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PostPosted: Sun Mar 25, 2007 11:08 pm 
Hi All

Just wondering why it would not be possible to produce an in-camera image stabilization system (that would work with a variety of lenses) just as effective as a lens-based one. I know that Gordon feels that lens-based may be better, because the IS system can be tailored to the specifics of the lens, but why couldn't, in principle, camera-based IS be just as effective?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:05 am 
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Hi Russel, great question!

The problem with in-camera stabilisation is that the sensor can only be shifted by so-much, regardless of the lens you attach. Since the compensation required to counteract camera-shake increases with focal length, there comes a point where the in-camera systems just can't keep-up. In contrast, if it's lens-based, the manufacturer can equip it with the tools to do the job.

This only really comes into play at much longer focal lengths though, but the great advantage lens-based systems have at any focal length is the ability to show you the effect of the stabilisation as you look through the viewfinder.

If you're framing at, say, 200mm, any wobbling can make composition quite tricky. It's wonderful to see the image stabilise through the viewfinder the instant you half-press the shutter release. It makes the composition very easy.

I remember testing the Sony 75-300mm lens on the Alpha A100, and when zoomed-into 300mm (working at an effective focal length of 450mm), I found it hard to compose the shot. The anti-shake system may have resulted in a sharp image at the end, but it was tough to line-up the shot as desired.

Ultimately it's a personal preference though, and models like the forthcoming Olympus E-510 will certainly level the playing field, as you'll be able to preview the effect of its in-camera stabilisation thanks to Live View. The in-camera stabilisation system of the SP-550UZ bodes well for the E-510 as seen in our video at:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Olymp ... age7.shtml

It'd be great to hear from anyone who's using a camera or a lens with stabilisation. Are you pleased with the results? Do you think it works well in practice? Let us know!

Gordon


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 12:31 am 
Gordon, thanks for your informative post and the video clip of the Olympus SP 550. You say in your post that only with lens-based stabilization systems can the effects of stabilization be seen directly when half-pressing the shutter. But, in your video clip, you show that the effects can be viewed on the SP 550 after half-pressing the shutter. Isn't this an example of being able to see directly the effects of stabilization in a camera-based stabilization system? If so, is the Olympus the only exception to your point about this?


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 1:08 am 
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Good point Russ - my earlier comments were in reference to Digital SLRs.

Non-DSLR cameras like compacts and super-zooms all give a live view, so anything seen by the sensor will be shown on the screen. So you'd get to see the effect of stabilisation whether lens-based (like the Panasonic FZ50), or sensor-based (like the Olympus SP-550UZ).

Hope that explains it!

Here's the FZ50 video by the way, which also shows its stabilisation:

http://www.cameralabs.com/reviews/Panas ... age7.shtml

Gordon


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PostPosted: Mon Mar 26, 2007 11:00 am 
Gordon, you have the patience of Job! Thanks so much for explaining this to me. Do you recommend any books for those of us just starting out with digital photography? P.S.: the video clips really were informative and it was good to see you in person...


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