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OM-D E-M5 IBIS vs OIS test with Panasonic 100-300mm lens

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by Amin Sabet, May 17, 2012.

  1. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    I did some brief testing with the E-M5 and Panasonic 100-300mm lens today. All testing was done at 300mm. My hands aren't the steadiest, YMMV, but here's what I found:

    At 1/80s, I was generally unable to get a shot completely free of handshake blur regardless of the settings I used. I could almost always get a decent shot (no horrendous blur), but at 100% view there was almost always some handshake evident.

    At 1/160s, nearly all my shots were free of evident motion blur whether I used the OIS, IBIS (IS 1), or both at the same time. Neither OIS nor IBIS seemed superior to the other.

    Both OIS and IBIS do a great job of stabilizing the viewfinder, with OIS doing slightly better in this regard. Results were comparable for video, but again I thought OIS was slightly better for this.

    Overall I found little to no difference in efficacy between body and lens IS. The most surprising thing to me was that leaving both systems on at the same time didn't produce any problematic results (other than probably faster battery drain).
    • Like Like x 10
  2. Agent00soul

    Agent00soul Mu-43 Regular

    Jan 22, 2010
    Maybe the camera automatically cancels one of the IS systems if you leave both on? That would certainly be the most sensible thing to do.
    But if that's the case, the question is which gets cancelled. It would be cool if you could use the OIS for focusing/composing and the camera switched to IBIS for the actual exposure.
    • Like Like x 2
  3. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    Amin, do you still have a Pen? What's your take on the 100-300 handling on a Pen vs. the OMD? I'm assuming you don't have a gripped OMD?
  4. Dave in Wales

    Dave in Wales Mu-43 All-Pro

    Nov 5, 2011
    West Wales
    I don't think that is what E-M5 owners were hoping to hear.

    So much for 5 axis IBIS, it was supposed to be the best thing since sliced bread.

    BTW, what happened to the age old rule of min shutter speed = 1/focal length, I'd have thought that still applied whether one was using IBIS, OIS or both.
    Seems dodgy to me, one or the other not both.
  5. kinlau

    kinlau Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Feb 29, 2012
    I'd be interested in a wind test while tripod mounted. I've been impressed with the 100-300's ability to absorb wind vibrations, especially since I use it with ETC - 2000mm equiv.
  6. dixeyk

    dixeyk Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Aug 9, 2010

    I don't think its an indictment of the 5 axis IS, I think it just says that the OIS on the lens is also pretty darned good.
  7. WT21

    WT21 Super Moderator Subscribing Member

    Feb 19, 2010
    I think though that IBIS and OIS are only getting 2 stops of stabilization (1/160 to 1/640), with the expectations that revolutionary IBIS might get you more, but that's a long, relatively heavy lens on a relatively small body. It's a tall order.

    I find myself shooting at 1/320 on my EPM1, so 1/160 on the OMD is an improvement.
  8. Pyro451

    Pyro451 Mu-43 Regular

    Apr 18, 2012
    Massachusetts, USA
    It would seem from the Panasonic site that the lens OIS will not function with the Oly body. Then again, the only two lenses specifically listed are the 14-42 and the 45-175.

    Of course this doesn't explain having similar results between the OIS and IBIS under the same conditions. :rolleyes: 
  9. Ralser

    Ralser Mu-43 Regular

    May 28, 2011
    Aren't these the only lenses wher the OIS is software activated, rather than with a switch.

    GH2, 14-42, 14, 20, zuiko 50 f1.8, 45-175. www.stevenralserphoto.com
  10. bitmatt

    bitmatt Mu-43 Veteran

    Apr 7, 2012
    What do you mean? This is great news! It means we don't need add-on in-lens IS to have similar effect at same focal lengths. That's the point, correct? There was a time that people assumed that in-body IS would never work even close to as well as the in-lens variety at telephoto lengths.
    • Like Like x 4
  11. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    Dave, just curious, how do you find the IBIS to be working in your M5?
  12. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The obvious advantage for IBIS is that it stabilizes all lenses. The usual knock on IBIS compared to OIS is that the IBIS fails to stabilize the view, is ineffective with very long lenses, and isn't great for video. My conclusion from this brief test was that none of these often mentioned limitations of IBIS remain as limitations with the E-M5 implementation.

    That old rule was meant for 135 format. Try applying it to a superzoom small sensor compact (eg 6X crop factor) without image stabilization, and all your photos will be blurry, because the relationship between angle of view and focal length varies with format size. If the rule you mentioned works for you with 135 format, then with 4/3 format you will need a min shutter speed of 1 / (2 x focal length). The whole point of image stabilization (whether IBIS or OIS) is to allow you to hold steadier than you otherwise would be able to hold; eg, instead of the rule being 1 / (2 x focal length), you might be able to hold at 2 / focal length, or 1 / (0.5 x focal length).
  13. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    Could be. If I had to guess, I'd say it switches off OIS when both are on given that the view seems a touch more stabilized with OIS alone than with either IBIS only or OIS plus IBIS.

    Bill I don't have a Pen anymore but to me the OMD handles a lot like the E-P3. I still have the GF3 and find that the 100-300 handles fine on that camera.
  14. fredlong

    fredlong Just this guy...

    Apr 18, 2011
    Massachusetts USA
    Well we've modified it for 4/3 sensors to 1/(2*focal length), so 1/600 sec. for a 300mm lens. 1/160 is about a 2 stop gain which isn't bad. It's not the 4 or 5 stops the marketing departments are always claiming. It seems that the relative benefit of any stabilization system goes down as focal length goes up. At least that's what I hear from people across various systems.

  15. DekHog

    DekHog Mu-43 Top Veteran

    May 3, 2011
    IBIS has never been hugely beneficial with longer focal lengths. It's always been far more effective with the shorter focal length lenses, so this comes as no surprise to me when trying it with a 300mm focal length.....
  16. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    Actually the old 1/focal length rule was for SLRs to account for the mirror slap. You could hand hold rangefinder cameras at slower shutter speeds.

    A lot of the people saying they can hand hold the EM5 better than SLRs have a benefit of it being mirrorless. Also, you have the benefit of a EVF which also stabilizes your shooting position for those upgrading from Pens without EVFs. So for prior Pen users, it's a big jump regardless of The 5 axis system.

    For those used to the Panasonic G and GH series, it isn't as big of a jump.

    Another complaint about IBIS is that it makes the bodies larger and the 5 axis IBIS system might be to large to fit inside the Pen bodies.
  17. Amin Sabet

    Amin Sabet Administrator

    Apr 10, 2009
    Boston, MA (USA)
    The lack of mirror slap makes a difference for wide - normal angle of view and slower shutter speeds. The 1/focal length guideline also applies to superteles such that people would try to get a shutter speed of at least 1/500s with a 500mm equivalent lens. At those shutter speeds, mirror slap is basically irrelevant.
  18. Brianetta

    Brianetta Mu-43 Veteran

    Sep 5, 2010
    North East England
    Brian Ronald
    Going by measurements quoted on-line, it seems that the E-M5 is basically the same size as the E-P1 except for the viewfinder hump and the tilting screen.
  19. Sammyboy

    Sammyboy m43 Pro

    Oct 26, 2010
    Steeler Country
    The viewfinder hump contains the image stabilization mechanism for the "viewfinder".
  20. songs2001

    songs2001 Mu-43 Top Veteran

    Jul 8, 2011
    I was going to add that rangefinders generally don't have teles longer than 90.

    My point was why people think the EM5 is much better than their DSLR stabilization wise, as most of the pictures showing the effectiveness of the 5 axis is wide or normal lenses. So they expect the same from their longer lenses.

    For long lenses, it was assumed that in lens was better because of EVF stabilization. But you have shown the new Olympus system is as good as the Panasonic OIS system.

    Either way 1 over focal rule wasn't very useful for super telephotos or IS for that matter, for most things if you were handholding you were trying to freeze action, and at 1/500 needed to stop action. You can pretty much ignore the 1 over rule.

    I think Thom Hogan said that maybe 10% of his super telephoto shots would've helped with built in stabilization
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