Test Olympus E-PM2 Image Stabilization Test with Comparison to E-M5

FredUK

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Has anyone tested an EPM2 with a standard Panasonic 14-42mm kit lens with the “Lens I.S. Priority” menu item set to On? It would be interesting to see if it worked better than IBIS and without the need for the 1/8 second delay.
Bump. It would be great to get some feedback on this. Is there any chance of someone putting it to the test please?
 
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Has anyone tested an EPM2 with a standard Panasonic 14-42mm kit lens with the “Lens I.S. Priority” menu item set to On? It would be interesting to see if it worked better than IBIS and without the need for the 1/8 second delay.
So, only a year late in answering...

With my E-PM2.

I shot 10 frames of graph paper at 100th and f/8 with the Oly kit lens at 42mm, and about 3 of them showed evidence of shutter shock. IBIS was on and anti-shock delay was off. Hand held at arms length, ISO400.
Then I repeated the same with the Pana kit lens (circa 2011 off a G3) also at same settings, using the lens OIS. No shots showed any evidence of shutter shock.

Now, speaking as an engineer, I know this is a bit un-scientific and non-rigorous, but it does tend perhaps to suggest that the problem is fixed (or much improved) by using in-lens OIS.
Clearly the Pana lens is somewhat bigger. It covers the same focal length range and has the same aperture range. Not sure how they sit in terms of IQ - probably similar?

Anyway, there you go. I don't tend to use either of my kit zooms that much. Either way, I can't say I'm too bothered by the shutter shock thing. But it does interest my inner engineer!

Cheers,

Rob
 

FredUK

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Thank you very much coffeecat for taking the time and trouble to do some tests. I keep looking toward buying an EPM2 for it's small size and good sensor but have been put off by the double blur that I've seen in some test images. The Panasonic kit lens can be bought up quite cheaply used so if I bought the camera and was troubled by shutter shock it wouldn't be too expensive to try the Panasonic kit lens.
 
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You're welcome FredUK.

I haven't had my E-PM2 that long. There are some very good bargains to be had with them if you keep vigilant. I like it because it's compact. On balance so far I still prefer my G3 overall, especially having more controls and an EVF. But the E-PM2 is great since it is that bit smaller and hence more pocketable. It also has other stuff I might use now and then, like remote flash triggering, and the slightly better performance at high ISOs (perhaps 1 or maybe 2 stops better - I get good results from the G3 up to ISO1600, but think the E-PM2 is similar at ISO3200.)

Cheers,

Rob
 

hookgrip

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The IBIS on the PM2 seems relatively useless.

I took some shots at the long-end of the 40-150's zoom range today, in moderate light. Shutter speed was 1/125, which is within the range where IS should help. All of the shots that I took with IS enabled were more blurry than the shots I took with it disabled.

What's the point of even having IBIS as a feature if it does not do anything except make pictures blurrier?
 

pake

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The IBIS on the PM2 seems relatively useless.

I took some shots at the long-end of the 40-150's zoom range today, in moderate light. Shutter speed was 1/125, which is within the range where IS should help. All of the shots that I took with IS enabled were more blurry than the shots I took with it disabled.

What's the point of even having IBIS as a feature if it does not do anything except make pictures blurrier?
Indeed! Olympus should make a new firmware which disables the IBIS when using certain shutter speeds (maybe based on lens focal length?). I've disabled mine and turn it on IF needed.
 

tjdean01

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The IBIS on the PM2 seems relatively useless.

I took some shots at the long-end of the 40-150's zoom range today, in moderate light. Shutter speed was 1/125, which is within the range where IS should help. All of the shots that I took with IS enabled were more blurry than the shots I took with it disabled.

What's the point of even having IBIS as a feature if it does not do anything except make pictures blurrier?
Well, it does allow us to stay at ISO1600 instead of bumping it to 6400! :tongue:
 

Wisertime

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I'm late to this thread, but in my unofficial experiences without testing, this seems to confirm what I thought already. I know I can get away with much slower shutter speeds with the EM5. It's no contest. I don't have to even do a test to be certain. The white balance on the EM5 is worlds better too. Thanks for the thread Amin.
 

stripedrex

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Bringing this back from the dead. I accidentally had my EPM2 set to S-IS3 which is horizontal only IS. I have to tell you I'm getting better results. I did a quicky 6 shot test with S-IS1 and got 3 blurry shots at 1/100th, 1 blurry shot with no IS and no blurry shots with S-IS3! I tested this because I noticed today my shots with this camera have been sharper then usual (compared to my E-M1) so peaked at IS to see it was on and it was?! Can others with an EPM2 test this out and confirm I'm not crazy? Need to do more testing but if it proves it helps even if marginally then hopefully it helps others.
 

Ulfric M Douglas

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I will certainly test this ... once I get my hands on my own e-pm2 which I've somehow mislaid under piles of stuff.
IS3 ... never even thought of that.
I can try it with other bodies that also have the feature.
 

tjdean01

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This is very interesting. My PM2 was stolen but I have a new one on the way. IS has been crap for me on that camera but I will definitely try what you said. would have have an effect when I turn the camera portrait mode?
 

Machi

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I must confess that I found informations in this thread very interesting but somewhat confusing.
From what I've read it sounds like IBIS in the E-PM2 is almost useless.
Because I wanted to know if it has any meaning to turn ON IBIS sometime or it's better to turn it OFF forever, I've done some tests with
the native 40-150mm 4-5.6 lens and two older lenses - Canon 50 1.4 FD and Konica 80-200 (at 200 mm).
My experiments support conclusion (many times here mentioned) that IBIS in the E-PM2 somewhat degrade sharpness so
it's not good to turn it ON when light conditions are favorable.
But when conditions are bad and only choice is go to high ISO or to slow shutter speed (hand held) then situation
is clearly different. There is sweet spot where IBIS is very useful and it significantly increases chance that image would be without
very prominent blur (double blur and similar kinds of blur).
I suppose that it depends how one has steady grip but generally I've found that in case of my hand held shots (but sitting on the chair)
sweet spot begins at shutter speed = focal length/~4 and ends around sh. speed = focal length/~12 (20 in case of Konica at 200 mm).
This worked for all tested lenses.
For the sake of completeness I've tried to found if antishake has some role in case of IBIS but I found nothing in this test.

Here is example for 40-150mm 4-5.6 lens with multiple settings:
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Practical test of the IBIS in the field with Canon 50mm at 1/8s. I think that IBIS worked pretty well.
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Machi

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It's always about statistics. With slower shutter speed there is higher chance that image will be blurred so more shots must be done to ensure that at least one of them will be sharp enough.
Based on my tests I've found that with Canon 50/1.4 at 1/8s I have ~60% probability of successful shot with IBIS ON (this of course depends also on actual conditions during shooting).
Without IBIS it's less than 20%.
But there is one catch. As you can see from my test images, there is no ultrasharp image with IBIS and with slower shutter speed there is more and more blur. Luckily this blur is kind of better blur for postprocessing as it's probably similar to Gaussian blur and is also much more pleasing to look at.
In case of shooting at slow shutter speed without IBIS there is very often double blur which is very nasty kind of blur.​

This is part of the garden image at full resolution.
It's clearly blurred but when it's reduced in size (as was the case of the version in my previous post) blur is unnoticeable.
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