Faulty IBIS, or am I expecting too much?

fin azvandi

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A few months ago I noticed that sometimes I would get blurry shots with my E-P5 at shutter speeds I thought it should handle easily, like 1/50 with the 45mm or 1/20 with the 25mm. I mean, I have decent technique (hold with both hands, arms in, VF to eye) and with IBIS off I can get reasonably sharp photos at slower speeds than that... Also when the IBIS engages and disengages the image in the viewfinder "jumps" or shifts a bit. So I sent it in to Olympus for repairs, now 8 weeks later it is finally back and the ticket says they repaired "IS Unit R" and some cam spacers. However I am seeing the same behavior as before... :mad:

Before I send it back I wonder if some other Olympus users can confirm this is NOT expected behavior for the 5-axis IBIS?

Here are some pairs of samples I just took with the PL 25mm f/1.4, handheld, with IBIS first on and then off. I am running the latest firmware and 0-sec anti-shock is active (results are same with it off).

At f/4 and 1/6s
ON
Subscribe to see EXIF info for this image (if available)

OFF
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At f/2.8 and 1/15s
ON
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OFF
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At f/2.8 and 1/20s
ON
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OFF
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The thing is the IBIS does work some of the time, it's just inconsistent. Here are 2 examples at slow speeds where it worked fine:
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ON at f/4 and 1/8s

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ON at f/5.6 and 1/10s
 

Halaking

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Never see this on my EM5 for the past 18 months, what's your shutter count?
 

pdk42

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Do 40 shots at the same slow shutter speed - 20 with IS on, 20 with IS off. Then judge the shots for acceptable sharpness. If the number is higher with IS off, then you know you've got a problem!
 

fortwodriver

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That's definitely faulty if hand-held - otherwise you have flawless hand-held technique and the IBIS is oscillating looking for vibration - unlikely.

For what it's worth, I sent my E-M1 into Olympus to clear off something stuck on the "sensor" glass that wasn't removable. They got it off but they also cleaned the IS system and re-calibrated it. Now I'm not entirely positive, but I'm certain that my camera's IBIS works MUCH better than it did when it went in as new. I'm sure that I was never able to get clear photos down to the slow shutter speeds I can suddenly attain - and I have hand-tremors that are difficult to control.

So, I'd say your camera is faulty - as if the IBIS is "overstimulated" or falsely stimulated - kind-of like what used to happen with the original Canon and Nikon IS systems when you left them on while the camera and lens was on a tripod.
 

drd1135

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Have you upgraded the firmware to the new version with the zoo second anti-shock setting? DPR claimed real problem with E-P5 shutter shock (that they hadn't seen with the EM5) and the new anti shock setting got rid of it. FW ver. 1.4 had the upgrade, although I think the current version is 1.5.
 

fin azvandi

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Thanks for the feedback all, I will try some more test shots this evening when I get home but it seems that this warrants a call to Olympus. The camera was purchased new in late March, I started realizing there might be a problem in mid May - shutter count can't be much over 1k. It's just frustrating that it was in repairs for two months for this exact issue and I don't see any difference.
 
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When I bought my E-P5 I could also get better results at slow shutter speeds with the IS turned off, which was certainly not the case with my E-M5. When I returned it under warranty they didn't replace anything but instead "re-calibrated" it. I don't know what that involves but it fixed the problem.
 

fin azvandi

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Yeah, I didn't include this in the samples above but I noticed the same effect a couple of days ago with the 60mm at non-macro distances and shutter speeds around 1/160 or more. It's like the IBIS is not calibrated or is just not locking in, so the sensor is moving while the shutter is open.
 

charcoalblack

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To the OP,

are you using a half case with the e-p5 by any chance? I just got an e-p5 and using a half case with it and I have started suspecting that the case might be tripping the the ibis sort of as if you were using a tripod and normally you wouldn't want to have ibis on when the camera it's on a tripod (my issue is sometimes the after shot review jumps or it's not the same as the actual shot taken. I just took the case off and will do some shooting to see if there is a difference.
 

zensu

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In any case it's sad that they had it 2 months and didn't resolve your problem. You need to send it back again, I hate to say. Olympus get off your b*** and fix this camera!
 

scott2hot

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For me i also had far too many shots like these...didnt do too much testing as i listened to internet chatter and conclusive with what i saw , i got rid before value dropped too much...I purchased mine second hand (i sort of guess why i got it so cheap)....Never had this many blurry shots with any other cam i owned!
Alas it was enough for me to move it on...thing was when i did get it right it was a fantastic picture machine...just too many failures...enough reason for me to get rid!
 

zensu

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For me i also had far too many shots like these...didnt do too much testing as i listened to internet chatter and conclusive with what i saw , i got rid before value dropped too much...I purchased mine second hand (i sort of guess why i got it so cheap)....Never had this many blurry shots with any other cam i owned!
Alas it was enough for me to move it on...thing was when i did get it right it was a fantastic picture machine...just too many failures...enough reason for me to get rid!
Not to excuse Olympus Repair mishandling this malfunction but I got my E-P5 refurbished by Olympus and it works flawlessly. It's the best digital camera I've ever used!
 

Lawrence A.

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My E-M5 doesn't act that way, and I still think the 5 axis stabilization is breathtakingly good. So my guess is that there is still something wrong with yours. Olympus at least needs to explain why, acting like that, the system should be considered fixed.
 

D7k1

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My EP5 is very good - one of the best cameras digital or film I've used, I'd raise the roof with Olympus, tell then that you believe you deserve a new camera after two months and still not getting it right.
 

fin azvandi

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Update - the camera has been sent back to Olympus Repair at their expense. I plan to call after the package reaches the center and ask them to expedite/prioritize the repair this time around...
 
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