IBIS is nice but...

Discussion in 'This or That? (MFT only)' started by dixeyk, Jul 18, 2011.

  1. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I realize that I may be in the minority here but I do not find IBIS such a significant benefit that having it instantly makes one camera better than another. For the record I have have had a several cameras with IBIS (3 Olympus PENs) and it's a nice feature and I have since then started using a camera without IBIS (a Panasonic G2) and to be perfectly blunt I find that I do not miss it. I realize that IBIS can get you the ability to get shots in low light where you would not get it otherwise. I was doing some test shots last night trying out a lens (Jupiter 8) and at IOS 1600 I was able to hand hold a shot on my E-P1 that I was not able to do on my G2. That said, I don't find myself in situations where IBIS has been the deciding factor in whether or not I got the shot.

    Now, prior to getting the G2 I would have carried the banner of IBIS just as highly as anyone else but my experience with that camera has been a bit of an eye opener. I have aways bought into the idea that IBIS was THE feature if you want to shoot with legacy glass. I have to say however I am not finding that to be the case. If I am shooting with legacy glass I will almost always reach for the G2 instead of the E-P1 (or E-PL2 I have at work). what I have found (and maybe this only applies to me) but the handling of the camera matters waaaaay more to me when using legacy lenses. The G2's controls and handling are terrific. In fact, I would go so far as to say some of the best I have used on a DSLR to date (Canon 10D, 20D, Rebel, Nikon D40, Olympus E-500/520). It's easy to use, the controls all seem to fall in the right location for my hands and I find that using a legacy lens on the G2 is really fun. I don't find that using a legacy lens on any of the Olympus bodies I have access to is as smooth or enjoyable. I know that IBIS would buy me a bit more ability to shoot in sketchy light but to me it is not worth the trade off in handling. I learned photography on an old Instamatic 44 then a fixed lens RF and eventually moved on to an SLR (an OM1n in fact). I never had IBIS on any of them and I don't recall it being a huge impediment to my photography. I used a tripod, faster film, faster lenses or learned to hold the camera REALLY steady. I still use the "1/seconds as focal length" rule of thumb quite a lot and it seems to get me through. Maybe I just don't shoot in low light but living in the Pacific NW I find that hard to believe. We only get 2-3 months of sun a year. I guess I am a convert AWAY from IBIS. I don't think it's bad but I wouldn't base my buying decision of whether or not a camera had it.
     
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  2. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    Interesting question. I've been shutting off IBIS more lately, as I found that it added to my camera lag on my EP1 (didn't know about that until I read it on a post here -- with IBIS off, there is a greatly reduced lag).

    I'm finding IBIS is needed less than I thought BUT there are times when you'll need it, and I'd rather have the smaller/lighter Panny lenses without IS. So, to me it's still a purchase criteria, though I do agree that maybe it's less important than what I first thought when I got the Oly. I still prefer Oy over Panny for other reasons, so perhaps it's moot in my case.

    p.s. -- I would also note that I got over my initial fascination with shooting legacy glass, so the whole EP1 weakness in managing legacy lenses is also less an issue for me.
     
  3. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    We all know that IBIS is weak at long focal lengths....Also, I use a general rule of thumb in that shutter speeds of 1/500 or faster = IBIS off....
     
  4. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    The E-P1 is the equal of any camera out there m43 wise when shooting an AF lens like the Panasonic 14 or 20. I find that using MF is a lot easier than with the E-PL2 ( sans VF2) because the much maligned low resolution LCD on the E-P1 is actually a lot easier to manual focus with. The shimmer effect is more pronounced than with the higher reposition LCDs and the viewing angle is surprisingly good. I am starting to move away from MF lenses as well. I have a number of them but each tine I sell a few I find that I don't miss them like I thought I would.

    There are a number of nice things about the PENs that I like and that recommend them. I'll try turning the IBIS off and see how that works to speed up the E-P1. Thanks for the tip.
     
  5. WT21

    WT21 Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Feb 19, 2010
    Boston
    I sold a number of my MF lenses (and my NEX) because I found I spend too much time on "which lens" debates.

    I'm hoping to go to three primes: 12/2, 20 (or 25/1.4) and 45/1.8. I also have an OM 50 macro and OM 100/2.8. And I'll have my 14-150.

    With the primes, I think IBIS will be a lot less necessary (just because I can get the aperture open wider), and if I do need it, because they're native, I won't have to set the IBIS length, and now that there are good AF ones, squinting at the LCD will be less an issue, too. I've got a lot of hopes on these new lenses!
     
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010
    I know what you mean. The endless debates about lenses can get really distracting. If I were forced to go down to just a few lenses I'd take my Panasonic 20, 45-200 and either my OM24 or OM50. The rest could go and I'd never miss them.
     
  7. Ninja

    Ninja Mu-43 Regular

    101
    Jan 30, 2010
    That rule applies to image stabilization in general, not just IBIS. There is some thought that leaving IS on above that point may actually soften IQ.

    I have shot a few (available light) images with my Oly OM 50mm f/1.4 just above and below 1/125 sec where it could potentially help. I guess I ought to do some with vs. without testing to see. With shorter focal length lenses the matter is probably not so clear because you get into a question of camera movement vs. subject movement and no amount of IS can overcome subject movement at very slow shutter speeds.
     
  8. Narnian

    Narnian Nobody in particular ...

    Aug 6, 2010
    Midlothian, VA
    Richard Elliott
    Most of the times I need IS I am shooting a moving subject - and IS does not help there with slow shutter speeds. Better ISO performance will allow me to shoot at a higher shutter speed which helps more all around.
     
  9. elandel

    elandel Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 16, 2010
    Milan, Italy
    The truth is that most of us think IBIS is important for using legacy lenses. I also thought that and still think its usefull, but bought a G2 because of superior ergonomics and don't miss IBIS so far. As soon as one gets much less involved in using legacy glasses then IBIS becomes much less important.

    Thats what happened to me.

    In any case if I find a REAL bargain E-pl1 I'll get it because it's a heck of a camera.
     
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  10. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    IBIS is important when shooting with the 20mm ƒ1.7 at 1.7, in a hand-held situation, in extremely low light at ISO 1600....
     
  11. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada

    Which i suppose sums up the point - IBIS may be useful to some people, depending upon what you shoot, with what gear and under what conditions.

    I shoot in low light at ISO 1600 without IBIS and my photographs print very nicely. I am happy with the results. The thing is, it depends upon the shutter speed you can manage that is appropriate for the target.

    The IBIS on my E-P2, which worked as advertised, did not assist me at all. With modern high ISO capable cameras, I am able to get the shots I need without it (or in lens stabilization).

    It may be a nice to have. In my case, it just would not be a make or break on whether or not to keep a camera. The way I shoot, I would have to remember to turn it off.
     
  12. Ninja

    Ninja Mu-43 Regular

    101
    Jan 30, 2010
    If you want an E-PL1 and don't mind that it is a factory demo (one year warranty from the store) here is one (body only) that is attractively priced. Depending upon what lenses you already have, they have some with lenses as well.

    Olympus Pen E-PL1 Micro 4/3 Digital Camera (Black) - Factory Demo includes Full 1 Year Warranty

    I recently got an E-PL2 w/14-42 II and VF-2 from them as I thought the changes were worthwhile to me. (I don't change gear too often.) An acquaintance showed me an E-PL1 he had gotten from them earlier. They have been good to deal with and have shipped what they were supposed to promptly.

    It's IBIS system appealed to me because I have a number of Olympus OM lenses I wanted to try using.

    I did not have an opportunity to try a G2 and so can not comment on the ergonomics of it compared to the E-PL2. That said, I have not had any particular difficulties using the E-PL2 though I am still learning it. The VF-2 is useful in a variety of circumstances.

    Edit:

    If you are interested in the E-PL2 and two lenses, I believe B&H and Adorama have it with the 14-42 II and the 40-150 for $700.

    Cheers

    I got lost in the small screen of my phone and the edit wound up in the wrong place so I got onto a proper machine to clean it up.
     
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  13. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    Keywords: What shutter speeds?
     
  14. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    Exactly. In my case, I am able to manage the camera and lens (20) to get shutter speeds that deliver quality good enough for my prints. Other people may shoot in lower light, or have different quality needs and expectations.

    My needs may change - they have a few times in the last 30 years of photography. But now, for me, IBIS may be a nice to have, but I don't need it and it does not benefit my photography.
     
  15. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    LoL you still didn't answer the question :wink:
    Anyways, I'll therefore acknowledge that you have steady hands...:smile:
     
  16. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    AAhhh I see.
    Well, it depends upon the circumstances. I keep an eye on shutter speed, and once it goes below about 1/30 I get very careful indeed. i suppose I am steady, but I have a lot of practice at developing good technique. This was at 1/15 with the 20, ISO 1600:

    Distillery_Truck-1020798.

    This at 1/15 with a Konica 40, ISO 400:

    Oli_Portrait_2-1020409.

    In the first one it was much darker than the usual conditions under which I would shoot. The truck was there, and I couldn't help myself.

    The second was taken in the late evening in my daughter's room, with the curtain's closed.

    Both are handheld. Not my best shot's, but hopefully illustrative.
     
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  17. Howi

    Howi Mu-43 Veteran

    208
    Feb 23, 2011
    Sheffield
    Howard
    I can't understand the thinking that you need IBIS with legacy glass?
    How on earth did we ever manage shooting these lenses on 35mm bodies?
    Have had IBIS and ILIS and while BOTH systems do indeed work, I have generally switched it off unless I think I need to have it on, as I am not convinced it has positive benefits above about 1/30 to 1/50 SP (for a standard lens).
    A telephoto lens MAY benefit (ILIS better than IBIS??) but good technique can and does work equally if not better.
    I have a ZD70-300 used with a GF1 handheld at 300mm(600mm eqv) and get just as many keepers as i did with the E-3.
    Any IBIS or ILIS system that can NOT tell when it is not moving (on a tripod) should only be used when slow shutter speed is needed ( my view only chaps...) otherwise it should be off.
     
  18. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Texas
    I would debate that with IBIS, we now have a lot more useable shots than we did back then :smile:
     
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  19. drd1135

    drd1135 Zen Snapshooter

    Mar 17, 2011
    Southwest Virginia
    Steve
    This is a tough argument because we have no real data to work with. Getting good shots without IS doesn't mean that IS isn't very useful. Eventually most of us hit a light level where IS saves the shot. I think of amusement parks at night as the best example for me.
     
  20. Pelao

    Pelao Mu-43 Top Veteran

    959
    Feb 3, 2010
    Ontario, Canada
    I fully understand why some people need it some of the time, for particular shots.

    I do not think it is essential or necessary for most people, most of the time, especially with high ISO cameras, which many people use in automatic mode.

    RT could be right about more useable shots, but then we will never know. I suspect it's true that we are getting more good low light shots than ever, but I think that's down to ISO capabilities more than ISO, of any style.

    I also suspect that technique and skill can play a more important role than IS, for most.

    In any case, if you truly understand how it works, when it's useful, when it's not and feel you need it, then go for it.

    It's not a deciding factor in my purchase decisions. It won't be ignored, but there are other factors much, much more important to me.