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Old Apr 14, 2006, 12:22 AM   #1
Join Date: Dec 2004
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Hey guys,

I currently own a Panasonic FZ-15 which has Image Stabilizer built into the camera. I LOVE this feature because it does help out in tough low-light situations where going down to 1/20 or even 1/8 helps. And someone even once told me, once you go IS, you will never go back.

Well, I'm starting to definitely push the limits on my Panasonic FZ-15 and have been pondering the purchase of a dSLR. With the price aside, the Nikons and Canon dSLRs all seem to have better features (faster autofocus for example). However, the Konica Minolta 5D (or whatever Sony decides to put out in the near future) has Image Stabilizer built into the camera, thus making any attached lens image stabilized.

Now I consider IS to be VERY important on a prosumer camera like the Panny FZ because of it's smaller sensor and crappy high ISO images. Is Image Stabilizer equally important on a dSLR (for the sake of this example: the camera is equipped with 18-55 stock lens) that can perform nicely at higher ISO's?
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Old Apr 14, 2006, 12:48 AM   #2
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Location: Savannah, GA (USA)
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If you're going to "push the limits" of the camera, Anti-shake helps.

I've been known to try and get away with shooting at ISO 3200 with a 28mm f/2 at shutter speeds as slow as 1/5 second while out eating in candle lit restaurants. That's below the design standards for Anti-shake. So, don't expect every photo to be tack sharp trying that.

Most of the time, light is better than that though (I may be able to get by with 1/25 second if there are more candles shooting at ISO 3200). LOL

I posted one in this thread:


One of the better things about anti-shake is that it works with all of your lenses, including bright primes. So, I can use bright lenses like my 28mm f/2 and 50mm f/1.7 and get it's benefits. You can't find stabilized lenses like that from Nikon or Canon (at any cost).

Even in good light, you may want to stop down the aperture for greater depth of field, and shutter speeds can sufffer when you do that. So, anti-shake isn't just for low light use.

But, I probably value having ISO 3200 just as much as I value the anti-shake, as anti-shake won't help blur from moving subjects.

The Nikon D50 and Canon Rebel XT only go through ISO 1600, and the Konica Minolta Maxxum 5D has an available ISO 3200. You don't want to use it unless you have to. But, I use it relatively often.

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Old Apr 14, 2006, 9:51 AM   #3
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I love IS, but at the other end of the focal length range. I use lots of long lenses, and then any little bit of enduced shake makes all the difference. Wind. People walking by (if I'm on a boardwalk.) Any shake huts when you're at 600mm or 800mm. IS removes it very nicely.

I have a set of owl shots taken in a forest that were taken at 1/8 of a second at 400mm. They don't look "Tac" sharp, but I think they look very good. I doubt they would have come out without IS.


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Old Apr 14, 2006, 10:18 AM   #4
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I also started with FZ1. Now use 10D and 100-400L which has IS. IS is nice to have butjust like Eric, I need it on the long end. It is not that useful for normal focal lengths. For inside low light shots, a brigther prime is better than IS. if you shooting people, even if you can go say to 1/5sec with IS, the shot is going to come blurry as people move. If you shooting stationary things then you need to use smaller apertures to get more DOF and tripod is much better option.

Built in IS is nice to have as all your lenses will have IS. Nikon doesn't offer IS (VR in their case) on many lenses and usually their glass is more expensive than canon glass.
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