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Oly Sensor-shift Image stabilization

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by jsusilo, Oct 13, 2012.

  1. jsusilo

    jsusilo Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2012
    In practical terms, how effective is PEN's system image stabilization compared to 5-Axis IBIS of E-M5? I'm considering E-PM2 as backup simply because it has very similar interface with E-M5 and its attractive pricing. I have not used any of smaller Olympus cameras before and wondering, at what situation can I trust E-PM2 to do the job as-well-as E-M5. In other words, under what situation(s) I simply better off be sticking with E-M5? I always shoot with IS1 auto and I do not shoot long, my lens selection varies from UWA S7.5 / P14 / PL25 / O45, all of which does not have lens OIS. Thanks.
  2. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    You're in good hands with the E-PM2.

    Hand-held, 1/8th shutter speed with my E-PL2

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    Go With The Flow @ 1/8 Shutter Speed by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr

    Hand-held, 1/3rd shutter speed with my E-PL2

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    Miniature Golf Waterfall @ 1/3 Shutter Speed by RedTail_Panther, on Flickr
  3. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    The 2- vs. 5-axis IBIS is crucial when going long (or macro) but should not be in your range. With UWA (and even at 12mm), it's hard to not get everything in focus. I once had to shoot with my E-PL3 and Oly 12/2 handheld for 1.6 secs for a night shot while holding my breath and it turned out decent. I think if 45 is the furthest you'll need to go then you'll be just fine. :smile:

    <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/yekimrd/7137878275/" title="Wrigley by yekimrd, on Flickr"> View attachment 235941 "600" height="800" alt="Wrigley"></a>
  4. jsusilo

    jsusilo Mu-43 Veteran

    Aug 28, 2012
    RT_Panther | yekimrd, impressive pictures for hand-held! Thank you for sharing. I had a feeling E-PM2 will work just fine to begin with but now I got the confirmation :)  Actually, the main reason I need second body is because I prefer E-M5 to stay in my hand the whole time and not sharing with GF, she just messes things up most of the time :)  I am also hopeful E-PM2 will be simpler and thus easier to use much like P&S. Thanks again. J
  5. With_Eyes_Unclouded

    With_Eyes_Unclouded Mu-43 All-Pro

    Apr 17, 2012
    No scientific measuring here, so take it with a grain of salt, but my gut feeling is that the OM-D offers (in practice) about two stops better stabilization. This is by comparing to the E-PL2 and E-PM1 which I had/have.

    It's not that easily measurable though, because it depends on the shooting conditions. The 5-axis IBIS, as the name implies, stabilizes the lens depending on the body slight movement while shooting. What I mean is, there would be cases when there is no difference at all.
  6. I think that the debate over the additional effectiveness (or not) E-M5 IBIS rarely goes into the mechanics of what makes it different from other systems. Traditional lens-based and sensor-based IS systems counterract camera motion in one plane only i.e. motion in the X (left-right) and Y (up-down directions). If the motion is limited to this plane only then there should be no real advantage to the E-M5. The difference in the E-M5 "five-axis" system is that the sensor is not constrained in any direction so it is also capable of correcting for pitch, yaw, and roll. The diagram on the first page of DPreview's E-M5 review shows this nicely:

    Olympus OM-D E-M5 Review: Digital Photography Review

    Simply put, what makes the E-M5 different is that it is capable of correcting for a wider range of camera motions.
  7. yekimrd

    yekimrd Mu-43 All-Pro

    Jun 14, 2012
    Cincinnati, OH
    You're a smart guy, Jsusilo! :rofl:
  8. LeoS

    LeoS Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Aug 6, 2012
    One more thing to add to '5-axis IBIS': ...although one would think that we're more likely 'shake' our camera in up/down fashion due to our hold, we're not robots that only move in x and y axis... so that's probably why the 5-axis compensation works wonders compared to its previous iterations.

    ...anddddd, we don't take 100% of our pictures in landscape/portrait orientation leveled to the horizon...
  9. RT_Panther

    RT_Panther Mu-43 Legend

    May 4, 2011
    Then there's the sensor cleaning of the 5-axis IBIS ....
  10. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Regardless of the technologies involved, and the theoretical advantages of either, there have been a few actual comparisons between different systems. There's really no objective way to measure this, since every photographer is different, and the movements generated by the photographer is complex and ever changing. But I think most people accepted that the older Pen IBIS was less effective than Panasonic's OIS with long lenses. I've seen comparisons of the OM-D IBIS with both the 12-35 and the 100-300. The OM-D, in one particular test with the 12-35, was marginally better than in-lens IS. With the 100-300, the OIS was marginally better. Not a big difference in either case, however.

    All of the systems will help when you're shooting static subjects hand-held. None of them are a replacement for faster shutter speeds if your subject is moving even a little bit. My experience, starting with a Canon 70-200 IS lens, up to the present day OM-D and OIS lenses, is that IS is much more important with longer lenses.

    While it's certainly nice to be able to stabilize wide angle lenses, I don't consider it critical, but if you shoot longer legacy lenses IBIS is very desirable.

    I have both Panasonic and Oly m43 bodies, btw, so this isn't about making excuses or being a ******.
  11. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    Unless you're really pushing the envelope in terms of shutter speeds I don't think IS would be determining factor for choosing a Pen vs. the E-M5. Yes, the E-M5 is somewhat better, but if your shutter speeds are low enough for the difference to matter, they're also low enough that you'll miss shots with either system. IBIS is an aid, not a guarantee.

    Only exception would be the E-PM1 and E-PL3 which seem to have a rather weak (or perhaps buggy) IBIS system.
  12. krugorg

    krugorg Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Jul 18, 2011
    Minnesota USA
    In Ming Thein's E-PL5 review, he mentions that the PEN IBIS is improved over the last generation. I am not sure what he has been able to compare himself, though... think he has an E-PM1 before. I remember hearing that E-PM1 had slightly less effective IBIS than the E-P3, but not sure if this also applied to the E-PL3 (and if it was just due to less body mass)?

    The Olympus E-PL5 PEN Lite review: a mini-OM-D

    In my own experience I found the IBIS to work very well in the E-P2 and E-P3 (and never saw any issues in my wife's E-PL3 shots).
  13. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    My expectations are coming from a Canon 1dMarkII with several IS L telephoto lenses then to a G1 and E-PL1. AF is another story but the IBIS of the OMD E-M5 does very well and significantly better than the IOS in the G1 kit as well as the IBIS of the E-PL1. I like the fact that all my lenses are stabilized (adapted as well). One thing to note, not all IBIS is equal across the Pen line.

    Here's one I've been trying to figure out...

    OMD E-M5 in high speed 9fps has been reported to disable IBIS in between frames. Does the same occur with IBIS turned off with IOS turned on?

    I've just been subjectively testing this out with my OMD E-M5 + 100-300 Panasonic. If not shooting at 9fps, I feel the IBIS (IOS off) in the OMD seems like it is more effective. Once I turn on 9fps, I'm starting to feel like I'm better off turning off IBIS and keeping IOS on the lens.
  14. meyerweb

    meyerweb Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Sep 5, 2011
    Your lens has an Apple operating system on it? :wink:
  15. dhazeghi

    dhazeghi Mu-43 Hall of Famer Subscribing Member

    Aug 6, 2010
    San Jose, CA
    I don't think so. There's absolutely no communication between the body and lens regarding OIS in the E-M5 and earlier Olympus bodies, so the E-M5 has no way of knowing if the OIS is on or off (which is why, for example, you can accidentally end up with both on). The E-PM2 and E-PL5 apparently change that (the camera does know about OIS now)...
  16. usayit

    usayit Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Lol... Brain fart...
  17. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    Jun 29, 2012
    My favorite use for the E-M5 IBIS is doing video work. No more jittery camera for me. Rock steady when the subject is in one place, and pans as smooth as butter when the subject moves. Its great for stills too, but it just pays off so much more when filming.
  18. Lawrence A.

    Lawrence A. Mu-43 All-Pro

    Mar 14, 2012
    New Mexico
    The E-M5 stabilization with a long lens is amazing. This was shot with a 200mm lens at 1/20 sec.

  19. twokatmew

    twokatmew Mu-43 All-Pro Subscribing Member

    Jun 1, 2012
    Lansing, MI, US
    Usayit, there's a setting in EM5 menus to keep IBIS on when shooting in continuous drive mode. I have mine set to keep IBIS on, but I don't recall the name or location of this setting off the top of my head. I'll check my camera next time it's in my hands. :smile:

    Sent from my phone. Please pardon my brevity!
  20. Mellow

    Mellow Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 27, 2010
    Florida or Idaho
    I think it depends a lot on what you like to take pictures of. If you shoot a lot of landscapes or cityscapes in low light, IBIS is incredibly useful (maybe even "crucial"). yekimrd's photo above (which I LOVE, by the way!) is a great example. I find that IBIS really extends the usefulness of my Panny 14mm and 20mm lenses.
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