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In-body or in-lens "image stabilising" - which is best?

15 Mar 2009 7:07PM
Hi all !
I am at an age, where I can no longer hold a camera rock steady without a tripod so as a must have, the route to go is I/S But which way is the best way ?
My camera at the moment, Olympus E500 which if i stick with the make would mean a change of body for I/S or change make ie : Canon and have lenes with I/S built in.
Which is best, Body or Lens ??
Your comments would be welcome.
Paul Morgan 19 19.5k 6 England
15 Mar 2009 7:15PM
Your already using a selection of Olympus glass so simply upgrade to something like the E520 or one of the even newer models when they become available.

Im finding the in body IS very handy, even works with non 4/3 glass, ie lenses of 30+ years of age like the zuiko`s or lensbabies.

In body IS is of a great deal more use than those offering in lens IS only.
scthomas 13 62 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2009 7:54PM
I have an Olympus E510 and much prefer the IS in body rather than the previous Nikon D80 where I had to buy VR lens.
Also if you have 4/3 lenses just buying a new body makes much more financial sense.
monstersnowman 15 1.7k 1 England
15 Mar 2009 7:56PM
Well, in-body will provide image stabilising without the need to buy a dedictaed IS lens but in my own experience I made a direct comparison between a camera with in-camera against a larger IS canon lens with a slower shutter speed by one stop and the canon image was still sharp and the in-camera wasn't .. whether that is reflective of most people's experience , I cannot say. Undoubtedly the in-camera version will save 's ... and I am sure will still be effective enough for most people's needs.
15 Mar 2009 8:02PM
Many thanks Paul for the info, have taken your points onboard, especially about the older lenes as I already have several from my SLR day's.

The 620 is the latest release from Olympus but the retail price I believe ? has not been announced.
AntHolloway 15 168 United Kingdom
15 Mar 2009 8:06PM
I use a Sony Alpha 700 which also has in body IS and as others have said it is an advantage that it will work with all lenses. One thing I did like when I tried a Canon IS lens system is that you see the stabalised image in the viewfinder when you half squeeze the shutter, but overall there is not much to choose in terms of effectiveness. As others have said, if you already have the lenses you are best off going for an upgrade to a new Olympus body.

15 Mar 2009 8:09PM
Manythanks to you all for your prompt replies very much appreciated.
cameracat 16 8.6k 61 Norfolk Island
15 Mar 2009 10:16PM
According to Nikon, In lens is the best.....Well I guess they would say that, But then so does Canon.....Smile

If you do some indepth research into the actual mechanical/electronics required to produce image stabilization, You may come to the conclusion that in lens is better.

In lens is designed & tuned for that particular lens, In body is a jack of all trades for any lens you use.....!

Now which system is going to be more accurate, I think the answer is pretty obvious, You may not though......Sad
samfurlong 14 2.5k United Kingdom
15 Mar 2009 10:25PM
As said above, in lens is technically the best solution but obviously more expensive as you are paying for another stabilization system for each lens rather than just one in camera system.
I believe the same sort of thing was tried by minolta for AF, having the focussing motor in the body not the lenses.
The result was significantly cheaper lenses by Minolta but the AF of the Nikons (and especially the Canons with their USM focussing system) knocked 7 shades of you know what out of them.

Most of my long Canons have IS in the lens and they are excellent, although I have never used a body with stabilization. If in body was the best system then I would expect the pro bodies to have it - but they don't.
RogBrown 13 3.1k 10 England
15 Mar 2009 10:52PM
I've got a Sony A300 with in-body IS & it's superb.
Photogeek 15 605 6 Wales
15 Mar 2009 11:00PM
I have IS in both my Bodies . . . . and turn it off most of the time . . . . But then I'm shooting in the studio with Flash . . .When I'm shooting with the modelling light then it gets turned back on and has been said works with all lenses including my lensbaby . . . and the depth of focus using one of those at f2 is tiny so at slow speed handheld it is a bonus.

For my photography it is not essential, and I can always switch to a tripod instead of hand holding . . . but the times I've used it its has meant I can get a sharp shot when I would probably have missed it . . . It's not a feature I would pay extra for (say In a Lens) but as the bodies I use have it built in it is available . . . and gets used.
Paul Morgan 19 19.5k 6 England
16 Mar 2009 1:28AM

Quote:In body is a jack of all trades for any lens you use.....!

Not quite, with 4/3 you set the focal length of the lens via the menu so any lens or focal length will be stabilised, only 4/3 lenses are set automatically.

The IS works very well and have tried it with 30+ year old Zuiko`s and lensbabies.
16 Mar 2009 9:22AM
Hi all !!
You have all given me a great deal to consider and although the jury is still out, at the end of the day, as a pensioner I must respect the and go with what I have and upgrade.
Here's hoping for a lottery win !!!!!!!
LenShepherd 12 4.2k United Kingdom
16 Mar 2009 1:36PM
Either can be better than neither - on photographic subjects that benefit from it.
The effect of OS/VR/IS can be seen in the viewfinder when it is built into a lens, which can be an advantage.
In body it works with any lens.
The consensus on test sites seems to be you can gain more if in the lens.
In your case I suggest you may need stabilisation all the time except when working from a tripod, so upgrading to an Olympus with in body stabilisation seems the best - and cheapest - option for you.
bradleysmith 16 157 United Kingdom
19 Mar 2009 11:30AM
As a general solution I think in-body is more versatile. I don't think it's any more cost effective though because Sony will charge the same money for a non-IS lens as canikon will charge for an IS equivalent. That said, there's something to be said for having a fast lens AND image stabilisation. It's enabled me to take outdoor shots at night using only the light coming out a bar window.

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