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02-24-2010, 10:32 AM   #1
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Is SR effective?

Just found something interesting re. SR: Study of the Effectiveness of Shake Reduction in the Pentax K7

02-24-2010, 11:22 AM   #2
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I couldn't even understand the CONCLUSION, let alone the rest of it.
02-24-2010, 12:05 PM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
I couldn't even understand the CONCLUSION, let alone the rest of it.
He's pretty sure that Pentax's implementation of shake reduction works, but that it is not a replacement for good technique: IE, sloppy technique will negate the benefits of the shake reduction.

I've never done any formal tests, but my experience supports his conclusion.
02-24-2010, 12:29 PM   #4
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I am in no doubt that SR is effective. I have to take medication that causes me to slightly shake. SR has made it possible for me to hand hold a camera at 1/60 sec. This may not seem that good for most people but for me it has made it possible to take photographs again in situations where the light is not that good and a tripod is not practical. I do agree it is not a replacement for sloppy technique, but rather another tool in the photographers toolbox. When multi-pattern metering became more common, similar doubts about the usefulness to experienced photographers was also expressed (I was one of them) but is used as the default metering by most people now.

02-24-2010, 12:40 PM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
He's pretty sure that Pentax's implementation of shake reduction works, but that it is not a replacement for good technique: IE, sloppy technique will negate the benefits of the shake reduction.
I guessed that part (I swear, but I was embarrassed to say it), but didn't he also claim that it has like little effectiveness at 125 and faster?
02-24-2010, 01:10 PM   #6
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The conclusion that SR is effective but does not substitute careful technique is just common sense, maybe even platitude. With a long lens, having SR can be quite helpful. but will not make miracles out of a motion-prone photographer.

Jason
02-24-2010, 01:47 PM   #7
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QuoteOriginally posted by flyer Quote
yes, this was brought ot my attention by rawr in Post #22 of Is the k-x mirror slap issue real?

I have found the Pentax SR very effective for my usage and could not understand some of the reviews that only found marginal effectiveness of about 1 stop in the K-x for example -
I have many shots at what can be regarded as close to ridiculous shutter speeds that were successful.

However handheld limit for me with SR - (from Kx in Use)
- with the Canon G10 p&s I managed to get a pretty respectable shot handheld at 1 sec(!) of course I had one arm slightly supported - but still it is 1 sec even with the flash freezing part of the action one can see the subject movement blur - but there is no camera motion blur for stationary objects..... so 1 sec can be done with the 'IS' of the Canon G10 (I have many shots to show this)

However with the Pentax K-x I can only manage about 1/4 sec max -
this is nothing to do with the Pentax SR being any less effective than the Canon IS.

This comes down to the viewfinder blackout on any SLR -
so I cannot "follow-through" by keeping my eye on the subject.
Whereas the Canon G10 has a simple optical viewfinder that allows me to do just that..... hence the 2 stops difference -
although to be honest 1 sec is pretty hit or miss - but I do have plenty of successful shots.
Note: Pentax dSLR SR shots are also pretty hit or miss at 1/4 sec mainly because of subject movement.
02-24-2010, 02:03 PM   #8
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I disagree, I think SR gives better results than any amount of proper technique. While proper technique obviously helps reduce camera shake, SR gives benefits above and beyond what proper technique could ever yield.

As for the overall effectiveness of SR, I think that depends on the firmware revision of the camera. I covered this last night in the following thread:

https://www.pentaxforums.com/forums/pentax-dslr-discussion/91372-firmware-1-03-a.html

There's a million doubting Thomases out there who dismiss the fact that SR was improved in newer firmware versions (I know, I used to be one of them), but my informal testing last night proved to me beyond any doubt that SR performance was in fact improved with the newer firmware versions. I think the firmware version of the camera the reviewer is using has a lot to do with his conclusions. For example, when dpreview.com reviewed the K-7, they found only a 2 EV improvement when using SR, as opposed to the 4 EV claimed by Pentax. I think the latest firmware has brought this up to a full 4 EV improvement, which puts it right in line with the in-lens stabilization offered by other manufacturers (Canon claims a 4-5 EV improvement). I don't have a K-x, but many K-x owners have claimed the same SR performance improvement since the last silent 1.01 firmware update.

Where proper technique comes into play is in the nature of in-body SR. We don't "see" the stabilization while aiming our shot, so proper technique is important to good framing. In-lens stabilization means we get to "see" a stable image in the viewfinder as we aim. That's a benefit we miss out on by having the stabilization in-body instead.


Last edited by GoremanX; 02-24-2010 at 02:20 PM.
02-24-2010, 02:08 PM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ira Quote
but didn't he also claim that it has like little effectiveness at 125 and faster?
I guess that one would expect just that with a 50mm lens.

A fast shutter speed is one way to avoid shake.
02-24-2010, 02:19 PM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by lpfonseca Quote
I guess that one would expect just that with a 50mm lens.

A fast shutter speed is one way to avoid shake.
at 1/125, I have a hard time inducing camera shake on purpose, even with SR disabled. I have to sway like a drunken sailor just to NOT get a sharp picture.
02-24-2010, 03:40 PM   #11
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I find the Pentax SR giving me usually 1 or 1.5 EV and sometimes 2EV more latitude for handholding. It is not effective to the claimed 3 or more EV (but I use only K10 and K20 and may be the SR is better in the newer modells?)

I find it interesting that in all the reviews I have read in German photo magazines, the Pentax SR comes out last, not only behind in-lens-OS but also behind Sony or Olympus. I cannot confirm that, as I don't use SOly, but I certainly feel ambiguos about Pentax SR: for once, it has a real and noticeable effect, but then, the effect is really substantially less, than advertised.

And I don't have a tremor and have often photographed with low-vibration cameras la Leica RF with very long exposure times handheld...

Ben
02-24-2010, 04:00 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Ben_Edict Quote
I find the Pentax SR giving me usually 1 or 1.5 EV and sometimes 2EV more latitude for handholding. It is not effective to the claimed 3 or more EV (but I use only K10 and K20 and may be the SR is better in the newer modells?)
I think it did get improved a fair bit in the newer models. For one thing, there's shake reduction on 3 axes now instead of just two. The old sensors had shake reduction on the vertical and horizontal plane. The new one adds rotation compensation to the mix.

On my K-7 with the latest firmware, I definitely think 4 EV improvement is achieved. This 100% crop was taken at 1/6 shutter speed and 135mm with my DA* 50-135mm in extremely poor light (2 x 40 watt equivalent CFL bulbs), handheld and nothing to brace my arms against:



When you consider the zoom range, I find that result pretty impressive.

Full picture that the crop is from:
02-24-2010, 04:26 PM   #13
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GoremanX, could you try the same with SR off? Or at least find the slowest speed you can achieve without SR?
Just to know how many stops we are really talking about here...
With my 200mm, I'm able to go from 1/30 (SR off) to 1/5 (SR On), with about the same success rate (about 75% sharps). That's nearly 3 stops...
02-24-2010, 05:01 PM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by GoremanX Quote
I disagree, I think SR gives better results than any amount of proper technique. While proper technique obviously helps reduce camera shake, SR gives benefits above and beyond what proper technique could ever yield.
I'm pretty sure that generally bad technique would overcome the effectiveness of any shake reduction system. To a certain extent you are right in that it can sometimes save a photographer from his own stupidity, but it isn't the camera version of Mother Teresa either.
02-24-2010, 05:17 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wheatfield Quote
I'm pretty sure that generally bad technique would overcome the effectiveness of any shake reduction system. To a certain extent you are right in that it can sometimes save a photographer from his own stupidity, but it isn't the camera version of Mother Teresa either.
well... no. Bad technique is bad technique, and SR isn't there to fix that. I just think it's unfair to claim that SR is only good for compensating for bad technique. SR does give a 2-4 stop advantage, and that's 2-4 stops that can be used by any photographer before a tripod becomes necessary.

QuoteOriginally posted by dlacouture Quote
GoremanX, could you try the same with SR off? Or at least find the slowest speed you can achieve without SR?
Just to know how many stops we are really talking about here...
With my 200mm, I'm able to go from 1/30 (SR off) to 1/5 (SR On), with about the same success rate (about 75% sharps). That's nearly 3 stops...
I intend to try this later. Right now, my arms feel like Jell-O from shoveling the slushiest, heaviest snow ever created by Mother Nature. I couldn't hold the camera steady even if I wanted to.
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