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Cameras, Lenses and Accessories: Discuss Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens...I cannot remember seeing a discussion on this topic on Pixalo but I was recently asked this question. The question ...
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Old 12-10-2009, 19:46   #1 (permalink)
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Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

I cannot remember seeing a discussion on this topic on Pixalo but I was recently asked this question.

The question is should Image Stabilisation be in the Camera (sensor) or in the individual lenses?

Some of the pros and cons are obvious. Buying IS lenses cost more for each lens but both canon and Nikon claim that IS performance is much better in lens as it is optimised for each individual model. I have also seen suggestions that in-camera IS is less effective for longer focal lengths which is just when you need it. Also in-lens means that the image is also frozen in the viewfinder.

Nikon and Canon give the impression that in-camera is cheaper but second best but I have seen no real evidence to prove this despite asking the question on another forum. Does anyone else have any information or evidence as to the advantages or disadvantages of In-camera or in-lens IS (VR if you are Nikon).
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Old 12-10-2009, 20:28   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

I think that the important thing is that the stabilsation is optical rather than electronic.

When I was very into video a few years back, the cameras that had optical stabilisation were considered superior to those with electronic stabilisation as the electronic ones achieved it by the processor re-arranging the pixels that it detected that were moving, thus degrading the image quality. Optical systems fed stabilised images to the camera, so no extra processing was needed.

I believe that the stabilisation carried out in the lens is optical, but don't know if the stabilisation in the camera body is optical or electronic.
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Old 12-10-2009, 20:30   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Most people have one camera but more than one lens. If your "in-camera IS" goes bust you lose the use of the camera for possibly weeks. If your IS lens goes bust you usually have another lens you can use whilst repairs are in hand.
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Old 12-10-2009, 21:11   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

In-lens stabilisation is tuned to a particular lens and is almost bound to work better than in-camera stabilisation. The downside, of course, is price, size and weight. Given the astounding performance of modern in-lens IS systems, it's probably a price worth paying.
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Old 12-10-2009, 21:41   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

I too would instinctively say in-lens rather than in-camera (but have absolutely nothing to back that up! ) - think all dSLRs are physical/optical (whether gimballing a lens or the sensor) rather than logical/electronic
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Old 12-10-2009, 21:56   #6 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

I believe that the stabilisation carried out in the lens is optical, but don't know if the stabilisation in the camera body is optical or electronic.
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I am sure the in camera DSLR stabilisation is electronic control that moves the sensor via its piezo crystal mounts. At the time the Minolta DSLR (now Sony) had a 4 stop stabilisation capability but was not selectable between steady or pan mode which the Canon lens system has.
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Old 12-10-2009, 23:05   #7 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Like Mark, I'm inclined to go with in-lens, but cannot say why. I feel sure there is a good reason though
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Old 13-10-2009, 08:20   #8 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

so what did photographers do before IS was available, they still managed to get Pin sharp shots.......... so maybe the question is do we need it at all and doesnt it just make you lazy?

and i cant really comment on what s best as i havent the foggiest about either type( didint even know there was a difference), as I don't have any IS lenses.
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Old 13-10-2009, 08:49   #9 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Canons take on it

Quote:
"Some of Canon’s competitors have chosen to use in-body image stabilization. The technique involves moving the image sensor in a controlled fashion, based on signals from movement detecting sensors in the camera body. The obvious advantage of this system is that users have some sort of stabilization available with almost any lens they connect to the body.

Short focal length lenses require smaller sensor deflections; 24 or 28 mm lenses might need only 1 mm or so. Longer lenses necessitate much greater movement; 300 mm lenses would have to move the sensor about 5.5 mm (nearly 1/4”) to achieve the correction Canon gets with its IS system at the same focal length. This degree of sensor movement is beyond the range of current technology. Short and 'normal' focal length lenses need stabilization much less often than long lenses, so the lenses that need the most help get the least."
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Old 13-10-2009, 08:54   #10 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

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Originally Posted by fionaB View Post
( didint even know there was a difference), as I don't have any IS lenses.
AAh Fiona but you have a Mono Pod.
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Old 13-10-2009, 09:05   #11 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

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so what did photographers do before IS was available, they still managed to get Pin sharp shots.......... so maybe the question is do we need it at all and doesnt it just make you lazy?
Good question. Well, I wouldn't have got #1, #4 & #5 in http://www.pixalo.com/community/phot...day-35328.html as I probably wouldn't set my tripod in time (tripod being the answer to what was, and is, used without IS/VR/OS)

Does it make you lazy? To a degree, I'd have to say 'yes' but I still try and use a tri/monopod where possible (#2 & #3 were tripoded

Having said that the biggest 'lazy factor' to me is most definitely Autofocus - using MF always leads to me comp'g the shot better (as I think a little bit more and don't just 'focus, snap')
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Old 13-10-2009, 10:27   #12 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

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so what did photographers do before IS was available, they still managed to get Pin sharp shots.......... so maybe the question is do we need it at all and doesnt it just make you lazy?
I think that depends on how you use it. If you rely on IS instead of trying to hold the camera steady, then yes. But IS lets you take, for example, hand-held shots at 24mm and about 1/6 second, which you'd struggle to do otherwise however steady your hand was.
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Old 13-10-2009, 18:13   #13 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

hmmmmmm if I didint use autofocus i would have to put my camera away. its not a case of making me lazy, i cant see anything well enough to know if its in focus or not. i have different glasses for upclose stuff so if i put them on to see if something was in focus using manual i wouldnt then be able to see far away things if they were in focus! lol and no the diopter doesnt come NEAR to making it achievable! manual focus is also way too slow unless its for something static, by the time i came near to having something in focus it would have moved! lol
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Old 13-10-2009, 20:43   #14 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Quote:
Originally Posted by fionaB View Post
so what did photographers do before IS was available, they still managed to get Pin sharp shots.......... so maybe the question is do we need it at all and doesnt it just make you lazy?
The same could be said for any technically advanced gadget ... right down to dslr's themselves (not to mention toasters ... and kettles ... etc. etc. etc.) If something has been developed to make (photographic) life easier, then I say use it if you want to, without being labelled as lazy
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Old 13-10-2009, 21:01   #15 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

im not labelling anyone as lazy honest! as i dont have IS i was only asking it folk thought it made them lazy. trust me if i could afford an IS lens i would have one i have the shakiest hands in the country! lol
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Old 13-10-2009, 21:10   #16 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

In that case, then no, I don't think IS makes me lazy

I do find it useful in certain circumstances. I don't automatically or always switch it on - remembering that it uses extra battery power + also slows you down a bit (you have to wait a couple of seconds for the VR to do its thing) - but generally speaking it is a boon for handheld shots at long focal lengths + longer shutter speeds
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Old 13-10-2009, 21:11   #17 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

I never use IS on my lenses but it's there if ever I do need it.
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Old 13-10-2009, 23:21   #18 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Seem to remember you could take photos without IS, it's just a little easier now
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Old 14-10-2009, 16:47   #19 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

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Canons take on it
Thanks Dave. This is the line both Canon and Nikon are taking. I believe them but it would be nice to see some figures; I am sure someone must have tested this.

For myself, while I do use a Tripod quite frequently, I certainly will not carry it far as I have enough kit already so Image Stabilisation is very useful for speeds slower than 1/focal length when you may have otherwise missed the shot or been forced to use high ISO. Of course, the IS lenses are much heavier
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Old 14-10-2009, 18:46   #20 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Another interesting point is that with the "In Lens"stabilisation you can see the system working when using the optical viewfinder .With the pure electronic sensor system you would only see the stabilisation correction when viewing via the lcd screen ,it is not translated through to the optical viewfinder.
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Old 14-10-2009, 19:32   #21 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

As with most things the concept of "fixing it at source" comes to mind. On that basis alone I reckon the Canon / Nikon take on it is probably true
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Old 27-10-2009, 23:36   #22 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Hello all. Just noticed this thread. May I be a little contrarian here? I shoot an Olympus E-510 with in-body stabilization and to put it simply it's miraculous from my perspective. It's always on. Everything I do is handheld. From 2:1 macro to the Bigma with a 2x teleconverter. I use the Sigma 50-500 as a walkaround lens and for the type of stuff I like to do all a tripod would do is cost me the opportunity. On my bicycle trips I take the Sigma 150 macro, the 50-500, and a 14-42 kit lens. I typically have the Bigma mounted and if I see a heron, eagle,deer, whatever; I can stop and just grab the camera and shoot. Same thing in my boat. The image stabilization makes it all possible. My tripod is laying on the cellar floor and hasn't been moved in over a year. I've never posted a picture on Pixalo using a tripod. I can't say it's better than in-lens stabilization, but I can say it makes a lot of things possible when pushing boundaries and I'm very happy with in-body stabilization. of course ignorance could be bliss in my case also. As for figures, they are readily available. The E-510 gets about a 2 1/2 stop advantage with IS on versus off. I've shot 1/8 of a second hand-held. Here's a page on it. Olympus E-510 EVOLT Review: 15. Features: Digital Photography Review
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Old 28-10-2009, 19:28   #23 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Oh in addition to the above rant, if anybody has some old legacy glass for anything except Canon they're not using, especially long unstabilized primes, I'll happily pay the shipping. i don't think even the Canon people can use theirs on a modern dslr. On my E-510 anybody's lenses except Canon's work nicely and are stabilized. All I have to do is enter the focal length in the menu and even the focus confirm light and beep work. I have a couple of Minolta-Rokkor lenses for a film camera that work just fine. Adaptors with electrical contacts are cheap.
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Old 29-10-2009, 09:36   #24 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

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Oh in addition to the above rant, if anybody has some old legacy glass for anything except Canon they're not using, especially long unstabilized primes, I'll happily pay the shipping. i don't think even the Canon people can use theirs on a modern dslr. On my E-510 anybody's lenses except Canon's work nicely and are stabilized. All I have to do is enter the focal length in the menu and even the focus confirm light and beep work. I have a couple of Minolta-Rokkor lenses for a film camera that work just fine. Adaptors with electrical contacts are cheap.
Oh! Hadn't thought of that! So, does the stabilisation work with older M42 lenses as well (where there is no electrical contacts, so all manual)? You can get some excellent lenses and a brilliant, low cost way to get into different types of shot (fisheyes, macro, etc) - workable with my Sigmas but the Canons won't take any form of exposure reading!
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Old 29-10-2009, 10:30   #25 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Graham, because the camera sensor is moved via its piezo mounts there is no requirement for the lens to have electrical information regarding the stabilisation signals. Auto focus lens contacts would have to be complient with the make of camera as would the exposure control.
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Old 29-10-2009, 10:53   #26 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

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Graham, because the camera sensor is moved via its piezo mounts there is no requirement for the lens to have electrical information regarding the stabilisation signals. Auto focus lens contacts would have to be complient with the make of camera as would the exposure control.
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I'm thinking you're replying to my post, so I'll happily wear a Graham hat today!

So I'm thinking that you input the focal length so camera has some idea of what to work with. You mention electrical contacts and AF + exposure: agree that for all to work automatically, you'd need contacts but my Sigmas will read the exposure (so as you can set exposure/shutter manually - and readings reflect changes i.e. can use Av and Tv) whereas my Canons don't show any readings at all (requiring a seperate light meter, a backward step in this day and age!)
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Old 29-10-2009, 12:52   #27 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Brian's spot on about electrical contacts. For older manual focus lenses the adaptor doesn't need them and stabilization still works. Adaptors are available both ways depending on needs. The shorter flange distance in 4/3rds makes it possible for the adaptor to fit between the camera and lens. If you Ebay old lenses some of the them still sell for real money, but it's only a fraction of the cost of a new lens. For macro, architecture, landscapes and other uses manual focus might even be preferred, therefore film era lenses get a new life. Legacy lenses on Olys are very popular. Owning both Olympus and Nikon DSLR systems is popular also,with the Nikon lenses being used on both.
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Old 29-10-2009, 15:03   #28 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

I remember this topic being on or tossed around before. I came into canon with a mini DV with optical stab- and was using Oly 5 mega pix for a camera. I liked the colors of Oly but like the stab- on the mini DV and invested in canon. They had the market for the video, why not the camera lenses. I can shoot those low numbers you all are taking about, big deal I guess for some. I am more worried about the new sensors and were they are going with ISO then stabilisation. I would buy a camera with sensor stab- and have concidered a switch to Oly, but in my humble ramblings I think they release more test cameras on the public then canon so I haven't switched,,,

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Old 29-10-2009, 17:57   #29 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

Quote; I'm thinking you're replying to my post, so I'll happily wear a Graham hat today!

Apology Mark, I had just been talking to my Son Graham,a senior moment on my part.

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Old 29-10-2009, 18:22   #30 (permalink)
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Re: Image Stabilisation In-Camera or In-lens

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Apology Mark, I had just been talking to my Son Graham,a senior moment on my part
If he changed his name to Mark..........
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