My Image Stabilization Observations


Mu-43 Veteran
Feb 19, 2010
Salt Lake City, Utah
Real Name
I wanted to share with you all my results from some testing I did over the weekend regarding the efficiency of both the IBIS on a PL1 as well as the OIS I use on a 45-200OIS Panasonic lens (a real sweetheart lens).

IBIS on it's own:
When using the kit lens IBIS is ideal and performs admirably with no real issue. This applies to the venerable 20mm f1.7 as well, a lens that provides astounding sharpness and contrast allowing for some very creative shooting due to increased shutter speeds, which only let's the IBIS do it's job better. Oh and for those that want to know, having BOTH systems on does provide a stable looking image on the LCD BUT in no way assures you of a good result. Stick to one or the other.

Now with the use of the Panasonic 45-200OIS, what I discovered is that the IBIS on it's own works quite nicely up to the lenses approximate 100mm extension(with the OIS disabled). Beyond that to it's full 200mm (equivalent 400mm on ff 35mm) it falters just a bit and doesn't provide perfection each and every time (note: I'm not saying it doesn't work well, just perhaps you'll nail a sharp shot at least half the time rather than ALL of the shots taken). Also it must be noted that on the longer lens the IBIS does NOT show a stabilized image on the LCD (nor I suspect on a VF-2 although I don't have mine yet to confirm this). The irony is of course that it causes you to try harder to stabilize the camera, as low and behold 'what you see is NOT what you get" and that's a good thing. You get a stabilized image taken, just not seen that way on the LCD when you're composing it.

OIS on it's own: Below 100mm on that lens the IBIS actually is as if not MORE effective. It works just fine but has no significant advantage over the IBIS and in fact sucks more battery power (a subject I'll get to in a minute). I below 100mm extension to be used I'd say "Advantage IBIS". Now here's the interesting part. Above 100mm extension on that lens the OIS works in a superior fashion overall as 1: It provides a stabilized image in the viewfinder and 2: IT WILL provide a higher rate of keepers at it's long end. The image viewed as stabilized is a nice effect, but obviously due to the fact that in most other cases the IBIS does it's job even though you don't see it working so well at the long end is nearly a moot point.

Last night after all this extensive testing I noted my ability to shoot as the light diminished outside got worse and became an exercise in futility. I was worried I had a lens or body issue. Come to find out (after the nagging red flashing came on to alert me the battery was on it's way out) that when you get to a near (just near not totally) exhausted stated of the battery power, you WILL experience a poor OIS performance. Not to worry. I plugged in my fully charged battery today and voila', It now provides nearly 100% perfection in shots taken handheld at the long end. So no worries, just make sure to have a fully charged battery or a charged backup if you're planning a lot of long end shooting. I hope this helps. I just like to wring out my gear to know exactly what it can and can NOT do. I"m used to top end DSLR gear so I admit I"m pretty fussy, and have also been blessed as I've NEVER had camera failure in all the years I've owned them, not at an event, not at a wedding or anything else. You take care of it and it takes care of you, or it's time to get a new one. So that's my story and I"m sticking to it. :rofl:


Mu-43 All-Pro
Mar 2, 2010
Perth, Western Australia
Thanks - confirms conventional wisdom. Good point about battery power - guess that's why powered grips are popular too.

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