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Thread: Image stabilization

  1. #1
    kdoc856's Avatar
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    Image stabilization

    Here's a quick question. My camera has in-camera image stabilization. I can obviously see why it isn't necessary to have it turned on while using a tripod, but is it actually harmful to the final image? I'm always looking to streamline whenever possible, and would like to skip the step of turning it off if I can. Please help, and thanks

    Kevin

  2. #2

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Hi Kevin,

    "Don't know" is the short answer. It's been the traditional advice for owners of Canon (lens fitted) IS units because in the absence of detectable movement the IS unit can actually introduce a little movement (not really an issue with later generation units). But for in-camera stabilisation, I really don't know; on one hand it's possible to get movement on a tripod (vibrations due to walking arounf the tripod / wind etc) (obviously more applicable to long exposures) (so good to have IS on), but on the other hand, if you camera IS "goes hunting" for movement when there isn't any, then obviously better to turn it off.

    In reality, you'll probably find that it doesn't actually make any difference either way. Perhaps do some tests and see if you can detect any difference?

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Thanks, Colin

    Your point re: long exposures and wind effect is the exact rationale I've used to leave the stabilization turned on. I can honestly say I havent noticed a lick of difference with it or without (on a tripod), but havent taken the time to do a side-by-side comparison. I'll take your advice and set up a comparison, and share it with the community if you think there's sufficient interest. Thanks as always for your help

    Kevin
    Last edited by kdoc856; 5th November 2011 at 01:59 AM.

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    Re: Image stabilization

    I shoot Sony, with in camera stabilisation. Going hunting for something to stabilised is the main issue quoted in the press (same as any other form of stabilisation). Although, that said, when I forget, I don't see any difference anyhow.

    Graham

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Hi Kevin

    I recently asked myself the same question about my IS Sigma 17-70mm lens as the manufacturer recommended turning IS OFF when using it on a tripod. I tested it with 54mm focal length and 3 sec exposure in a very stable mounting situation (concrete floor inside). Viewed at 100% in PS, I believe I could detect a slight improvement with IS OFF however it was very marginal and you wouldn't notice it at normal viewing size. I would post the comparison here but I think it would be a waste of time with the sort of resolution you could see on this website.

    Different equipment of course will behave differently.

    Cheers Dave

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    I would post the comparison here but I think it would be a waste of time with the sort of resolution you could see on this website.
    That's what 100% crops are for

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    That's what 100% crops are for
    OK I'll give it a try! I wont say which is which

    Image stabilization

    Image stabilization

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    Re: Image stabilization

    I'd give a slight edge to the first of the two, but to be honest, I think both would benefit from some subtle sharpening.

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Here's one with some fairly standard output sharpening applied ...

    (Be sure to look at it at 100%)

    Image stabilization

    (Totally irrelivant tto the exercise I might add, just thought I'd mention it).

  10. #10
    dje's Avatar
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    Re: Image stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    I'd give a slight edge to the first of the two, but to be honest, I think both would benefit from some subtle sharpening.
    Colin I deliberately only applied a small amount of sharpening (the same amount to each) so as to avoid "hiding" the effect of image blur. This may have been misguided ?

    #1 has IS OFF.

    Cheers dave

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    Re: Image stabilization

    I shoot Sony as well, up until a week or two ago an A100. I had always heard and read to turn it off due to possibility of movement caused by the mirror. I never have noticed a difference. I do always hang my bag on my tripod though. My new box has no moving mirror {A77} yet it is still recomended.... however the external button/switch is removed. I have not had any issue as of yet.

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by dje View Post
    Colin I deliberately only applied a small amount of sharpening (the same amount to each) so as to avoid "hiding" the effect of image blur. This may have been misguided ?

    #1 has IS OFF.

    Cheers dave
    Hi Dave,

    No, I don't think it's misguided at all, in the context of the test. The reason I mentioned the output sharpening though is that I see image after image after image everywhere where people haven't applied output sharpening (or in fact often any form of effective sharpening) - and although we're talking 100% crops here, applying typical output sharpening still produces a better result.

    Normally I'm commenting on images like this in the context of "is their a problem with this lens when compared to that lens" when in reality, effective sharpening makes a far bigger difference than the inherant differences between the two lenses.

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by jeeperman View Post
    I do always hang my bag on my tripod though.
    This is where women have a distinct advantage over us guys ... when they hang their handbags on their tripods there's NO chance of ANY movement! (I believe many tripods have been permanantly damaged though!)

  14. #14
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    Re: Image stabilization

    Absolutely Colin, her bag out weights all my gear by double. Poor pod doesn't stand a chance!

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    This is where women have a distinct advantage over us guys ... when they hang their handbags on their tripods there's NO chance of ANY movement! (I believe many tripods have been permanantly damaged though!)
    I'd have to upgrade my tripod for that situation. It's only rated at 3Kg

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Thanks all for the input. The test comparison I have in mind will be outdoors, very stable object (boulder or building), breezy day, as long an exposure as I can arrange under the prevailing conditions, and identical sharpening (or none at all just to control the variable). Will put it to the test as soon as I get home-traveling at present.

    Kevin

  17. #17
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    Re: Image stabilization

    However, my darling wife's handbag is so large it would act like a sail and blow in the wind, thus moving any tripod...
    Last edited by rpcrowe; 5th November 2011 at 03:59 PM.

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by rpcrowe View Post
    However, my darling wife's handbag is so large it would act like a sail and blow in the wind, thus moving any tripod...
    Reminds me of the 4 words that every man dreads hearing from his wife ...

    ... "Honey, hold my handbag"!

    Nobody is immune, as the mighty All Blacks discovered ...

    Image stabilization

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    Re: Image stabilization

    Hi Dave,

    Good size of crops, as you say, it is discernable, but only if you look hard

    (I guessed correct btw)

  20. #20
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    Re: Image stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by kdoc856 View Post
    Thanks all for the input. The test comparison I have in mind will be outdoors, very stable object (boulder or building), breezy day, as long an exposure as I can arrange under the prevailing conditions, and identical sharpening (or none at all just to control the variable). Will put it to the test as soon as I get home-traveling at present.

    Kevin
    Interested to see the results Kevin.

    Cheers Dave

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