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Image stabiliser


no IS enabled

IS enabled with focal length set to 50mm

Above is a comparison of the effectiveness of the Olympus E510's image stabiliser using a legacy OM 50mm macro lens to take hand held photos of my laptop screen. Both images are 100% crops ie. not resized (left is bigger because I was lazy in selecting the size to crop and perhaps I was a little closer to the screen).

Both of these were taken at 1/8th sec which for a 100mm effective length should be impossible to get sharp images hand held - but look how beautiful the IS image is on the right.

This is what a camera with IS built in can do for you - ANY of your lenses whether old manual focus ones, mirror lenses or your new digital AF lenses can benefit enormously from the camera's IS.

In-camera, sensor-shift IS is the way of the future as it works on almost ANY lens.

Heck, you could even put Nikon's brand new 24mm tilt-shift lens on the E510 and have an image stabilised 48mm tilt-shift lens!

I've always wanted a 45mm tilt shift lens, time to talk to my wife! (June 2008 - time to buy myself a Canon 45mm)

But first, my next project may be to test it out on my 500mm f/5.6 Maksutov Cassegrain telescope lens - an image stabilised 1000mm f/5.6 lens which you can hand hold seems to good to be true! - see telephoto reach - super-telephotos on a budget - my tests

Personally I think Canon & Nikon have made a big mistake on their attitudes to IS - why can't my Canon 1D Mark III do what my much, much cheaper E510 can do?

Guess it will end up being like the live preview saga - Canon & Nikon belittled Olympus in bringing live preview to the dSLR world, and now almost every camera must have it!

I know I won't be buying any more optical IS lenses.


Optical IS:

Sensor shift IS:

Olympus/Panasonic/Leica IS lenses:

Canon IS lenses:

Nikon VR lenses:


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