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Old Sep 11, 2011, 11:33 PM   #1
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Default Why no yard stick for shake reduction?

Yard sticks are being used for every performance aspect of any given camera and evaluated in greatest detail in all the reviews. There is no common yard stick to measure the relative performance of shake reduction systems.
Not in terms of different systems nor in terms of relative performance of the same system used by different brands and cameras.
Shake reduction efficiency is vastly more important than ,e.g. noise reduction or even shutter lag.
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 7:30 AM   #2
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I disagree that shake reduction is more important than noise reduction or shutter lag, let alone "vastly". But while I agree there is no common metric for the efficiency of shake reduction, that doesn't mean that no one is trying.

See:
Image Stabilization Testing, Version 2
Test for Image Stabilizers
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 8:47 AM   #3
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I disagree that there is no "yard stick" for shake reduction. All the lenses I have seen or purchased state that you can get the equality of one, two or three extra f-stops by reducing shutter speed.
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 8:48 AM   #4
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There would have to be a pretty good consensus on the frequency, direction, and amplitude of the shaking. Once this happens, someone will provide a standardized piece of equipment to shake all cameras equally, which everyone who tests cameras will have to purchase.
Sounds like a real money making opportunity - anybody want to join in?

Of course, once a standard is agreed on, the camera makers will optimize their systems to give best results at the test standard, and real world performance will be ignored.

I also disagree that shake reduction is that important. It has its uses in some situations, I guess, but I have done without it and not suffered for the lack.

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Old Sep 12, 2011, 9:10 AM   #5
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Okay, so my yard stick is a simple tool but then again a yard sticks are a simple measuring tool compared to a laser measuring tool. Then again I'm pretty simple type of guy.

Shake reduction is not one of the most important function on a camera but it sure is nice and I have become very use to having it on my lenses.
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 9:24 AM   #6
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Testing shake reduction isn't as simple as attaching a camera/lens to an accelerometer test bench and flipping a few switches. Mass has a damping effect on camera shake all by itself, so larger, more massive cameras are less likely to shake than smaller, lighter cameras. The impetus behind camera shake is the same whatever camera is in use, but more massive cameras are harder to shake than less massive ones.
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 9:41 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by THAIPHUKET View Post
Yard sticks are being used for every performance aspect of any given camera and evaluated in greatest detail in all the reviews. There is no common yard stick to measure the relative performance of shake reduction systems.
In my experience, there is no common measure for most of the performance aspects of lenses. MTF is commonly-identified as such a metric, but the review sites never use it. Of the lens companies with which I am famillar, only Canon and Nikon routinely produce MTF graphs -- and they don't do precisely the same thing even then. Nikon only measures their lenses wide open, and Canon measures wide open and at f/8 if memory serves. The lens review sites do different things. SlrGear provides 3D graphs of "blur units" at various focal lengths and apertures (an approach that I find quite visually informative, even if nonstandard), while Photozone provides a bar graph of center/edge/border line pair per image height statistics, which I find substantially less satisfying. In both cases, whatever insight one might be able to glean on bokeh from the sagital/meridonial divergence in an MTF graph is completely gone.

I find Photozone's approach to presenting lens distortion as a visually-distorted grid with numerical text associated considerably more graphically pleasing than SlrGear's 2D graph approach. Nobody seems to handle CA very well, although I have an emotional preference for SlrGear's 2D graph of average and max CA vs aperture to Photozone's bar graph of a CA statistic vs aperture, neither really seems to lead me to a proper conclusion about lens quality in this regard. But that may reflect my stupidity more than the information content of their graphs.

You can go right down the list of common points for evaluation of lenses, and you won't find much that is "standard" in how lenses are actually measured. I would suggest that the thing that more people complain about than not quantifying IS is not quantifying how much a zoom lens suffers from focus breathing. This is at least lens-specific. For the most part, a given generation of IS is pretty much the same for a given manufacturer across lenses AFAICS.
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 9:41 AM   #8
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Each individual is different as far as how much or how little anti-shake they need. Because it's so subjective it would be hard to come up with a meaningful test to tell someone that this lens or camera is better than that one. And while anti-shake is going to be important to someone shooting in museums, it's going to be completely unimportant to someone shooting outdoor sports. So again, I don't think you can make a blanket statement that it's vital for everyone. And which axis are you going to measure? I would imagine that different people would have different camera shake characteristics, but don't know that for a fact.
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Old Sep 12, 2011, 9:42 AM   #9
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Mass has a damping effect, but weight increases strain on muscles, increasing the tendency to shake. This varies, of course with the size and condition of the photographer. The usual result of increased mass is to decrease the frequency of movement, but increase the excursion.
This can turn into a pretty complicated subject, which is why most testers just use the 'hold it and shoot until the pictures get to blurry to use' method, and give the results in #of stops improvement. It isn't precise, but does take into account that an actual person is holding the camera.

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Old Sep 12, 2011, 10:24 AM   #10
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gyro stabilization
Bit hard to mount to an iPhone though,
if you are more worried about stabilization than image quality.


Also are you worried about shake stabilization (mode1, common on most brands) or wobble stabilization (mode2, only available on some of the new canon L series II lenses).
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Last edited by PeterP; Sep 13, 2011 at 9:41 AM.
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