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07-16-2013, 07:36 AM - 1 Like   #16
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Honestly, there are many benefits to in body image stabilization -- (1) smaller lenses (2) stabilized primes (3) takes away the decision factor of whether or not to pay extra for stabilization in the lens (4) it gets updated each time I get a new camera body. This last thing can be a big deal, since Nikon/Canon are prone to releasing lenses with VR/IS updates and upgrading can be expensive, whereas when I move from a K5 to a K5 II I automatically get the improvements they have done with the system. On the negative side, at least with Pentax's implementation, it probably isn't as good for telephoto lenses and it doesn't stabilize your viewfinder.

As to the question of whether or not it works, I can hand hold 55mm at 1/6 second with it on, struggle to have pixel sharpness with 55mm and 1/50 second with it off. How much SR benefits you probably depends both on the focal length and also on how steady you normally are.

07-16-2013, 07:57 AM   #17
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It´s true, Stabilisation systems built into the lens are better than those body based, at every focal length. The thing is the difference is minimal and gets a little easier to percieve at longer focal lengths. The thing is lens stabilisation may degrade ultimate image quality. Nikon recomends to turn VR off to have the best quality. And body based stabilisation gives the posibility to have stabilised primes! (modern and old). Smaller lenses, lighter lenses... I rather loose a stop of SR for convinience
07-16-2013, 08:00 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by Pentaxosaurus Quote
I don't think this was a deliberate choice on Canon's and Nikon's side. AFAIK they started to offer IS in the film era, and IBIS simply doesn't work with film (well, maybe it could, but probably nobody ever tried …). Pentax was a late-comer (as with AF) and had the option to do IBIS, and this is what they chose. As compatibility has always been a major sales argument for Pentax this was a pretty consistent decision.

With a standard FL I couldn't hand-hold slower speeds than 1/30 on my LX; whenever I did try though, > 90% of the shots were blurred. With my K5 I've had many sharp shots @ 1/4 or even 1/2 s for 28 or 35mm which gives 3 or 4 “stops of improvement”. I'd say the success rate depends a lot on “how steady” you hold the camera: the IS can compensate small recurring movements pretty well but is taken by surprise if you jam down the shutter release.

The different reports about how much effect an IS has are probably due to the ways people hold their cameras. There is no standard measurement procedure, and every photographer have their individual ways of rolling and shaking …
Yes, personal ability is a factor with either system.
https://www.pentaxforums.com/reviews/long-exposure-handhelds/introduction.html
07-16-2013, 08:04 AM   #19
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Thank you all. I prepared the following proposed response. Please let me know if it is fair and accurate.

"Image stabilization built into the camera body provides the advantage that you can use any lens with a Pentax camera (even very old lenses, including primes) and still get stabilization. Plus, you can use third party lenses which have built-in stabilization on the Pentax cameras, so you can have the best of both worlds. In other words, one can thus choose whether to use the in-lens stabilization or the stabilization in the body of the Pentax camera. Not all Canon/Nikon lenses are stabilized, but all Pentax lenses are.

Adding image stabilization to lenses increases their cost. Why pay for image stabilization over and over, when you can pay for it once—in the camera body itself? In addition, in-body stabilization permits the lens to be designed with fewer elements, which not only means lenses that are less expense, but perhaps lenses that might have greater light transmission.

In-lens stabilization may degrade ultimate image quality. I believe Nikon recommends turning it off to have the best quality.

In-body stabilization can be updated each time a new camera is introduced. It can also be updated via firmware as well.

Lenses with built in stabilization are generally heavier. As you know, any additional weight increases fatigue when hand holding the camera over the course of a session. Moreover, Pentax lenses are generally smaller and more compact.

While in-lens stabilization might generally be more efficient, note that it cannot correct for camera rotation around the lens axis, while in-body image stabilization can.

In-lens stabilization is not necessarily perceptively better. The effectiveness of stabilization, whether it be in camera or in-lens, depends greatly on how the photographer holds and uses the camera. One experienced photographer compared a nikkor AF-S 400mm f/2.8G ED VR to a Pentax FA*300mm f/2.8 ED [IF] and saw essentially no difference in stabilization. In fact, he gave the advantage to the Pentax system because it reduced the weight in the lens.

The Pentax GPS module provides an astrotracer function, which couples the unit with the camera’s image stabilization system for easily tracing and photographing celestial bodies. It is also my understanding that stablization in the Pentax cameras is step-less, thereby allowing nearly infinite precision as is adjusts.

Olympus also makes a four stop claim with respect to their in-body image stabilization.

Finally to correct one thing you stated, most modern lenses that do communicate the focal length to the body. Thus, the sensor-based shake reduction does know the focal length."


Last edited by Kenntak; 07-16-2013 at 11:48 AM.
07-16-2013, 08:11 AM   #20
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That would be a very comprehensive and solid response. Very good work.
07-16-2013, 08:43 AM   #21
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This is more a question than a statement - but why would an in-camera SR have to move the sensor around all that much? I believe we are not currently using the entire sensor for each shot, so wouldn't the sensor only need to move just far enough to keep the recorded image within the limits of the physical sensor? If so, the biggest difference would be the sensitivity of the accelerometer to detect movement and not whether SR happened in the lens or the body. And the example of moving the target rather than the laser pointer wouldn't be applicable.
07-16-2013, 11:03 AM - 1 Like   #22
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An important point which seems to be missed here is that in lens stabilisation is also available on Pentax cameras. Several third party lenses include the same in lens stabilisation as they use for other mounts and then you can choose whether to use the in-camera or in-lens stabilisation.

Regarding the matter of whether in lens or in body stabilisation is better there are pros and cons. I have only one lens with in built stabilisation, the Sigma 150-500. On some occasions I use the lens stabilisation and in other the in body.

One of the issues I find with in lens stabilisation is the fact that it stabilises also the viewfinder image. This is very useful if you are using the camera as a telescope and to some extent to make focusing easier but makes it much harder to hold the camera steady (because you don't have proper visual feedback of your movement), which in the end means the stabiliser has to work harder and therefore be of lesser advantage. Now I'm not sure whether this is just an issue with Pentax, or even just the ones I have (K-r and K-30), or else maybe others let you turn off the stabiliser while composing and activate it just before the shot.

The other disadvantage is a more mechanical one (again assuming the stabiliser is active while composing). As you are composing the lens will be moving around stabilising the viewfinder image and could be at any point along its travel at the time you hit the shutter. If it is already near one of its endpoints then its remaining travel is already limited and may hit the end stop losing its effectiveness during part of the exposure. If (as with Pentax IBS) the sensor it at its center position at the point you hit the shutter then it has its full travel in all directions available during the exposure.

Both of these matters are the main factor I consider when choosing whether to use in lens or in body stabilisation. Typically for 'easy' situations I use in-lens, which seems to give better results. By easy I mean stationary or slow moving subject, no strong wind pushing me and the lens, standing on firm ground (as opposed to a boat) and exposure times shorter than 1/30 second. FOr other more difficult situations, especially panning fast moving subjects the in-lens stabiliser seems to do more harm than good while the in-body stabiliser seems to work unexpectedly well (though it takes some practice getting used to how it works).


As far as optical performance is concerned there is also some difference in terms of the way the stabilisation reduces the optical quality, though I'm not sure whether this is just theoretical or actually results in perceptible difference in image quality. With the in lens stabilisation the stabilising element will necessarily be off axis much of the time, which is never a good thing for a lens system, introducing things such as astigmatism and so on. With sensor based stabilisation this is not the case as everything remains perfectly aligned all the time. There is however also a downside with sensor movement as you actually get different perspective with different positions of the sensor, just like you get with a lens-shift system (the sort used for photographing architecture and such) except that it is moving of its own accord.

Both of these aberrations are however likely to be very small and possibly insignificant in all but the most extreme situations.. The first will affect mostly long focal length lenses while the second will be significant only with wide angle lenses.
07-16-2013, 11:07 AM   #23
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
This is more a question than a statement - but why would an in-camera SR have to move the sensor around all that much? I believe we are not currently using the entire sensor for each shot, so wouldn't the sensor only need to move just far enough to keep the recorded image within the limits of the physical sensor? If so, the biggest difference would be the sensitivity of the accelerometer to detect movement and not whether SR happened in the lens or the body. And the example of moving the target rather than the laser pointer wouldn't be applicable.
Pentax has a GREAT presentation that they have, for inexplicable reasons, not made public generally on the sensor and its magnetic field. Part of that presentation, that I was lucky to attend at the K-30 Release Tour in Atlanta, shows how the Pentax process is more flexible and efficient than any other because it is step-less thereby allowing nearly infinite precision as it adjusts. Improvements in firmware can significantly improve its functionality and this was taken advantage of by the O-GPS1 and that resulted in better performance for the SR generally as I recall.

07-16-2013, 11:17 AM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by JimJohnson Quote
This is more a question than a statement - but why would an in-camera SR have to move the sensor around all that much? I believe we are not currently using the entire sensor for each shot, so wouldn't the sensor only need to move just far enough to keep the recorded image within the limits of the physical sensor? If so, the biggest difference would be the sensitivity of the accelerometer to detect movement and not whether SR happened in the lens or the body. And the example of moving the target rather than the laser pointer wouldn't be applicable.
It has to move the sensor exactly as much as the image projected onto it moved. The idea of optical stabilisation is that the sensor 'sees' a steady image throughout the exposure time. The system therefore tries to keeps the sensor aligned with the moving image for IBIS (so there is no resultant relative movement), or else the image aligned with the sensor in case of in lens stabilisation,

What you mention would be valid if using digital stabilisation, as is used on most smartphones, cheap point and shoot cameras and various camcorders. Those work rather differently.
Digital stabilisation works by shooting images at high framerate and then combining them digitally into one still, offestting each one accordinginly to get them all aligned. The alignment can be done either based on information from the gyro sensors or else by analysis of the images in cameras with no gyro sensors. So if for instance you shoot a photo at 1/10s it would actually be shooting 25 photos at 1/250s and then combining them digitally into one with an effective exposure time of 1/10s. The digital process is sometimes done in two stages. First the individual images are deblurred mathematically (inverse convolution or something of the sort) and then shifted to align with eachother and then superimposed on eachother.
07-16-2013, 11:36 AM   #25
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One of the reasons I went with Pentax in 2006 was that SR worked with all non-telephoto primes, even old MF ones. There was almost zero ability to do this with Canon and Nikon then and it isn't much better now and it does tend to limit indoor no-flash photography.
07-16-2013, 11:49 AM   #26
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I made the changes in red based upon the latest posts.
07-16-2013, 12:27 PM   #27
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Hey, you wrote a good response. But dont expect it to sway the persons opinion. Questions like that, and even more banal ones, are often centres of never-ending debates online. Don't take it too seriously, just enjoy your gear
And we all learned some new info from this thread
07-16-2013, 12:34 PM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by Na Horuk Quote
Hey, you wrote a good response. But dont expect it to sway the persons opinion. Questions like that, and even more banal ones, are often centres of never-ending debates online. Don't take it too seriously, just enjoy your gear
And we all learned some new info from this thread
Thanks. Yes, I don't expect anything useful to come out of the discussion on Facebook other than the hope that it might provide a reason for someone to take a look at Pentax cameras. I agree with you, the more important thing is that I and others got the opportunity to learn something new about our gear.
07-16-2013, 12:49 PM   #29
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Let's not forget another benefit of SR in the body which is very important to me: You can have horizon correction if you are within a couple degrees of horizontal.

Also the option to adjust the composition for critical macro framing. You can even use it for +/- 1mm shift for perspective correction (although very minimal).
07-16-2013, 02:04 PM   #30
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QuoteOriginally posted by demp10 Quote
Let's not forget another benefit of SR in the body which is very important to me: You can have horizon correction if you are within a couple degrees of horizontal.

Also the option to adjust the composition for critical macro framing. You can even use it for +/- 1mm shift for perspective correction (although very minimal).
Excellent points. When you've gotten the macro framing right, you think, and spent a LOT of time and effort and its off by a hair (which we all know is huge in macro terms ) then the adjustments the SR can make can be a huge plus in getting the shot without major reworking of your tripod adjustments.
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