Effectiveness of Mega/Power OIS and IBIS

Discussion in 'This or That?' started by arad85, Aug 23, 2012.

  1. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    I've seen a lot of qualitative comments about the effectiveness of these different stabilisation methods, but very few on the quantitative effectiveness.

    With the latest Canon lenses, they are claiming 4 stops of IS - the 15-85 (see review: Canon EF-S 15-85mm f/3.5-5.6 IS USM Lens Review) states:

    The best I can come up with for Panasonic Mega OIS is: Camera Ergonomics: How Effective is Panasonic OIS ?

    which makes it about a stop or so (which IMHO is pretty poor).

    Does anyone have any figures for the effectiveness of the IS systems in Panasonic and Olympus? The Panasonic site says (for the 12-35)

    Which would make it somewhere about 2 stops, which isn't brilliant.

    Olympus IBIS says (from the UK Olympus web site):

    Which is a very bold claim.

    Does anyone have any pointers to tests done on OIS/IBIS?
  2. pharaviel

    pharaviel Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 20, 2011
    Reggio Emilia, Italy
    Real Name:
    Daniele Frizzi
    On this forum there was a sharp panasonic 14mm shot handheld at 1 second, done with an E-M5. I don't remember the author, sorry.
  3. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Real Name:
    I was able to get just a bit more than 3 stops of stabilization with Canon lenses, at the very best (and being very lucky, I guess). In my experience 4 stops is out of the question.

    With the OM-D, I have yet to get a photo with shake blurr. I believe the claims of 5 stops, but they are not telling the whole story. The point is more about the axii of stabilization the OM-D provides, i.e. the number of cases you avoid shake vs other stabilization systems, which are incapable of providing any degree of stabilzation in that instance.
  4. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    I'm not interested about individual shots (1 sec would indeed be 5 stops though, but that's difficult to compare without knowing what that person normally can manage with the 14mm) but how generally effective they are.

    You really need to take 10+ shots at each shutter speed (and focal length for a zoom) to see statistically what the improvement is. Going from 0 or 1 in 10 sharp to 1 or 2 in 10 sharp isn't a useful improvement. Going from 1 or 2 in 10 sharp to 8 or more is.

    The reason I'm interested is I'm trying to decide whether to go 2.8 OS zooms vs primes on a Panasonic body.
  5. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    Which lenses? Mega OIS or Power OIS?

    This is true.

    What sort of shutter speeds are you able to handhold and at what sort of focal length?
  6. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Real Name:
    You were talking about Canon lenses. That was my response about.

    At 50mm (100mm FF equiv.), handheld shots of 1/2.5 are not uncommon. This is close to 5 stops of stabilization. Of course I don't really try to shoot as slow as possible. The stabilization is useful to me for two reasons: in the cases I have to shoot the camera in an awkward position (e.g. one hand shooting), or, more to the point, when I want to gain a stop or two of ISO.
  7. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    I was quoting the fact that people do these sorts of tests with Canon lenses, but not with Panasonic (which is what the question in the original post is).

    That's excellent!

    Yup. this is precisely my thought too... Depth of field issues aside, I'm trying to trade off fast primes vs IS lenses (and throwing into the mix the possibility of an Oly body in the future) for primarily static subjects.
  8. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Real Name:
    I see where you're going, but it's always a matter of compromises.

    E.g.: 12-35 f/2.8 vs 25mm f/1.4 both wide open. In the same shooting situation (i.e. ISO and exposure compensation), even with only 2 stops of stabilization on the zoom, they will be "equivalent" at 25mm. But there are seldom "same shooting situations". The zoom is not going to get any faster than f/2.8. Not to mention any other areas, such as distortions, chromatic aberations, etc, which are different with each lens.

    IMO, such comparisons are valid if we are talking about a certain lens category. As an example, I always considered the Canon 24-105mm f/4.0 a more preferable lens than the 24-70 f/2.8. Because, for the purpose of having a "normal zoom" lens, the former has an advantage (being stabilized) in a variety of situations you might use it. OTOH, if you use the 24-70, say, with strobes, this argument goes out the window.

    Also keep in mind that stabilization is almost a non-issue for UW lenses. If you need to use longer focal lengths though, and use Panasonic bodies, it makes sense to consider stabilized (Panasonic) lenses vs Olympus primes.
  9. ~tc~

    ~tc~ Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Oct 22, 2010
    Houston, TX
    The 12-35/2.8 is a very nice lens, and if you don't have any primes currently, IMHO, it's quite a value as two or three primes making up that same range will cost the same or more as the zoom.

    In my "seat of th pants" experience, the PowerOIS in this lens seems to be more effective than the MegaOIS in, say, my 45-200, although the firmware update on that lens improved it quite a bit.

    As mentioned above, I think it's safe to say you will easily get 2 stops out of the OIS in most situations, making it equivalent to unstabilised f/1.4. Combined with the good high-ISO results of the new sensors, one is capable of some pretty amazing photos in very low light.
  10. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    Real Name:
    I don't know why people always repeat this, because it's just not true. Obviously you can hand-hold a WA or UWA lens at slower speeds, because the 1/shutter speed rule of thumb still holds. But if you want to go slower than this, stabilization definitely helps. I've demonstrated this time and time again with my Oly 9-18mm (at 9mm) and with the Panny 14mm on my PEN cameras.

    Heck, anyone with a Panny kit lens can easily demonstrate this at 14mm: take pics with and without IS at 1/10 second or so and look at the results. IS is a big help.
  11. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    Real Name:
    I should have been more precise: first I was reffering to primes and somewhat "rational" shutter speeds. In my experience at least, UW primes don't conform exactly to the 1/shutter speed rule of thumb, they can go slower than that. One could argue it's their construction, but I have seen this with non-pancake lenses (even on film SLRs). I'm just reporting my (practical) experience. And of course IS of any kind helps in any case (if you need ultra slow handheld shots, or even as a safeguard), no arguments about it. It's one of the most cherished features in my OM-D.

    Another point worth mentioning is that, with non SLR cameras, we also don't have to worry about the mirror vibration, which introduces a (minimal but present) level of shake. I'm not exactly sure if DSLR lenses with IS actually can compensate for this.
  12. Kiwi Paul

    Kiwi Paul Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 15, 2011
    Aberdeen Scotland
    One problem I had when I first got my G3 and Oly 14-150 lens (no OIS or IBIS) was that prior to that I had been using a 4/3 E5 with IBIS and got use to shooting at certain minimum shutter speeds and I just carried that on to the G3 14-150 combo and of course got some camera shake sometimes so I had to remind myself to keep the shutter speed up.
    Now I have the 12-35 lens with OIS I still keep the shutter speed up forgetting about the IBIS, I'm gradually getting use to it. lol

  13. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    I'm totally aware (owning a 5D2 and a number of L lenses). I was hoping to find something that said what the improvement was, so I could see how to do the tradeoffs myself for the types of shooting I do.

    Yup, but the question is whether it is 2 or more (or less) stops.
  14. Jman

    Jman Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 20, 2011
    Columbus, OH
    I've found the E-M5's IBIS to be as good or better than the very best optical stabilized lenses I've ever owned (of which the Canon 70-200mm f/4L IS and f/2.8L IS II were the two best I ever owned). I get on average 3-4 stops of stabilization on most lenses with the E-M5's stabilizer, which is better than on any Panasonic OIS lens I've got (have owned teh 14-45 and 45-200, currently own the 45/2.8 macro and 45-175 and thoroughly tested and reviewed the 12-35/2.8).

    It even works quite well at VERY long focal lengths...two stops at 600mm (1200mm equivalent):

    OM-D E-M5 IS Effectiveness with Long Lenses @ Admiring Light
  15. arad85

    arad85 Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 16, 2012
    This seems toi be turning into an Oly love in :D

    Bingo. The figure I was after - "a solid 3 stops". Plus you seem to find it better than Mega OIS in other lenses which generally concurs with what Panny say (2x) plus the other review I posted (1-1.5 stops).... Thanks.

    Any advance on 3 stops for Power OIS and probably 1-1.5 stops for Mega OIS (not withstanding 4+ for the E-5)?
  16. stevezzzz

    stevezzzz Mu-43 Rookie

    Aug 23, 2013
    Colorado, USA
    That shot is here.
  17. htc

    htc Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jan 11, 2011
    Real Name:
    It was 12 mm and success rate was about 4 acceptable of total 10. Anyhow, I got the feeling that the limit was quite close :biggrin: