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06-08-2012, 12:57 AM   #1
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Sensor-shift vs lens based stabilization

Hello, Im new here. I bought a K-r and now Im looking for some lenses. I want to buy some telelenses and I really dont know how exactly big is difference between lens based and sensor-shift image stabilization? Tammy and Sigma both have lens stabilization, but Pentax dont. What difference it should be on 200 or 300 mm when you are slowly sneaking to take a picture of some pretty little birdie or something like that :-) Thank you and sorry for my crappy English :-/

06-08-2012, 02:22 AM   #2
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In a nutshell, lenses for Pentax don't need in-lens stabilization because the camera bodies themselves are stabilized. It's just as good for all but the longest lenses.

There are some threads comparing the two systems spread throughout the forum if you want to do a search- both have a few pros and cons.

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06-08-2012, 04:07 PM   #3
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Forms of lens stablization known as IS or VR and others have been known to break down after some use. I have never read about SR breaking down in any Pentax camera. I have read SR works up to a shutter speed of 1/500. I have used Nikon lenses and I don't see much difference during low shutter speeds between Nikon and Pentax cameras. Talking about birds, that is one of my specialties:

www.flickr.com/photos/andrewdalerichardson
06-08-2012, 11:09 PM   #4
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In a few words:
sensor shift:
+ works with all lenses,
+ compensates for rotation along the lens' axis (on the K5, K7 and -maybe- K30),
+ does not change the image;
- noise can be picked up in video...
lens-based:
+ stabilizes the viewfinder and the AF module,
+ better with longer lenses,
+ noiseless,
- can do funky things in OOF areas.

06-09-2012, 10:20 AM   #5
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Correction: lens-based is not noiseless.
06-09-2012, 11:15 AM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlacouture Quote
In a few words:
sensor shift:
+ works with all lenses,
+ compensates for rotation along the lens' axis (on the K5, K7 and -maybe- K30),
+ does not change the image;
- noise can be picked up in video...
lens-based:
+ stabilizes the viewfinder and the AF module,
+ better with longer lenses,
+ noiseless,
- can do funky things in OOF areas.
Just occurs to me, that with EVF, won't the image be stabilized by the sensor shift (just like Liveview)? I suppose to some extent, the stabilization is affected by processing power.

Here's another point to consider. Any stabilization system takes a finite amount of time to adjust to a new location. Try this with your Kr SR system:
a. Turn on your SR by pressing the shutter to the 1/2 position
b. After the SR hand comes up in the VF, remove your finger from the shutter while keeping the same orientation
c. Quickly move the camera orientation to the left or right while watching the SR hand
d. You will see the hand disappear while the SR system "stabilizes" to the new position. On my K5, it takes about 2 seconds for the hand to reappear.

If you are shooting a lens and not using a fast shutter (because you are relying on SR), your shots during that 2 second period are likely to be fuzzy.

As far as i know, I believe the lens stabilization systems all have the same problem. SR, VR, OS, IS and whatever other S and R systems outt here are great if you can keep your orientation relatively constant, but for BIF or sudden snapshots, (not to mention tripods) not so good. People like to complain about random OOF shots with their Pentax, I think a certain percentage of these problems are due to incorrect SR system use. I mean how many of us really wait for that hand to show up in the VF. I turn off the SR and rely solely on shutter speed using the thumb rule when shooting live plays. I get much higher keeper rates that way.
06-10-2012, 08:02 AM   #7
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Ok. Thank you very much :-) To all of you.
06-10-2012, 10:12 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Giklab Quote
Correction: lens-based is not noiseless.
But less likely to be picked up by the camera's mic...

06-10-2012, 11:18 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by dlacouture Quote
But less likely to be picked up by the camera's mic...
Well, I guess it depends on the camera/lens combination, but the D5000 for example, has the mic right beside the mount. That means ~3cm away from the VR system. Believe me, it gets recorded alright.
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