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OMD IBIS

Discussion in 'Olympus Cameras' started by random_tangent, Oct 24, 2012.

  1. random_tangent

    random_tangent Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Oct 11, 2012
    Hi all,

    I know there have been threads comparing the OMD IBIS with OIS lenses before, but I've just picked up an OMD and frankly I expected to be a lot more impressed with the IBIS system. I'm finding nowhere near the claimed 4-5 stops improvement at 50mm (100mm equiv) with the kit lens. I wasn't expecting to get near 4-5 in truth - i recognise this was marketing bumph - however, what's bothering me is i'm not seeing a huge difference with the system turned on or off for stills work.

    With the kit lens, I'm finding 1/25s (or perhaps 1/20s) to be the threshold @ 50mm, beyond which shake afflicts a lot of shots. Now, I wouldn't have a problem with this - seems to be a 2 stop improvement over what you'd expect (1/equivalent focal length). However, I turned IS off in the interests of doing a direct comparison, and found i could get similar numbers of sharp shots at the shutter speeds in question. This doesn't make a huge amount of sense to me, since i don't consider my handheld technique to be that great.

    I've repeated the following test a few times: stand about 2 meters from something with text on it - a stack of CDs in my case. Take 2 bursts of 2 -3 shots with ibis on/off. I'm finding maybe 2/5 are tac sharp with ibis off, and about 3/5 with ibis on. But to be frank, sometimes it's the other way around. To me these results are in the noise.

    At first i thought there might be a fault with the camera - either ibis is stuck on, or not working at all. So i tried recording some short video clips at the tele end, since camera shake is abundantly clear in video and the effect of IBIS is quite pronounced in the sample clips i've seen. Sure enough, with ibis on the clip looks a LOT smoother.

    So, what's going on? IBIS over-hyped for stills work? Something wrong with my camera? Much less noticable at even mild tele ranges? I'm going to do another quick test at the wide end now, so lets see if i notice more of a difference.

    For comparison, I did a few quick tests with my nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRII. In that case, I can shoot reliably at 1/20s with VR turned on and get every shot sharp. Now, this lens cost a lot more than the oly and its kit lens combined, but even so, i expected based on everything i had read to get relatively close to this sort of performance, at least at shorter equivalent focal lengths. I can get sharper shots at 200mm with the nikon lens, at slower shutters, than i can at 100mm equivalent with the oly! Should probably also mention for reference that the camera i tested the nikon on is a d3s, so only 12mp compared with the 16 on the oly, which will reduce the visibility of camera shake somewhat. More than a stop different though?

    Thanks for any insight you owners out there can offer. I'm not having a whine, honest ;) I love the camera! I'm just concerned i might have a fault.
     
  2. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    Are you using burst mode when doing this? I know IBIS switches off depending on the settings and burst mode type..

    Personally I find the IBIS gives me about three to four stops on average of advantage. Sometimes with the longer focal lengths not as much though, especially using the 60mm macro. With wide lenses I can pull off long exposures up to about 2 seconds and still get sharp shots.
     
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  3. Chronos

    Chronos Mu-43 Regular

    129
    Oct 18, 2012
    Colorado
    Chris
    IBIS works awesome on mine. You might want to check your settings. I have mine set to IS-1 at 12mm.

    when using non native lenses you have to adjust the focal length in the menu to match your focal length or things get weird

    i have not done any real tests, but i have it set so IBIS kicks in when the shutter button is half depressed, i see a major difference expecially with longer focal lengths of when it is active vs not.
     
  4. random_tangent

    random_tangent Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Oct 11, 2012
    The tests I was describing above with burst mode on high speed. I did some anecdotal tests earlier in the day during which time i was using burst low speed, but didn't notice a significant difference between the two. That said, this is about as far from a scientific test as you can get :)

    I'll give it a shot in single release mode. Do you know whether it's always off in either C mode? Or just high speed? I just got a very basic manual with the camera - I'll have a google for a more comprehensive PDF online.
     
  5. random_tangent

    random_tangent Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Oct 11, 2012
    Using IS1 for all testing. Hmmm - hope I don't have a problem!
     
  6. random_tangent

    random_tangent Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Oct 11, 2012
    Update: Thanks so much for the tip danska! Just done some more testing in single shot release mode and that's cured it! Shooting down at 1/8s now @ 50mm and getting sharp shots. I owe you one :)
     
    • Like Like x 1
  7. wildwildwes

    wildwildwes Mu-43 Veteran

    456
    Jun 9, 2012
    Brooklyn, NY
    I find the OM-D IBIS to be absolutely revolutionary and an important photography game-changer in many respects. With it properly implemented (ie, set on the correct setting for the situation you're anticipating using it in), I find that I'm easily able to forgo the use of a tripod in capturing a particular shot where prior to the OM-D, I wouldn't have been able to capture a sharp usable image. IT's important to remember that one must STILL employ the appropriate shooting techniques when using new "technology". I still brace myself holding the camera firmly against my body (left hand cradling the lens from beneath, right hand holding camera with index finger on shutter release) or use something stationary and solid to prop the camera against when shooting in low light or with a longish shutter speed. But that said, I've had great results (I think) using the OM-D's IBIS system and couldn't be happier with it.

    Good luck!
     
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  8. random_tangent

    random_tangent Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Oct 11, 2012
    All great advice for sure! And thank you for the well-wishes :) Definitely very impressed with it now i've got it working. My initial disappointment was entirely due to user-error. The system is easily as impressive as the VRII on my Nikon 70-200, at least up to the focal lengths i've been able to test (50mm since i'm stuck with the kit lens for now).
     
  9. d2mini

    d2mini Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 21, 2012
    Fulshear, TX
    dennis
    What focal length would you use for the lumix 12-35?
     
  10. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    Good to know! You're welcome. I believe you can set the camera up to keep IBIS in burst mode in the settings but it lowers the FPS (4fps I believe?). Bottom line, burst mode isn't the best option if your trying to take low-light shots. For well lit action you don't need IBIS anyways.
     
    • Like Like x 1
  11. danska

    danska Mu-43 Top Veteran

    945
    May 21, 2012
    Portland, OR
    Joe
    For native glass the IBIS automatically detect focal length. No need to switch it around to anything there.

    If your using legacy glass it should be set at the actual focal length of the lens (not equivalent). Only benefit people have seen outside this is for using a longer focal length for a macro lens at high magnification.
     
  12. d2mini

    d2mini Mu-43 Regular

    45
    Oct 21, 2012
    Fulshear, TX
    dennis
    Oh ok, by "native" i thought you meant Olympus glass. Thanks. :smile:
     
  13. HappyFish

    HappyFish Mu-43 Top Veteran

    983
    Sep 8, 2012
    Chad
    For sure amazing even with the 75 1.8 I can easily shoot 1/5th sec :)

    Glad the OP got it figured out :)
     
  14. random_tangent

    random_tangent Mu-43 Rookie

    13
    Oct 11, 2012
    I'll have a hunt around - thanks for the tip! Yeah very true. Ironically enough, my reasoning for having it in burst mode was that bursting a few shots + ibis would give me a higher proportion of usably sharp images (i've got a 32gb card so can afford to have a few bum shots in there). That said, now i've had chance to see the IBIS in action, that extra precaution would be unwarranted at all but the most extreme shutter speeds.
     
  15. padoods

    padoods Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Aug 19, 2012
    Can anyone give or point me in the direction of an explanation of how the 5 axis IBIS works? This is one of the reasons I switched from GX1 to OMD and I am curious to know more about the technical details behind it.
     
  16. Mikefellh

    Mikefellh Mu-43 Top Veteran

    939
    Jun 7, 2012
    Toronto, Canada
    • Like Like x 1
  17. arentol

    arentol Mu-43 Veteran

    269
    Jun 29, 2012
    Here is the Olympus page on the 5-axis system:

    OLYMPUS OM-D E-M5: Feature 5-AXIS IMAGE STABILIZATION | Olympus Imaging India

    That should give you a little better idea what it is actually doing when in use.

    Lens based systems and most other sensor-shift systems typically only correct the pitch and yaw axes. That alone is sufficient to improve hand-held shooting as much as 4 stops for typical photography. It is a lot less useful for macro photography though because it doesn't correct for the sort of movement that happens as you move the camera forward and backward while slightly changing the angle of the camera relative to the subject. It also has a fairly minimal impact on video shooting, and of course the lens based systems have no effect when using other lenses. 5-axis sensor shift is actually only a minor improvement over 2-axis sensor shift for regular photography, but it is huge when it comes to macro and video shooting.

    As to how the actual shifting and such is done, obviously the gyroscope detects movement and sends that information to the sensor controller. The sensor controller was probably in a way the most complicated part, as the programming to do this while using as little power as possible is probably quite complex. I am not entirely sure after that, but to me it appears the sensor is mounted on two or three stacked platforms that each handle the 5 different aspect of the shifting (main one shifts up-down, left-right, one rotates, etc.) If large shifts were needed this would be very hard to implement while still being able to get the actual data from the chip (since that requires cabling of some kind that can't get twisted), but because the shifts are so incredibly small that is not an issue. That is all there really is to it. The concept is not that difficult, but the engineering and programming was probably very difficult to get just right while keeping power consumption as low as possible.
     
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  18. padoods

    padoods Mu-43 Rookie

    11
    Aug 19, 2012
    Thank you guys for the links and explanation. They've been helpful