IBIS Order of Sharpness

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by dcassat, Mar 19, 2012.

  1. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2011
    Yesterday I spent about an hour testing IBIS with my E-PL2 and a test chart. Here is the text summary of my findings, they are consistent at 1/100, 1/50, 1/25, 1/10 and 1 sec. I used a Oly 45mm to do my testing.

    In order of sharpness:

    1. Tripod mounted at tested shutter speeds, IBIS OFF.

    2. Tripod mounted with IBIS ON, very close to #1 but a discernible difference at 100% (we wouldn't normally do this)

    3. Handheld (braced) with IBIS ON (very close to #2 but a discernible difference at 100%)

    4. Handheld (braced) with IBIS OFF (blurry actually, not usable)

    The reason I did this test was to find out for my self if tripod mounted IBIS could possibly be worse than handheld, which has been suggested and I thought impossible.

    This test is not addressing the e-pm1 issues at higher shutter speeds but rather the small but detectable differences in the way IBIS is used.
    One of the obvious lessons was at 1/10 of a second with a 45mm lens with IBIS produced a very usable shot. It was very close to a tripod mounting with NO IBIS.

    From this I will continue my practice of not using IBIS when tripod mounted or outdoors but using it most of the time indoors or with a telephoto handheld.

    I know we've been through this before but IBIS on the E-PL2 works and pretty darned well.

    I got my test chart from focustestchart.com

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  2. shnitz

    shnitz Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 25, 2011
    Austin, TX
    I posted a while back tested image stabilization, and I got different results than you. If you have the shutter speed to handle it (which many do with a 45mm lens at 1/100 or 1/60), then sharpness goes, from sharpest to blurriest:
    1. Tripod, IS off
    2. Handheld, IS off
    3. Handheld, IS on
    4. Tripod, IS on

    If you're at limited shutter speeds below your capability to hand-hold(with a 50mm lens, and braced, I can get a 1/15 shutter speed), so let's just say that this is my list for unbraced, standing up, shooting at like 1/15 second:
    1. Tripod, IS OFF
    2. Handheld, IS ON
    Depending on how slow the shutter speed was, the blurriest is a tossup between: Tripod, IS ON
    Handheld, IS OFF

    I saw an absolute difference with IS on, tripod-mounted. Also, you have to remember that the shift is not constant, so if you are pressing the shutter at different portions of the IS's shift, you'll get different results.
  3. dcassat

    dcassat Mu-43 Veteran

    Nov 16, 2011
    I will double-check those 1/100s again. I wondered about them later. I'm sure that I got consistent results the rest of the way down though. Specifically the sharpness of IS on tripod was ALWAYS between On tripod, IS off and Off Tripod, IS on. Wow, that's a brain twister!

    I appreciate your input on this one. This is the second time I've done this. The first time was under less controlled circumstances with sketchy documentation but the few shots that I was sure about pointed to the same thing.

    I've often seen people post that leaving IS on when your camera is mounted on a tripod is a no-no but from this test I would have to say it's only marginally noticeable on the E-PL2. And, of course the big one is that IS REALLY DOES WORK and is of significant value between 1/25 and 1 sec unless your going for the 'blur effect!'