How I (Don't) Use 2-Axis IBIS Stabilization

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by tjdean01, May 1, 2014.

  1. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    I think I've done enough tests to where I can say this is this the case. In the past I've mentioned this but I've always written "I think" in front of it. Now, I pretty much know.

    2-Axis stabilization, to achieve its results, on my PM2 anyway, systematically blurs images if a) the shutter speed is slow enough for the FL for IBIS to activate itself and b) when IBIS senses it is not on a tripod. Why? Because on the tripod the images look the same with or without IBIS...same when the shutter speed is 1/500 with a 30mm lens. With these parameters it took me a while to conclude that IBIS had me saying, "The 40-150 lens is garbage" the first couple times I took it out. I wanted to get rid of it! In truth, I was confused because the images I took on a tripod with IBIS on were the same as with it off...and the ones with a fast enough shutter speed were fine.

    The shot today sealed my believe that this is the case and gave me the confidence to make this thread to share and to see if others' experience is the same (I'd really like to hear if 5-axis blurs images too!). I keep IBIS OFF walking around in the daylight, of course. It was getting dark, however, on an overcast day, under the bridge, with the Konica 40mm f1.8 lens. With that lens I'd rather shoot ISO 3200 before shooting the thing any lower than f2.8, so that wasn't an option. Believe it or not, I subconsciously bumped it to ISO 800 to get a 1/80 shutter (I would have taken the shot at 1/60 or maybe even 1/40 but it could have blurred at that speed) and got a fine photo. Then I thought about it: let me bump the it down to ISO 400 which got me a 1/30 shutter speed to see how it looks (I think IBIS is good for 2 stops so I could have tried ISO200, but didn't). Anyway, both pictures came out good, BUT, side by side viewed at 100% (or larger), the ISO800 shot is, upon close inspection, definitely sharper (even though I have noise reduction turned on in-camera: there's off, low, med, hi and mine's on low). Because the side-effect of IBIS gaining you 1-2 stops is blurriness!

    So, my rule of thumb, on my camera anyway, is this: shoot up to ISO800 before turning on IBIS. If that didn't get me a fast enough shutter speed, instead of going ISO1600 I would probably turn IBIS on and shoot ISO800 (or even 400). IBIS for eBay listings or taking photos of something for work? Sure, leave it on. For something I take for myself and I want it sharp? I'll go ISO800 before turning it on because up until that point low noise reduction gives you less blur than IBIS.
  2. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Real Name:
    I'm not sure I understand what you're saying.

    1) IBIS isn't smart enough to disable on a tripod or at higher shutter speeds. If you turn it on, it's on. However, it will be ineffective or sometimes even counterproductive in those situations.
    2) The E-PM2 suffers from shutter shock, so results at intermediate shutter speeds are rather variable (in my experience) regardless of IBIS.
    3) IBIS on the E-PM2 is not especially effective and seems to depend a lot on the type of motion. I find it most useful at medium to wider focal lengths, at very low shutter speeds (1/10, 1/20, that sort of thing).
    4) Effectiveness appears to also depend a bit on the camera. Several people have gotten significantly better results after having their cameras repaired/replaced.

    All in all, I'd say it's a mixed bag, but I do still find it useful for getting sharp images in certain situations.
  3. tjdean01

    tjdean01 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 20, 2013
    Maybe I didn't word it right. I agree with most of what you say. Except that I think it IBIS IS smart enough to turn itself off on a tripod. Or maybe mine is smarter than yours! haha. Doesn't help me any because I keep it off anyway :( I mean, it is helpful at really slow shutter speeds, of course. That I'm not denying. I'm just saying that I'd rather bump up the ISO at 1/10 on a 20mm lens instead of turning on IBIS. I prefer those results.
  4. pake

    pake Mu-43 All-Pro

    Oct 14, 2010
    Real Name:
    I've turned off the IBIS on my E-PM2 too since I've felt that my old E-PM1 took sharper images than the newer one... I did some testing at around 1/60s exposures and it seemed that I got better/sharper images without the IBIS. I think it's better to use the 2-axis IBIS only when really needed.
  5. kirschm

    kirschm Mu-43 Regular

    May 4, 2014
    Still being in the pl1/pl2 world i always keep 2 things in mind:

    o antishock always on (1/8 sek)
    o ibis off at shutter speeds above 1/focal length (mft focal length!) or tripod