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Author Topic: best image stabilization  (Read 3790 times)
bwana
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« on: January 20, 2013, 08:16:27 AM »
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Looking for more than a point and shoot. Something to take onto the slopes for snowsports or even at races. either a micro4/3 or larger. But the criterion is that it must have killer image stabilization. Although color, contrast, brightness, etc can all be edited in post, blurry pixels cannot be fixed ( well, adobe did showcase software that can track the path of a blurry pixel and process the image to correct it-but still experimental). I have seen the olympus 0md5 but have heard that sony is better. Any experiences here?

And no, a tripod doesnt work well on skis.
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atlnq9
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« Reply #1 on: January 20, 2013, 08:33:08 AM »
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You will see a better benefit coming out of a camera better managing higher ISO coupled with a fast lens than minute benefits in image stabilization performance.  Think high ISO and f2.8 lens to get shutter speed faster to provide low light performance rather than small IS difference between brands.
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bwana
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« Reply #2 on: January 20, 2013, 09:26:43 AM »
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yes i know that i can fiddle with exposure and ramp up the iso or go with expensive and bulkier faster lenses. but sometimes i WANT image stabilization  to selectively remove blur caused by camera motion versus blur caused by subject motion. so my question still has merit-which camera has the best image stab. if personal experience is hard to come by (after all, how many people would actually try and quantitatively compare cameras by this criterion), has anyone read anything useful on this? Google seems to think i want to buy something with image stabilization. in fact, google is becoming more like amazon- i guess that's where the money is, though.
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thierrylegros396
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« Reply #3 on: January 20, 2013, 09:37:37 AM »
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Don't take the RX100 (poor stabilization) or the RX1 (no stabilization).

A lot of compacts works well wathever the brand.

I'm very happy with Canon G15 and SX50 !

But it seems that Panasonic does very good things too.

Thierry
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qwz
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« Reply #4 on: January 20, 2013, 11:28:36 AM »
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Olympus OM-D E-M5 has tje best in-body solution.
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David S
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« Reply #5 on: January 20, 2013, 12:37:53 PM »
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I was quite pleased and more than a little surprised at how useful the in-body stabilization of the Olympus OM-D E-M5 is.

See if you can give it a try at your local shop.

Dave S



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xpatUSA
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« Reply #6 on: January 21, 2013, 12:34:48 AM »
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Perhaps you should visit dpReview's in-depth reviews on micro 4/3" cameras?

I bought a Panasonic Lumix G1 recently and a 14-42mm Vario Mega OIS lens and it seems OK. BUT . . it's for Wifely point-and-shoot duties.

Myself, I would lean toward Olympus with the in-camera Image Stabilization.

Ted
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best regards,

Ted
bwana
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« Reply #7 on: January 21, 2013, 10:20:29 PM »
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tnx for your reassurance. Since most snowsports occur in plenty of light, I dont think I'll ever need a sensor any larger than micro4/3-why would I want exceptional low light and low noise capability?  now i need to pick a tele lens and a waist pak to carry this thing on the slopes. leaning towards the lowepro inverse AW 200. I know backpacks have better stability but if you can't get to the camera quickly, what's the use. As for the lens, i want a sharp prime. Zooms are convenient, but historically have poor edge to edge sharpness. I'll look at the olympus offerings but am not averse to getting zeiss or leica glass. However, I have read that the olympus IS needs to be turned off with the manual lenses. With the good IS in the omD I'll prob need to get olympus glass to take advantage of it.
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David S
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« Reply #8 on: January 22, 2013, 06:14:23 AM »
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<< However, I have read that the olympus IS needs to be turned off with the manual lenses.>>

I have been using the Voigtlander 25 mm lens (manual lens) with the Olympus IS turned on without an issue. I also have a manual fisheye that works well with the IS on too.

Dave S

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k bennett
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« Reply #9 on: January 22, 2013, 06:32:57 AM »
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I think one of the points in favor of IBIS in the Olympus is that it works with manual lenses. But I have the Panasonic bodies so I don't know for sure.

For a waist pack, you might check the Think Tank Hubba Hubba Hiney, which is perfect for a m4/3 body and two lenses (but you'll need to purchase or make the waist belt part - it's one of their modular components), or the Change Up 2, which has a built in waist belt that hides away, a chest harness, and will hold more gear - though it's still relatively small. That one sounds perfect for backcountry use now that I think about it.

http://www.thinktankphoto.com/products/changeupv2.aspx
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bwana
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« Reply #10 on: January 22, 2013, 09:34:55 AM »
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yeah, that TT system looks appealling. As for the lens, I dont really fancy the kit zoom. I am thinking of the panny 25 mm f1.4, but for tele am torn between the 45 f1.8 and the 75 mm 1.8. Lloyd feels the the 75 is not sharp until you stop down to f4. On the slopes, I can always stitch together a bunch of tele shots for a pano so i am leaning towards the 75.
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atlnq9
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« Reply #11 on: January 22, 2013, 01:16:07 PM »
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bwana,

I am just curious if you have thought through your end use.  I gather from the bits and pieces you have posted that you want skier blur in the shots.  What is your target shutter speed?  Yet at the same time you are talking about bright light.  At the same time you are worried about perfect sharpness.  By the time you have a slow shutter speed (1/30th or even smaller) you will be looking at f20 which on a small sensor throws you well into diffraction.  Small sensors with reasonable pixel density will be into diffraction at or before f8.  This means whatever you are looking at must be capable of accepting a neutral density filter.  Big thing for you to keep in mind, does the lens have a usable filter thread and is it a common size?  

Skiing with a tripod is not a difficult maneuver.  I skied with an aluminum series 4 from Gitzo, of course I find the best light is low light, once the sun is up for more than an hour it gets very harsh particularly with the reflections from snow and glaciers...  Look at the carbon series 0 or 00 from Gitzo paired with the smallest ballhead from really right stuff.  Or you also have the option of having a machine shop put a thread on the end of your ski pole to use as a monopod.

I use bags from F-Stop for backcountry skiing and mountaineering.  Very customizable based on the gear you are carrying, usually medium format.  But then again, I don't go for rapid access.  I set up with the landscape I want then have subjects move through it...  But check out what they have to offer, haven't really looked at their selection in the last couple years and never really at their small line up.

If you are looking at stitching panos, remember that you have to capture the landscape before the skier moves through it leaving tracks.  At the same time your lens has to be wide enough to capture the entire spray and fine cloud from the skis.  A camera with a manual setting is a massive asset so that all your images for the stitch have the same exposure.  And manual focus makes sure the DOF lines up perfectly.  

On a similar note with the shutter speeds and cameras you are looking at you might find a wider lens to be better. You won't have a burst option like high end dslrs, so it will take skill, you have one shot to get the subject exactly where you want it in the frame.  A wider lens will make it much easier.  You don't have to have frame filling shots, wide shots  capturing the landscape and romance of the serenity are often much better compositions.

Basically my thought for you from what limited info I see boils down to this if you are choosing a smaller sensor camera:
Manual setting
Manual focus
Lens easily accepting neutral density filters to avoid diffraction (onsetting around f5.6 to 8 depending on pixel size)
Think wider rather than telephoto
Highly consider at least converting an old ski pole to use as a monopod and perhaps a tripod
Have a look at F-Stop camera bags, might have something you like but might not...

Anyways just a few thoughts for you which might be helpful for choosing a camera and lens.  
« Last Edit: January 22, 2013, 01:18:16 PM by atlnq9 » Logged
k bennett
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« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2013, 01:47:39 PM »
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I wouldn't fancy the kit zoom either, though it's not terrible. But for the sort of thing you're talking about, the Panasonic 12-35/2.8 lens would be my first choice. I own one and it is excellent. The 45/1.8 is also quite nice, and I use it all the time for people and travel work. But if I had to pick a tele for your use, it would be the 35-100/2.8.

In general, I'd rather use a zoom to get exactly the framing that I want when I'm unable to put myself in the perfect position. Since that's much more likely to happen in the backcountry, the zooms would be more versatile. For me, anyway.
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bwana
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« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2013, 03:46:49 PM »
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...
What is your target shutter speed?  Yet at the same time you are talking about bright light.  At the same time you are worried about perfect sharpness.  By the time you have a slow shutter speed (1/30th or even smaller) you will be looking at f20 which on a small sensor throws you well into diffraction.
...
...
If you are looking at stitching panos, remember that you have to capture the landscape before the skier moves through it leaving tracks.  At the same time your lens has to be wide enough to capture the entire spray and fine cloud from the skis.  A camera with a manual setting is a massive asset so that all your images for the stitch have the same exposure.  And manual focus makes sure the DOF lines up perfectly.  

On a similar note with the shutter speeds and cameras you are looking at you might find a wider lens to be better. You won't have a burst option like high end dslrs, so it will take skill, you have one shot to get the subject exactly where you want it in the frame.  A wider lens will make it much easier.  You don't have to have frame filling shots, wide shots  capturing the landscape and romance of the serenity are often much better compositions.


Sorry if I wasnt clear. I certainly did not enumerate all the situations I might be shooting in. But in general
1)candid face shots 2)action shots 3)landscape and occasional panorama
As for exposure usually mid- day outside or in the lodge. Subject motion blur is something I like to do when the subject is human. Long time exposures of landscapes with a big stopper (ND10) is not something I particularly enjoy. I can get the same effect in photoshop. Of course the landscape stuff when the shadows are long (early or late in the day) looks stunning when the image is crisp.
As for neutral density- yep plus a circular polarizer (although the 45 mm has a 37 mm thread- an uncommon thread size and no zeiss cir. pol.)
Since the meter will always be fooled by all the white, I will generally  need to go +1 to +2 EV to get good colors and exposure of the subjects in mid-day.

@k bennett
thank you for your insightful comments. yep, it's hard to zoom with your feet when you are on skis. esp when your on >35degree slopes. Having a tripod in that situation is quite difficult- But I like the idea of burying a 1/4 in bolt  under a removable ski pole handle for an instant monopod. I did see something a little more useful in France- the ski pole handle could be unscrewed to reveal the hollow chamber of the ski pole. The salesman explained to me that any kind of alcohol would be safe and the taste unaltered by the 'virgin aluminium'. I told him I preferred to carry a metal flask w a little cognac in my pack.

unfortunately, dxomark doesnt have info about the 12-35 or the 35-100 zooms. I have to see how they compare to the kit zoom from people's comments to get a feel where they lie in image quality (or perhaps they dont lie too much and are truthful?)
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250swb
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« Reply #14 on: January 23, 2013, 02:35:04 AM »
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As has been said, the OMD has the quadruple advantage of being able to do high ISO, and it has the worlds best IS, and of course for the snowy slopes it is weatherproof, and it is small. Apart from that the image quality is excellent as well. If you are going to be shooting wearing gloves the accessory grip (which also takes an extra battery) would be a good idea.

I have both the 12-50mm kit zoom and the Panasonic 12-35mm f/2.8 zoom, both are weathersealed. For the very last degree of image quality the 12-35mm wins, and there is the added advantage of the extra speed throughout the zoom range. But for it's versatility the kit zoom is a useful lens, and the image quality is still very good. It has often been said that Olympus kit lenses are what some other manufacturers might call 'standard to high end' optically.

I wouldn't go down the route of a monopod/tripod with the OMD in an active environment simple because you need to switch the IS off (with any camera) if you put it on a pole, then switch it on again, if you remember to. Otherwise the IS tries to unnecessarily stabilise the camera, so making small movements and degrading the image quality a fraction.
« Last Edit: January 23, 2013, 02:37:48 AM by 250swb » Logged

bwana
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« Reply #15 on: January 23, 2013, 07:24:02 AM »
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As has been said, the OMD has the quadruple advantage of being able to do high ISO, and it has the worlds best IS, and of course for the snowy slopes it is weatherproof,...

I was actually thinking of getting the e-pl5. Although not weather sealed, it's $600 less. plus i can get a 2 year hazard replacement plan for $100. plus it has no AA filter which might be a little better for landscape image sharpness. I am strongly leaning to the 35-100 2.8. Although the 75 f1.8 is mighty tempting for its better sharpness.
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pwatkins
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« Reply #16 on: January 31, 2013, 12:12:30 AM »
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<< now i need to pick a tele lens and a waist pak to carry this thing on the slopes. >>

For packing your camera to the slopes and have it readily accessible, have a look at the Kata Torso Packs.  I have been using one of the older Kata models for years and love it.

--Paul
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bwana
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« Reply #17 on: January 31, 2013, 06:44:26 AM »
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Tnx. I went w the lowepro inverse 100. It provides the most stability and is easiest to swing around from back to front.
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MarkL
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« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2013, 01:08:40 PM »
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Sports photography rarely has a need for IS, at the shutter speeds where shake is an issue a skier is going to be blurred anyway. I'd concentrate on cameras with good autofocus tracking which means SLRs.
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BJL
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« Reply #19 on: February 03, 2013, 12:31:20 PM »
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atinq9,

    you have overlooked one factor when talking about the f-stop needs of a smaller format: stopping down for a given desired DOF requires a less high f-stop in a smaller format, due to the shorter focal length needed to cover the same FOV: where DOF needs require f/20 in 35mm format, you can use f/10 in 4/3" format. That halving of f-stop balances out the diffraction effects: as has been discussed many times in these forums, once you equalize FOV and DOF in different formats by scaling both focal length and aperture ratio in proportion to sensor size, you get about the same diffraction effects.

However you are right that this reduction of f-stop means that one must reduce ISO speed by two stops, or increase shutter speed by two stops, or some equivalent combination of lower ISO speed and higher shutter speed. So for motion blur in bright light, you might have to choose between an ND filter and a bit more diffraction softening. I would got for the latter: the softening due to diffraction can be undone fairly well with suitable sharpening [deconvolution?], since the effect of diffraction is a known and reversible mathematical transformation of the image data (unlike OOF blurring.) Several forum members have provided detailed explanations and testing of this approach.

... I gather from the bits and pieces you have posted that you want skier blur in the shots.  What is your target shutter speed?  Yet at the same time you are talking about bright light.  At the same time you are worried about perfect sharpness.  By the time you have a slow shutter speed (1/30th or even smaller) you will be looking at f20 which on a small sensor throws you well into diffraction.  Small sensors with reasonable pixel density will be into diffraction at or before f8.
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