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Image stabilization?
I'm looking at purchasing a new dSLR and have a question about image stabilization. I realise that there are two types, lens based and camera based, but can someone please tell me the difference between them? Also, which is the better one?..

Comments (18)

Alphaqueen wrote:.

I'm looking at purchasing a new dSLR and have a question about imagestabilization. I realise that there are two types, lens based andcamera based, but can someone please tell me the difference betweenthem? Also, which is the better one?.

In-camera stabilisation moves the sensor to compensate for hand shake (called sensor-shift), while in-lens satabilisation moves an element in the lens (lens-shift)..

In compact cameras, sensor-shift seems to be the poor relation to lens-shift..

But this doesn't seem to be the case for SLRs. If there was a slight advantage to lens-shift, it would be more than offset by the fact that sensor-shift works with any lens..

Androohttp://Androo.smugmug.com..

Comment #1

The biggest difference seems to be that the lens-based stabilization, stabilizes the image in the viewfinder. If you're shooting really long telephotos this can be advantageous..

On the other hand, with in-camera stabilization, every lens you use on the camera is stablized and you're not limited to certain lenses which can be expensive..

The two big players, Canon and Nikon, bot use lens stabilization and aren't likely to change any time soon. Unless they start to lose their dominance, they'll keep making money from stabilized lenses..

Patrick T. KellyOaxaca, Mexico..

Comment #2

Olympus uses in camera stabilization and they are right you don't see it in the view finder but if you are using live view then you do see it there. Nice for over the head hand held shots..

I like the incamera system because I've built up a collection of lots of manual legacy (cheap on Ebay) lenses and I still get to use the IS if needed..

But one draw back is that if the IS system goes out then it doesn't work on anything, but if a lens based IS goes out then you still have it on the other lenses..

Good luck in your quest for knowledge.If you think that makes sense, then you must have read someone else's post!..

Comment #3

Hmmmm! I'm still not sure which one to go for!!! I can see the pros and cons of both. I have lens from my film SLR which will fit on a Pentax digital but I can definately see the advantages of the lens based IS..

Today's the day for the big purchase so I think I'll be guided by what 'feels' right once I get to handle the different models..

Thanks for all your advice ..

Comment #4

Both work more or less as advertised. From what I have seen, the lens based works a little better, but the body based gives you stabilization with all your lenses. Or buy a monopod for about the same effect...

Comment #5

Alphaqueen wrote:.

Hmmmm! I'm still not sure which one to go for!!! I can see the prosand cons of both. I have lens from my film SLR which will fit on aPentax digital but I can definately see the advantages of the lensbased IS..

Today's the day for the big purchase so I think I'll be guided bywhat 'feels' right once I get to handle the different models..

Thanks for all your advice .

Depending on which lens it is, it might make sense to stick with pentax. Stabilization is just one of many attributes of a camera. Look for the whole package you like best..

Comment #6

I'm also pondering if I should get a DSLR camera with in-camera image stabilization or not. How useful have you found the feature? Do you necessarily need it, for example in street photography or when travelling? I do dislike tripods and monopods and especially when travelling, in-camera IS sounds a good feature but I don't have any hands-on experience of it...

Comment #7

I shoot street scenes in the evening using a 35mm prime and the IS helps. Obviously some shots are bad because of people moving and the low shutter speed but I get some shots I like. I followed a clown in a harlequin suit and on stilts until he stopped for traffic. I like that shot..

It's also great in old churches and museums where I'm using wide-angle lens to get architectural features and contents, which don't move.Patrick T. KellyOaxaca, Mexico..

Comment #8

The usual guideline some people are steadier than others is that it's a good idea to keep shutter speed at 1s/ {focal length in mm... 35mm equiv} or faster, if you're hand-holding. Longer, and camera shake is likely to be an issue..

A decent IS system combined with maintaining good technique should get you 2-2.5, *maybe* 3 stops (1 stop = double exposure time) more and not suffer too badly from camera shake. IS will of course do nothing to stop subjects from moving..

So if your street shooting is with fast shutter speeds for the focal length (likely in good light without a monster telephoto, unless you're trying to stop down a /lot/ or you're using a heavy ND filter + long exposure to show blurred people or so forth) it won't help as much. If you're shooting stills in the evening, it *may* be enough with a wide lens, but you're probably hoping for too much if you're shooting a supertelephoto in the dark handheld..

Image control:Zoom outZoom 100%Zoom inExpand AllOpen in new window.

(obFlickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos//photos/62617544@N00/2284820405/ ditto regarding full-res).

Was shot at 2/5s and 48mm (~96mm equiv guideline would suggest 1/96s, a mere 1/38th of the actual). There is some softness in the full-res image, although part of that probably stems from the noise associated with 0.4s of ISO 1600 in brutal low-light, and perhaps some from the sepia conversion; and part possibly from the earlier build of Lightroom that I think I used to process that). It is probably considerably less blurred than it would have been without stabilization..

Travel note: If you're a museum person... IS either in-body or in-lens is a good idea, since museums are often both not particularly brightly lit and also hostile to tripods...

Comment #9

...For the very detailed answer with example photos! It seems that there are some advantage of the IS in low-light/long exposure situations and when using teleobjectives..

I must then think if I need the image stabilization in the camera or in the lens...

Comment #10

And limits. It helps with camera shake, but not subject movement (just like a tripod) so it matters what you are shooting and with what shutter speed. None of my lenses actually have VR in them, but I have rented a few for special purposes. It is generally more important with the longer focal lengths where camera shake is more of an issue (you can shoot at 200 MM handheld at 1/60 and get a reasonably crisp shot rather than the expected 1/200) but if you are shooting someone fidgity, well, at least your background would be sharp. Personally, if I had to choose, I'd rather have fast lenses than stabilization, but I guess with in body you could have both. Again, personally, I'm not all that keen on any of the systems that have in body stabilization.

I probably said it earlier in this thread (or in another one recently): Stabilization is only one attribute of a camera. Look at the whole package when deciding. You might end up with in body stabilization, you might not, but there are lots of things to consider..

Comment #11

Lapsi wrote:.

...For the very detailed answer with example photos! It seems thatthere are some advantage of the IS in low-light/long exposuresituations and when using teleobjectives..

I must then think if I need the image stabilization in the camera orin the lens..

A few things.

Firstly I think anyone wanting to decide should try before buying, this is because I think both systems can work well but maybe not for some people..

I have a lowly k100d yet I can hand hold at speeds at least equal to just about any photo I have yet seen posted from in lens systems (and I have a range from fisheye to 900mm (300mm 2.8 with a 3 times convertor), other people get almost no benefit from a k100d, both systems work differently for different people..

What focal length do you use most? ...if you want to use lenses faster than 2.8 under 100mm (which is the type of lens I use frequently), well there are none for in lens systems, not one! (to date). If you want to use the best expensive long (400, 500 or 600mm or so stabilized primes, then Nikon or Canon is the way to go though my system with a manual focus 300 2.8 and auto focus adapter gives the cheapest way of getting a stabilized auto focus 500mm lens faster than 5.6).

With in lens, some people get a benefit from seeing the image stabilized, others get vertigo from it (I have not missed one shot that is down to not seeing the image stabilized)...the other thing is to realise that even when seeing it stabilized you are still not seeing the shot at the time you take ut but rather just before, in that respect it is still pot luck, just like in camera....if using longer lenses you need to see if it helps, hinders or makes no difference in this regard..

Stbilization CAN help with movement in a sense...eg on a 500mm lens you can use shutter speeds at which the camera shake is taken out while still being ok for a shot of a person at a speed that will still be good...think sportsman taking a catch at something like 500mm and 1/200. It can also help at slower speeds so while there cabn be subject movement for creative use the camera shake is gone...so no blur on blur...drummers sticks for instance..

While to ME stabilization is mostly more important than auto focus, I am in the minority..

Having said all that unless it is very important to you, do not make your decision on stabilization alone, but buy what feels right for you..

Neil..

Comment #12

The longer the lens, the greater is the benefit from stabilisation..

But, sensor stabilisation is limiited for longer lenses because of the need for large movements of the sensor. But in-camera stabilisation works for any lens.

And yet, in lens stabilisation adds weight and glass to a lens, but is more effective for longer lenses..

There is no one best answer to this. Partly, it depends on the focal lengths you use.Bertie..

Comment #13

Rc53 wrote:.

The longer the lens, the greater is the benefit from stabilisation..

But, sensor stabilisation is limiited for longer lenses because ofthe need for large movements of the sensor. But in-camerastabilisation works for any lens.

And yet, in lens stabilisation adds weight and glass to a lens, butis more effective for longer lenses..

There is no one best answer to this. Partly, it depends on the focallengths you use.Bertie.

I keep reading that but never see photos to prove it..

I have a 300 2.8 manual focus Tamron lens that plays nicely with my 1.7x auto focus adapter...that gives 500mm aprox 4.8 stabilized af lens that I am very happy with, it is not as good as a canon or Nikon 500mm stabilized prime as far as the optics go but the difference is not that much considering it is a fraction of the cost..

When it comes to stabilization though I see NO advantage in posted photos...they BOTH work and I can hand hold this lens at the same sort of speeds that the in lens stabilized long lenses are used at...so again, what evidence do you have (regarding stabilization)?.

Neil..

Comment #14

In my experience, these are the TOP advantages for each type:.

In-lens: your viewfinder image is stabilized, which will help you with regards to FRAMING your shot. As stated by others, this is more evident at longer focal lengths. The longer the focal length, the more shake you'll get in your viewfinder without in-lens IS..

In-body: you have stabilization with all your lenses..

Disadvantages:.

In-lens: you'll pay more for the stabilized version of the lens than the non-stabilized..

In-body: no stabilized image..

Personally, it's a toss up. I have a camera with in-body stabilization. My girlfriend has in-lens, and it's definitely great to see a still image. However, it does like a little bit of time for the in-lens IS/VR to kick in after you half-press the shutter button...

Comment #15

One thing you often hear is that you're paying for IS or VR every time with in-lens versions, but you're paying only once when it's in-body..

I would disagree. I look at Nikon and Canon in-lens IS options and check the prices, then check the Pentax, Sony and Olympus offerings for the same lens of the same level of optics and find there is little difference in price by and large. Certainly there's a price difference one way of another, but it seems to average out to be close to the same price..

Given that I'm right, and if you check, I think you'll agree, there's is no finacial advantage to having it in the body..

Now, lets look at the implementation for a moment. If you are moving the sensor around in the body for a 50mm lens, it probably doesn't have to move it much. However, on a 400mm lens, I'd imagine that the sensor would have to move huge distances to counter camera vibration. I would guess that this would effect accuracy..

Now with in-lens IS, the elements in the middle would need around the same adjustments for longer or shorter lenses. I would suppose that to be more accurate. With the in-lens system, the design is based on the focal length of the lens. It's not an average of all focal lengths..

Moreover, you generally don't need stabalization for wide lenses nor even middle zooms so much, so why add weight and inaccuracy to a nice piece of pro-glass. I know that with in-body, you can also turn it off when using these focal lengths, and that's a good thing..

The above is just my opinion and perspective, not meant to get the in-body guys in some kind of argument..

Cheers, Craig..

Comment #16

Well, I'm probably using mainly fast primes (about 30-80 mm) for street and portrait and then wide-angle zoom (about 10-20) for landscapes, interiors and architecture etc.. And I need a DSLR system I can easily take with to my travels..

For camera I'm thinking of Nikon D300 or Pentax K20D. The latter seems to be a bit more compact and it has this in-body image stabilization. K200D could be also an option too because it's even more compact... Olympus E-520 seems very compact, but somehow it doesn't appeal to me..

Well, probably I'm going to choose Pentax because it has these great pancake lenses and good weather sealing...

Comment #17

In this video they show the advantages of both systems and also (what I find very interesting) what happens if you use both at the same time. It's better to use none, then to use both at the same time...Can;t find the link, but ,look around on Youtube and you will find it I guess..

I have no experience with the in-lens systems, I own the A300 and it has in-camera stabilizer. Very satisfied with that on all focallengths from 18-200. Haven't used it on longer lenses though, but seen some amazing handhelds up to 500 mm..

Greetings,ErwinDon't blame me for just getting started....

Sony H2Sony A300.

My Pbase is finally online:http://www.pbase.com/ed197907/..

Comment #18

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This question was taken from a support group/message board and re-posted here so others can learn from it.

 

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