops improvement. Always good to have!

    Thanks for sharing,

  3. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    It does, but it can't handle the rather large movements that can come when framing a shot....so when you move outside of that range of movement, the viewfinder will jump a bit as it tries to determine whether you are changing framing or simply shaky.
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Yohan Pamudji

    Yohan Pamudji Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 21, 2012
    Mississippi, USA
    Saw this last night, which inspired me to do some ad hoc testing. I used a Canon 135L + adapter. Sitting down with one elbow propped on an armrest I could get acceptably sharp images down to 1/4s. Not that I'd try that on a regular basis since it's not consistent, but the fact that I got any usable images at all is impressive. Without elbow support I was consistently getting sharp images down to 1/25s or so. I forgot to test without IS so I didn't get a baseline, but I'm still impressed.

    Just now I did a quick test with a Canon 70-200mm at 200mm. Without IS and standing up I could consistently get sharp shots at 1/160s (wow, my handholding technique is better than I thought :biggrin:). With IS I could go down to 1/40s without worry.

    So from my informal testing I've found IBIS on the E-M5 to be good for at least 2 stops. It might be worth more on days when I'm not concentrating so much on handholding technique and getting a bit sloppy, but 2 stops as a conservative estimate is good enough for me. Seeing the IS effect while composing with manual focus lenses is awesome, although the EVF could stand to be a bit bigger with better resolution to aid manual focus, but that's another topic.

    IS for video is a nice bonus. Here's hoping they put out a firmware update to allow it to work with manual focus lenses (I hear it doesn't even work with Voigtlander m4/3 lenses).
  5. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    You can turn that feature on or off via the menus...it's amazing when you're using a 500mm lens and you see the shaky image, and then you half-press the shutter release and suddenly everything goes still...it actually gives you more confidence in your shot seeing it.
  6. Ray Sachs

    Ray Sachs Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Apr 17, 2010
    Near Philadephila
    Yup, for long lenses, I see this as being the key benefit of the EM5 IBIS relative to either OIS or the weaker IBIS in earlier Pens. The longest I've used is 300, or effective 600, but those were always a challenge to nail focus on just because camera shake makes it tough to keep your subject in, or sometimes even near, the focus box. It was better with the much faster AF on the GH2 or EP3 than earlier generations, but I'd still miss a lot of shots just for focussing on the wrong thing due to shake during the focus process, not during the shot. With the EVF IBIS on, even shooting at 300mm, I get reasonably close to the subject, half press, and everything becomes dead-still. Then I get the subject in the focus box and very quickly un-press and then re-press and I've been getting about 90-95% keepers, at least in terms of nailing focus. That's up from about 50-60% with the GH2/EP3 level AF and up from closer to 25% with the slower EP2 / GF1 generation cameras. This has made long lens shooting something I'm vaguely interested in rather than just a pain in the butt, which is how I used to view it. I still don't have an eye for it and don't know if I'll develop one, but when the process is sort of enjoyable, I'm at least inclined to give it a shot.

    Here are three shots from the last few days, all taken at 300mm. The first is full size, just cropped down to square. The second and third are all pretty serious crops (so maybe getting out there toward 1200mm effective) with very small targets at a great distance and the focus was still dead on. Out of about 50-60 frames of this type of shooting, I only missed focus on about 3-4, which I found pretty amazing. The shots are nothing to write home about, but I was pleased just to be able to get them...


    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/7432277526/" title="LBI 6/12 by ramboorider1, on Flickr"> View attachment 213700 "800" height="800" alt="LBI 6/12"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/7440372338/" title="LBI 6/12 by ramboorider1, on Flickr"> View attachment 213701 "800" height="800" alt="LBI 6/12"></a>

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/20889767@N05/7440370356/" title="LBI 6/12 by ramboorider1, on Flickr"> View attachment 213702 "800" height="800" alt="LBI 6/12"></a>
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