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IBIS Fix

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Brian Beezley, Feb 9, 2015.

  1. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro

    I took several shots of distant things in the fog this morning with my E-PL2 & 40-150mm f/4-5.6 lens. But I noticed that some objects were rather blurry. I figured it was just misfocus, but when I repeatedly shot a palm tree and carefully noted correct focus, the recorded image was still fuzzy. Back indoors, I set the speed to 1/100 sec and took several shots of a woodpile with lots of detail at 100-150mm. All were quite blurry even on the rear LCD with no image magnification. Using 1/8-sec antishock didn't help. Then I turned off IBIS and the fuzz cleared up. Uh-oh.

    I always leave IBIS on except when I put the camera on a tripod. I recall having this problem once or twice before, but only in certain situations. It never persisted so I didn't worry about it. I tried IS2 (vertical IS only) and results were similar to IBIS off. IS3 (horizontal only) gave the same blurry results as IS1 (both H & V). I tried a number of targets and used speeds from 1/40 to 1/200 with similar results. I removed the lens and repeatedly powered up the camera. I could see the sensor move so it wasn't stuck.

    I stabilized the camera by holding it on something and results were very fuzzy. The viewfinder image had been clean and very stable so I knew that IS was moving the sensor when it shouldn't, and it was moving it a lot. Since IS2 didn't seem to exhibit the problem, I wondered whether the horizontal accelerometer was not functioning. Or maybe it was disconnected. On a whim I rapped the camera on its side with the palm of my hand. Suddenly IS1 worked normally!

    I played with it for a while and rapped it a couple times again, but IBIS continued to work. My hypothesis is that some connection to the horizontal accelerometer is intermittent. When acting up, it sends bad data to the processor, which thinks there is a strong horizontal shake and tries to compensate by moving the sensor.

    Now that it's working again, I believe the sound while taking the shot was different when the camera was acting up. I can't recall it exactly, but it may have lasted longer.

    I've never dropped or banged my camera.

    Brian
     
    • Agree Agree x 1
  2. HarryS

    HarryS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    918
    Jun 23, 2012
    Midwest, USA
    There was a post last year by someone who determined that the IBIS in his PEN was mot working. Might have been an error signal too, I recall (perhaps incorrectly) that he opened it up and showed pictures of how the sensor was stuck at the limit of one of the worm drive gears, He said he spun the gear back toward the middle by hand, and then it worked.

    Could be some debris got stuck in the gears on your camera. A good whack knocked it out?
     
  3. Brian Beezley

    Brian Beezley Mu-43 All-Pro


    Now I vaguely remember that post. Thanks for reminding me, Harry. The image was very blurry when I shot with the camera held against something so it couldn't move. Must have been the sensor moving to cause the blur so I don't think it was stuck.

    I do recall several posts about poor IBIS in the E-PM2. I believe some reported that IS2 has less blur than IS1. I wonder if those cameras had a problem like mine. I've taken several dozen shots since the problem went away and it has not returned. I'll pay attention to the sound that occurs after pressing the shutter button to alert me that it's back (often I don't check my images until later). The sound was different when the blur was present, but I can't quite remember in what way.

    Brian