Flaws of Canon's Lens Based IS Strategy

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by milbourn, Feb 10, 2009.

  1. I appreciate there is some debate about the merits of lens based versus cameras based IS. However, I do wonder if Canon are going down a damaging path in refusing to countenance camera based IS. Quite simply, lens based IS costs more and that is bound to have more of an effect as the recession bites. In particular I think Canon are being complacent about the extent of the extra costs. In the UK the equipment costs more in actual terms than the US and a lot more in terms of disposable income. For instance the difference between the normal and IS versions of the F4 70-200mm lens is $700 in the UK. Not so wealthy enthusiasts can get a Sony A700 for a bit less than a 50D and have IS on all lenses, including primes and mid-range 3rd party lenses. This is at least better than not having IS at all with Canon as it is not really affordable on anything but basic lenses, whatever purists may say.
     
  2. Andrew, as I understand it, the reason Canon and Nikon do not use sensor shift stabilisation but stick with lens stabilisation is that the sensor shift system reaches a limit with long lenses. So you would be restriceted as to which lenses you could use with it.
    Canon say

    http://www.robgalbraith.com/public_files/Canon_Rebel_XTi_White_Paper.pdf
    (asnd search for 'stabilization')

    that with a 300mm lens on a APS-C size sensor the shift would need to be 5.5mm which is not currently feasible However as technology advances I expect sensor shift will eventually become the norm one day. The full frame Sony A900 uses sensor shift so maybe this is a glimpse of the future at least for consumer level cameras. Pro cameras will always go for top quality and try to eliminate any compromise so I can't see sensor shift appearing in those top line models. So although sensor shift would make sense from the economic point of view for cameras amed squarely at the amateur market,with Canon and Nikon I am not holding my breath.
     
  3. All of us do not shoot digital so if you still shoot film Canon and Nikon with their lens based IS systems are the only options available.Canon got there first back in 1995.It was one the most useful breakthroughs of the past 30 years.
     
  4. It is my understanding that with lens stabilization, the image stops jiggling around, with sensor stabilization, the image keeps jigglig. I have some Canon zooms with IS. I like to see the image "zero in" and hold still.
    I don't have a sensor stabilized camera, so correct me if I'm wrong.
     
  5. Frank makes a very good point indeed and one that I hadn't thought of before. That makes lens based IS a much nicer system to use in my opinion.
    Also, I appreciate that Canon's IS lenses are more expensive than their own non-IS brothers (70-200 non-IS versus same lens with IS). But, have you priced Sony lenses? The Sony 300mm f2.8 (which has no IS of course) is £4000 in the UK. Canon's excellent 300mm f2.8L IS (which naturally has IS) is £3600. Which would you rather have?
    Also, Canon is now shipping it's budget DSLRs with IS lenses as standard (e.g. 18-55mm). The cost is negligible.
     
  6. Douglas also has a good point, there's still a lot of film users out there (which I hope never changes).
     
  7. I think that unless you are shooting with long telephotos, in-body stabilization is much more sensible. In my experience with Pentax dSLRs it works excellently. Maybe its drawbacks become noticeable with lenses 200mm+, but into this realm only professionals and VERY enthusiastic amateurs go. For most "normal" photography in-camera IS is better, since it allows you to use fast primes for the combined benefits if large aperture and stabilization. And non-stabilized lenses are cheaper and less weighty, of course.
    And I found Canon's cheap consumer kit lens IS not very good. So unless Canon only wants to carter to professional sports photographers they should change their policy and offer camera bodies with built-in IS for us prime lens shooters -- they have such a nice prime lens line-up and an affordable, full-frame Canon camera ("5D-IS") would probably be a very successful product.
     
  8. I know of no reason why the two systems should not co-exist, although it would probably not be possible to have them both operating simultaneously. Each has distinctive advantages. It has already been mentioned that lens-based IS stabilises the finder image as well as the sensor image. It also stabilises the image falling on the phase-detect AF system, which may perhaps help AF performance.
     
  9. [[And I found Canon's cheap consumer kit lens IS not very good.]]
    Compared to what?
    [[Maybe its drawbacks become noticeable with lenses 200mm+, but into this realm only professionals and VERY enthusiastic amateurs go. For most "normal" photography]]
    The problem with these qoted statements is that only "VERY enthusiastic amateurs" would consider the kit IS lens from Canon "not very good."
    For "normal" photography, consumers will be able to achieve very good results with /any/ camera system featuring /any/ level of IS.
    Don't forget that what is "normal" to you is very, very advanced to 90% of the consumer camera market.
     
  10. "Maybe its drawbacks become noticeable with lenses 200mm+"

    That is precisely when stabilization is most useful (200mm+). As for having IS available for fast prime lenses, especially under 100mm, I think it would be mostly unnecessary. A fast prime is just that... fast... i.e. able to work in low light. Only in extreme low light would IS be of any use with a fast prime especially with todays DSLRs which work so well at high ISO.
     
  11. Compared to what?​
    Compared to their (more expensive) prosumer and pro gear. It seems to me that not all IS's are created equal...
    As for having IS available for fast prime lenses, especially under 100mm, I think it would be mostly unnecessary.​
    Well, we have to agree to disagree. Fast lenses have their speed limits and even with high ISO and f/1.4 you will not get comfortably handholdable shutter speeds in many available light situations, especially with normal to medium telephoto focal lengths. Believe, I know and I wish it is different. Besides, the technology is there, why should I be forced to raise ISO to for me unacceptable heights (killing dynamic range and adding tons of color noise)? I guess you have never shot with a fast prime and in-body stabilization, so you just don't know what you're missing. Give it a try.
    And if all fails, high-ISO plus super-fast prime plus image stabilization will still be better than just high-ISO plus super-fast prime.
     
  12. I find that lens-based IS helps with focusing. With a steady image in the viewfinder, AF snaps on better and judging focus accuracy is easier.
    As for lens-based vs body-based IS, I see no reason why they should be mutually exclusive.
     
  13. People with fast primes don't always see the world at f 1.4, some times we actually use f 11.
     
  14. The way I see it, as do many others, Camera-based I.S. is a gimmick and Lens-based I.S. is the real deal--ESPECIALLY in longer focal lengths, no doubt about it.
     
  15. Dunno... I've bought 3 non-IS DSLR bodies and 4 IS lenses. I don't know that I would have saved much money by buying 3 IS bodies and 4 non-IS lenses, and I'm sure any cost savings would disappear once I purchased a couple more generations of IS bodies. I would of course benefit from more IS coverage with my non-IS lenses, but do I really NEED IS on these lenses? I handhold my non-is 17-40L, Zenitar 16 fisheye, and Sigma 12-24, which is really no big deal. My longer non-IS manual focus prime lenses are mostly for tripod use -- a 50, 90, 105, and 135. As far as I'm concerned, I haven't spent too much money, and I'm not left wanting for more IS.
    Besides all of this, I can use my IS lenses on film cameras, in which there is no in-body solution.
     
  16. with a 300mm lens on a APS-C size sensor the shift would need to be 5.5mm which is not currently feasible​
    I think it would require redesigned lenses anyways, at least in FF. The lenses are not designed to have identical image quality 5-6mm outside...
     
  17. When my in - lens IS dies I swap out the lens and keep shooting while the lens gets repaired. When my in - camera IS dies I send the body off for repair and twiddle my thumbs...
     

  18. "Not so wealthy enthusiasts can get a Sony A700 for a bit less than a 50D and have IS on all lenses, including primes and mid-range 3rd party lenses. This is at least better than not having IS at all with Canon as it is not really affordable on anything but basic lenses, whatever purists may say."


    And that is where the free market comes into play. The consumer has a choice, and if enough people decide to buy Sony vs Canon, Canon may offer a competing camera body for that market. Each company has their ideas of what products will sell best. The market will decide which will be the most profitable. It sounds like the real complaint is the cost. We would all like to see prices come down on those items we want but are out of our economic comfort zone.
    I am assuming photography is still a hobby for you as I doubt a professional is going to allow $700 for pro equipment be a deal breaker. This is a reality for many of us. One way for the serious amateur to comfortably obtain those big ticket items is to make your camera work to buy your next lens or camera body.
    Start by photographing pets, couples or kids sporting events and offering photos at a very reasonable price. Have enough mark up to make a little extra money. I know several people who do this on weekends, they have a photo printer, laptop computer and an inverter in their car. One fellow charges a couple of dollars for a photo, more for a large photo print. He had one parent buy about 80 shots of their child at a soccer game and then the parent wanted enlargements. I believe he brought in about $500 on this one parent. There is money to be made by the entrepreneurial photographer.
    Another way to save is buy good used equipment. There are many photographers out their always buying the latest and greatest equipment, and selling off last years latest and greatest so they can afford the newest thing. You can also buy Canon Refurbished equipment, this gear is like new, has a warranty but is typically a few hundred less than brand new.
    Combine these strategies, and you will find your camera bag full of some pretty cool gear and you will still have some money in your wallet. Best of luck. Regards - Mark
     
  19. [[Compared to their (more expensive) prosumer and pro gear. It seems to me that not all IS's are created equal...]]
    What other IS lenses have you used with similar focal length on the Canon system?
     
  20. I wonder if both systems could work together. Lens based IS could iron out the bulk of the movement and the in-body IS could soak up the remaining wobbles.

    Just a thought.

    Bueh & Ross, yes I agree entirely that fast primes with IS would be better than having no IS at all. I just think that fast primes with short focal lengths are far less likely to need it than the long telephoto lenses. Of course, you're right... at f1.4 there will of course be a limit in low light when IS would be useful. Put it this way, if the IS version of a short prime cost a lot more than the non-IS version I would not pay for it. But... that is my personal opinion.

    I have the 24-105 f4L IS and I must say that I don't often require the IS... but maybe it's my style of shooting.
     
  21. As an EOS user since they first came out, I say that Canon need to get with the program and offer in-body stabilization. There's absolutely no reason at all why they can't have both in-body and in-lens stabilization. You can't use both at the same time, but that doesn't matter since the camera could be configured to only allow one or the other.
    Actually there is a reason. Profit on IS lenses. I suspect that sales of IS lenses would drop where there is a choice (e.g. the 70-200L zooms). However on most lenses you don't get a choice, so it's not as bad for Canon as you might think, and it would certainly be good for users, who would then have stabilized short and normal primes.
    Until people (like me) stop buying EOS bodies without IS, it's probably in Canon's best interest not to offer it. It would, for example, mean that they couldn't make any money out of a new 24-70/2.8L IS lens, since if the body had IS, people would just keep the old non-IS version.
    I think when I see a good price on a used Pentax DLSR body with IS built in, I may well pick one up. Who knows, maybe it will tempt me away from Canon eventually...
     
  22. Robin has made a good point. There's 'off' switches on IS lenses, so technically there is absolutely no reason not to make IS bodies if you also sell IS lenses. Lens IS works better for long lenses, but body IS allows for cheaper lenses. Having both systems work simultaneously is theoretically possible but probably too involved in practice.
    Like many other things, having in-body IS is a marketing decision. Canon and Nikon still sell a lot more SLRs than Sony, Pentax and Olympus. If I were Canon, I'd work on in-body IS but keep it as a trump card to play when market shares start to go down.
     
  23. Some people just need to talk about IS... I get it, but in the end, really does it really affect your photography that much? I've always believed that photography is more about resourcefulness and creativity than sitting around complaining about the shortcomings of equipment and how 'limiting' those shortcomings are.... Especially the dead end that is arguing about in-body IS vs in-lens IS.
     
  24. I think that within two generations every Canon body will have in-body IS, starting perhaps as soon as the next Rebel.
    It's like video: once Canon or Nikon offers it in just one body, it becomes immediately clear that within 2-4 years both companies will offer it in every body.
    (It's also like video in that a lot of photographers will say "I don't want to pay for it when I buy an SLR," but eventually they'll have no choice unless they want to buy an older, used body.)
    I've got seven IS lenses, btw, and I just assume that Canon and Nikon SLRs will easily be able to turn off whichever IS system is less appropriate when an IS lens is mounted on an IS body. This talk of "conflicts" between lens IS and body IS is a non-issue from a technical point of view.
     
  25. "...Especially the dead end that is arguing about in-body IS vs in-lens IS."
    I'll take that as non-responsive then. Anyway, I know your super negative feelings overwhelm you.
     
  26. What other IS lenses have you used with similar focal length on the Canon system?​
    The EF-S 17-85mm f/4-5.6 IS USM. This lens has its flaws (and I sold it; I want fast primes), but its IS was amazing. With the EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS kit zoom I get the impression that it does not really matter whether IS is turned on or not.
     
  27. "...Especially the dead end that is arguing about in-body IS vs in-lens IS."
    I'll take that as non-responsive then. Anyway, I know your super negative feelings overwhelm you.​
    Not super negative at all... I just think this is yet another one of those roundabout conversations... Good grief i've been browsing and posting on these forums for 3 years now and the exact same arguments by the exact same people come up at least twice a week..

    All i'm trying to put forward is: Why don't we all try to talk about something inspiring for a change? Arguing about gear isn't really inspiring... ideas and thoughts on creative ways to use said gear, is.

    That's all.
     
  28. I do wonder if Canon are going down a damaging path
    I don't think we have to worry about Canon being irrevocably hurt by going down this "damaging path".
    I have worked for extremely large manufacturers, and as a business owner I am a small manufacturer. It is my universal experience that folks outside rarely have any insights that are not well known, far in advance, by folks inside the company. It is also my experience that if the advice from just a fraction of the outside experts were taken most companies would go out of business fast. A company just cannot be all things to all people.
    Sometimes decisions have to be made slowly, letting more data be collected, watching the market, and carefully selecting the hottest projects on which to focus. Often, the things I'm presently told I should do, as if I'm being given revalatory information and ideas, were last year's experiments that led to better solutions that I'm working on this year to be released in next year's products. Canon just might have bought and evaluated models from the competition using in camera stabilization, and just might know the strength and weaknesses. Sorry to be sarcastic with the "mights"....you can bet on them having the products and having done tests, just as I do the same thing, even though I am infinitely smaller. I strongly suspect they know where they want to go and how soon they want to get there.
     
  29. It's like video: once Canon or Nikon offers it in just one body, it becomes immediately clear that within 2-4 years both companies will offer it in every body.​
    But you have to get either Nikon of Canon to offer it in 1 body first and that's the hard part. Both Nikon and canon have a large investment in lens based IS technology. They continue to say it's better than body based IS. I doubt either one of them wants to put IS in the body and I doubt either one will unless absolutely forced to.
    It's offered by Pentax, Sony and Olympus, but I don't think Canon and Nikon are too worried by them at the moment as far as DSLRs go. Nikon and Canon certainly have the high (professional) end of the market wrapped up. It's the consumer end of things where they might start to hurt, but cameras like the Rebel XSi are still very popular and outsell the competition (especially with the low cost Canon IS lenses bundled with the camera).
    I'd like to think we'll see body based IS in Nikon/Canon DSLRs within a couple of generations (of cameras, not people...), but I really doubt it will happen. That's why I'm keeping my eye open for a cheap used Pentax!
     
  30. There may be arguements over the negatives of in camera IS, just as Nikon and Nikonians argued the merits cropped sensors and the negatives of FF. Yet, of course, as we all knew would happen, Nikon went FF, and just read the forum where the guys extolling cropped sensors in the past wax poetic about the FF sensors. Even if you are going to do something in the future as a manufacturer, you have to deny, deny until you do. It's one of the many basic parts of the survival formula for a manufacturer.
    So will Canon and Nikon go to in-camera IS if there really is an advantage, without serious disadvantages, and if the market wants it more and more. You can absolutely bet on it...common business sense dictates it. Canon knows well, as a leader (the leader in sales), that you don't turn yourself inside out giving the market everything it wants all at once. First, you run yourself in circles if you do. Second, you end up "overshooting" the target....when you are leading your segment you really don't want to trump yourself with your new products.,
     
  31. Practical case for in camera IS stabilization.
    My favorite lens for the Pentax K10D is my CV Voigtlander 90mm APO. No stabilization but with the K10D and the ability to set the stabilization focal length I have stabilization for it...not only for it but any other non stabilized KA mount lens I use.
    As I recall this lens was also availabe for Nikon...but with Nikon I would have no stabilization option.
    david
     
  32. I doubt either [Canon or Nikon] wants to put IS in the body and I doubt either one will unless absolutely forced to. It's offered by Pentax, Sony and Olympus, but I don't think Canon and Nikon are too worried by them at the moment as far as DSLRs go.​
    Agreed, for now. I think Sony is the one to watch. If Sony gets serious about marketing a sturdy-feeling $500 Rebel-killer that has in-body IS, they will get Canon and Nikon's attention big-time.
     
  33. This thread is hilarious.
    All the people that argue that it in body IS is not needed, in lens IS works better and my favorite " When my in - lens IS dies I swap out the lens and keep shooting while the lens gets repaired. When my in - camera IS dies I send the body off for repair and twiddle my thumbs..." are missing a few simple points.
    In body IS works, it is clearly cheap to implement and there is no reason why it can not be made compatible with in-lens IS for the super teles where it is needed. You only have to read the Pentax forum occaisonally to realise how much IS with every lens including primes, wideangles and 30 year old classic lenses is appreciated.
    Canon is simply not offering it to make money out of its existing investment. My guess it will introduce a few more IS lenses with an IS premium to make money out of the in-lens fans and then introduce in-body IS. Dropping the FD mount shows what they really think of their customers.
     
  34. >>>"When my in - lens IS dies I swap out the lens and keep shooting while the lens gets repaired. When my in - camera IS dies I send the body off for repair and twiddle my thumbs.."
    So better move all the functionality of camera to lens - best move the sensor to the lens!
     
  35. There are plenty of paradoxes when it comes to IS, and some of them intersect with the different choices manufacturers made earlier when introducing AF. Canon and Nikon are betting on lens stabilization and thereby benefiting film AF shooters but leaving owners of MF lenses in the cold. In the case of Canon that decision was a fairly logical one since they had already switched to a completely different mount for AF lenses anyway. In the case of Nikon it's a bit more puzzling that they didn't at least try out one body with sensor stabilization, as an extra incentive for seducing brand-faithful film stalwarts into digital and/or outflanking Canon with a double-stabilization system that might have added a gain of 2 more f-stop equivalents than lens IS aka VR alone.
    On the side of the manufacturers that went for sensor stabilization, strategic thinking hasn't always been very evident either. Pentax now has better firmware than Sony for using MF lenses on their DSLRs, by allowing you to set focal length and thereby adjust the response of the sensor shift system as needed. However, it is harder to find a good variety of lens mount adapters to fit non-Pentax MF lenses on Pentax bodies than Minolta/Sony AF lenses on Sony bodies, and you can get around the limitations in the Sony firmware by using 3rd party stabilization-adjusting chipped adapters.
    Sony has been more aggressive in terms of releasing a wider range of bodies, but the later ones (including their flagship A900) have actually cut back even further on the ease of using MF lenses. What is also paradoxical about Pentax and Sony is that most of their non-stabilized high-end AF lenses are pretty much as expensive as the equivalent models from Canon and Nikon that actually have IS or VR.
    Olympus has gone off on its own tangent with a complete mount change at the time of transition to digital, stabilized four-thirds sensors and all-out marketing around live view - which paradoxically led to a viewfinder so small in most of their bodies as to be quite useless for accurately focusing MF lenses.
    Canon and Nikon are leading the pack in terms of high-ISO image quality, if that trend continues then they will pretty soon be able to claim that their sensors don't actually require any stabilization in-body or in-lens. Which would be paradoxical again, as it would leave proud owners of IS and VR lenses to wonder why they paid the higher prices for those lenses to begin with...
     
  36. Having in body stabilization turned out to be a much bigger deal for me than I thought it would be. Specifically in low light social events where a tripod is not allowed. After several of these and a few other issues about two years ago I sold off my xti, 20d and four lenses (about $4500 of gear) Took a $1500 loss and moved to Pentax, primarily due to the 2 to 3 stops I could gain with the in body stabilization and their fast compact primes. Since then I've built out about a $15K Pentax system. Had Canon had in camera stabilization I doubt I would have switched. There were also other factors that made Pentax a better fit for me; system cost, compact size for travel and weather seals. So yes for some this at least this is/was a big deal. If I were doing it today and a heavily invested Nikon / Canon user; I would probably add a minimal second system rather than make a full switch. But for me I'm much happier with my Pentax than I ever was with my two years of Canon DSLRs. Each has it's strong points.

    I really believe as high ISO performance continues to improve that image stabilization either lens based or in camera will be less and less of an issue for most people.
     
  37. At the telephoto end it is a benefit to have IS in the lens. It stabilizes the viewfinder helping the photographer, and from what I've read the AF system, track the subject. Especially after a long day of shooting, which I can attest to. Canon has the telephoto end very well covered with IS.
    At the wide/normal end Pentax/Sony/Olympus have in body IS where Canon/Nikon don't have very many IS lenses. But Pentax/Sony/Olympus are also a good 2 stops behind Canon/Nikon in high ISO performance given comparable models. Given the choice I'll take better high ISO performance because that helps me keep shutter speeds up. And if I'm shooting wide angle hand held in low light, I probably need a shutter speed that can freeze people in motion. They move enough to blur images at the shutter speeds IS gives you even when they're posing.
    The high ISO advantage is especially pronounced with full frame bodies. People make the comment that in body IS gives you IS with fast primes. If you have a fast prime when do you need IS? Especially on a 5D, 5D mkII, D3, or D700. What are you shooting that can't be covered by a 28 f/1.8 or 50 f/1.4 at ISO 3200? Even a 50D, which is not full frame, has a usable 3200 and 6400 if you're not printing posters. If you need the cleanest, sharpest image for a large print, you need a tripod any way.
    I don't mean to knock in body IS. It's a good idea and helpful in some narrow situations. Personally I think Canon and Nikon should do it. (It could be set to turn off when a lens with IS is attached.) But it's just not the broad advantage it is made out to be by proponents. And that is why Canon and Nikon feel hardly any pressure to do it, and may never do it.
     
  38. I use Canon telephotos for birding and I use IS to get a steady view in the finder so I can frame/pan correctly, the day Canon ditches in-lens IS will be my last day of business with Canon.
     
  39. Can someone clever explain how a lens which just covers the 24x36mm frame could be used with in-body stabilization without cropping or quality loss in the edges of the frame due to the sensor moving outside of the image projected by the lens?
    Anyway, I find stabilization is becoming unnecessary with the recent improvements in image quality at high ISO. I prefer high shutter speeds to stabilization for lenses shorter than about 180mm, and it's sufficient to have it in the long lenses for the very rare event that it is needed. I find a tripod immensely more useful.
     
  40. fjp

    fjp

    Maybe some of the other companies has patents related to in-body IS and Canon / Nikon simply cannot use it until the patents expire...
     
  41. One arguement that seems to be missing in the discussion is the market share. According to a recent thread Canon and Nikon together have a market share of approximately 80% and are making a profit. Sony is losing money with a market share of ? I expect Canon and Nikon to have other priorities than in-body IS untill the market situation changes drastically. Apart from that the best way of showing the effect of IS to a prospective customer is with Canon or Nikon systems, not with in body IS since that does not show in the viewfinder. Personally I'd welcome in body IS with Canon but I don't see it happen in the near future.
     
  42. Well, Minolta first brought out the in-body stabilization and Samsung, Pentax, and Olympus all are using it, so it looks like licenses are available.
     
  43. Like Jos said, Canon and Nikon don't feel the need to bring out a camera with in-body stabilization until they start loosing sales. I'm sure they both have the technology sitting on a shelf waiting for the right time. Just like Canon has a 50MP sensor on the shelf ready to go in the 1Ds MarkV ;)
    Canon could easily implement an in-body stabilization feature that would automatically turn off when it sensed a stabilized lens was attached. The two systems cannot co-exist simultaneously as one would counter-act the other.
    No matter what others say, I would love stabilization on my 50mm prime!
     
  44. I would love stabilization on my 50 and 85 too, we'll end up seeing it sometime unless there is some technical reason why it is not possible to do in-camera IS with this full frame package. One thing I know, jumping brands back and forth is not the answer, you just end up noticing what the new brand lacks that the old had!
     
  45. [[I get the impression that it does not really matter whether IS is turned on or not.]]
    This is clearly contrary to published tests. IS on the 18-55 is clearly effective. But then again, you're probably not actually arguing about the effectiveness of IS, you're arguing about the image quality from a $100 lens which is a strawman.
     
  46. I think the major flaw is in the marketing of image stabilization, that it is what everyone needs to solve their imaging issues. It sounds like it is absolutely necessary, doesn’t it. That: if you don’t have it your photos will be flawed. However, it only reduces the effect of camera shake, it does not eliminate it. It should be called something like “Shake reduction” so that its more intuitive what is being done and how it can help you. How do you know if IS is actually helping in a photo?
    I have two IS lenses, and I’m not that happy with the results from either so far. I’m still happier with my non-IS lens, even at 200mm. It seems I get better results from using a higher ISO and higher shutter speed. Subject movement is just too much of an issue for me.
    I’m an early adopter, I love new tech and new approaches to things. However, I hold them to pretty high standards. So, not all new things get my approval. So far, I’m finding IS to be a little limited in its usefulness. Maybe if I start doing more long telephoto work I’ll like it more. But, my vote would be for R&D $$s to be spent on something else, like better dynamic range.
     
  47. jtk

    jtk

    For me bulk is the issue. In-camera allows smaller (and inherently mechanically tougher) primes.
     
  48. So how cheap does a used Pentax Shake reduction body need to be to add one or two to your canon bag?
    I bought my brand new K20D Pentax current 15mp flagship in November 2008 for $689. I hoped for a better price but it came bundled with 3 year pentax factory warranty so I added it. I've seen them sell as low as $530 in auction out of canada ebay seller: prodigital2000 .Pentax is cool in that they do not see grey market equiptment as bad. Pentax USA will honor your canada bought new K20D warranty in USA to original purchaser. Same with their glass too.
    When KEH has used K10D, Pentax last flagship they sell under $300. I saw a four several weeks ago ranging from $225 to $275. Theres a few other shake reduced pentax dslrs and they just break $200 when minty and complete. Pentax dslrs are very affordable used once they're over a year old.
    That said having a K20D inhand I find it introduced shake with my 300mm 2.8 Tamron adaptall two. I am steadier hand holding the 300mm 2.8. But it is alot of mass for the K20D to stabilize, though for a 300mm 2.8 its likely the lightest anyone ever made. Inbody Shake reduction works better with lighter glass however I do prefer my Canon IS lenses over it. I really like seeing the image stabilize in the 5D viewfinder which inbody shake reduction can not provide.
    That all said last month I added a D700 and two lenses to my system to beat Nikons crazy 18%+price increases. One lens I got is nikon's cheapo plasticky thailand made 70-300 VR II. I have to say that new VR version II seems a bit steadier than my 70-200mm 2.8 IS, but boy does the nikon like to hunt focus. Kinda reminds me of Pentax. Canon AF is clearly #1. And I'm still wondering who hunts less Nikon or Pentax as they are pretty darn close in acquiring focus lock.
     
  49. Maybe the best solution is to move the image stablization out of the camera/lens completely and put it in the tripod?
     
  50. This is clearly contrary to published tests. IS on the 18-55 is clearly effective. But then again, you're probably not actually arguing about the effectiveness of IS, you're arguing about the image quality from a $100 lens which is a strawman.​
    Why does no one respect my opion?! I very familiar with the EF-S 18-55mm lens and if you search this site you will find many postings by me recommending it as a versatile and powerful lens. But I don't care about "published tests" and I am definitively underwhelmed by the "applied" IS performance of this new kit zoom. And this is not just with one 18-55mm lens but with several. So that aspect of this lens has been a disappointment, especially after I experienced the excellent IS of the EF-S 17-85mm zoom.
     
  51. Maybe the best solution is to move the image stablization out of the camera/lens completely and put it in the tripod?​
    I assume this was a tongue-in-cheek comment, but it's still worth pointing out that the whole point of IS is situations in which tripods aren't an option. I use my IS in street shooting, in museums and churches, and at sporting events--all places where I can't use a tripod but do want low ISOs, slow shutter speeds, and/or small apertures. Tripods, fast lenses, and high ISOs can't cover it all!
     
  52. Right on Ralph. Many posts here assume that because the poster shoots one way or has a certain set of needs, then everyone else must have the same set of needs. eg IS is apparently not needed in fast primes. A lot of my shooting is travel photography and I want to shoot at low ISO and maximum DoF without a tripod. IS gets me that.
    It is frustrating as a Canon user to know that other companies have a cheap and workable solutions that Canon won't offer.
     
  53. [[Why does no one respect my opion?!]]
    I have respect for your opinion. I don't think your one opinion, as it stands in contradiction to published tests, should have any more value than any other anecdote. I don't know why you consider this a lack of "respect." I call it critical thinking.
     
  54. So how cheap does a used Pentax Shake reduction body need to be to add one or two to your canon bag...When KEH has used K10D, Pentax last flagship they sell under $300.​
    I'd bite at $250 or so for a K10D. I did take a look at KEH, but they only seem to have the K100D, and they're in the $250-$275 range, so I'd have though the K10D would be over $300. Guess I'll have to keep an eye open for one.
    Of course the reason why Canon went with IS in the lens is that they were first, and early enough that they had to make it work with film (remember film?..). That was an advantage for them then, but now they're locked into it and I suppose there's an NIH ("not invented here") syndrome too. When you'tre trying to be the technology leader, following Pentax, Sony and Olympus may be a little hard to swallow.
    The problem with lens based IS isn't that it doesn't work (it does) or that it isn't better than body based IS for long lenses (it probably is) or that stbilization of the viewfinder image isn't nice (it is) or that it's better for full frame application because it keeps the image circle centered on the sensor (it does). The problem is that there are no stabilized primes below 200mm. There are also a bunch of non-stabilized zooms and a waiting line for an IS version of the 400/5.6L. Given the inevitable price increase it could well turn out that even if Canon did make a 400/5.6IS, it woul dbe cheaper to get a non-IS lens and buy a stabilized body! I spoke with a Canon technical person about the wide/normal prime some time ago and the impression I got was that adding IS to fast normal and wide primes would be a problem because of the additional optics involved and the optical construction of such lenses (not to mention the inevitable cost increase). You can't just stick a set of moving elements on the back of a 24/1.4 like you can on a 600/4
    I'm not sure why IS isn't needed on fast primes. That's like saying high ISO isn't needed with fast primes either. For normal work, maybe not, but for low light work or when you want to stop down to get some DOF, you may need IS, just as you may need high ISO. Besides, when has not needing something ever stopped people from wanting it and stopped camera makers from providing it?
     
  55. Why not just add in-body stabilization to your camera? Kenyon make a range of gyroscopic stabilizers that fit to the tripod mount and will allow stable exposures of up to 1 second. Such stabilizers are not cheap, but may be an option for those contempating an even larger investment by changing systems.
     
  56. A slightly tangential point but I find that IS is really only of value on long lenses for my type of shooting (and i shoot a lot of sports). I used to have the 24-105 F4 IS but sold it to get the 24-70 F2.8 which I far prefer. I do not miss the IS as the only area where it would have saved effort was for long exposure water shots - but once the exposure goes over about 2 seconds the IS does not appear to work very well so you still have to carry a tripod. I bougth the non IS 70-200 F2.8 for it's ;lower price, slightly better image quality than the IS version and because I never need IS with this lens - for ice hockey you have to shoot at 1/200 or faster (unless you pan) and for ski racing 1/800 is a good speed. The only lens I have where IS is a real benefit is my 300 F2.8 - here it helps handholding but as many have pointed out it cannot be sensor based. If Canon adds it to the sensor - fine bbut for shorter focal lengths I never feel I need it. I spent 25 years shooting film (most of it with MF lenses) limited to ISO 800 and never needed IS for all but a few shots (Cathederal interiors etc...) and even then you can often control breathing and lean on something solid.
    I would be interested to hear where and how often people need IS
     
  57. "All of us do not shoot digital so if you still shoot film Canon and Nikon with their lens based IS systems are the only options available."
    Great point, I never thought of it like that.
     
  58. I'm not sure why IS isn't needed on fast primes. That's like saying high ISO isn't needed with fast primes either.
    Right now the competition offers in body IS but inferior high ISO capability. Canon/Nikon offer camera bodies with no in body IS but superior high ISO. That's your practical choice at the moment. If low light prime lens shooting is your style, you are much better off with the latter than the former.
    Now consider the hypothetical Canon/Nikon with in body IS. In body IS would be a benefit on Canon/Nikon bodies, but you're at a point of diminishing returns, especially on the full frame models. The better the high ISO, the fewer the situations where having IS with a fast prime would make any conceivable difference in ability or IQ. I'm not saying it won't ever make a difference, but it's just not the benefit that it is on slow zooms or long telephotos.
    Regardless, while Canon/Nikon have a 2 stop (or more) ISO advantage, they're not going to feel much presssure to implement in body IS.
     
  59. But I don't think Canon/Nikon have a 2 stop advantage. If you look at the noise level of the 40D, 50D and Pentax K20D at a site like dxomark.com, the noise levels are pretty even. If you consider that you'd have to up the ISO on the Canon by 2 stops (ISO 6400) to get the same shutter speed as you could use on the Pentax (assuming you only get 2 stops of stabilization in the "worst case"), then the K20D at ISO 1600 with stabilization clearly beats a 50D at ISO 6400 without stabilization (as would be the case when using a 50/1.4 for example). If there was a stabilized 50/1.4 from Canon, and ignoring any price difference (which would probably be in favor of Pentax), then the two systems would be pretty similar.
    You can certainly argue that lens based IS is better than body based IS when an IS lens is available and ignoring the increased cost, but I don't think anyone can make a valid argument that a Canon with BOTH body and lens based IS available would be better then a Canon with only lens based IS, and if you're shooting a 135/2 or a 400/5.6L or a 70-200/2.8L (non-IS), or an 85/1.8 or a 50/1.4 it would be MUCH better.
     
  60. Dropping the FD mount shows what they really think of their customers.​
    They did this in 1986-7 , FCS. Is it any better to have creeping incompatibility (rather than a clean break, which arguably was a major catalyst in the ascendancy of Canon over other marques)?
    Don't you think it's time to get over it?
    I love IS on the lenses I have with it, ranging from the first one (the 75-300mm IS) up to the most recent generation. I don't see that their prices are much more than equivalent lenses from other manufacturers without the feature.
    I do remember when many people thought that having the focusing motor in the camera was so much better than having to put a motor in every lens.... Need I say more?
    As the little 18-55 IS shows, even given Bueh's misgivings about it, IS in the lens can be made very inexpensively especially given the development of the technology through time.
     
  61. Ha ha, dropping the FD mount? Oh, come on!
    Many EOS users weren't even born when that happened! Look at the hassle Nikon went to to keep its original mount. In-body AF motors.... good grief! Nikon learnt the hard way and ended up having to follow Canon with their in-lens motors. They even learnt the hard way with full frame sensors... they simply HAD to do it in the end.
    Look at the Canon EF mount compared to the Nikon mount. Canon's has a much wider diameter and would be ideal if they chose to offer in-body IS. I think Nikon would struggle. Their mount diameter is so small it offers virtually no spare capacity for moving the sensor which is required for in-body IS. The sensor would simply move outside the mount area and therefore out of the light path of the lens.
    In my opinion, Canon have it right again with their in-lens IS. I do think they wil eventually offer some form of in-body IS but I think Nikon will struggle to follow.
     
  62. Just to add... here's a couple of samples...
    Nikon will be fine with it's crop DSLRs but imagine having to move that sensor round inside a full frame Nikon. Where will it go? There simply isn't the room. Compare it to the 5D MkII and see how much play Canon has around the sensor.
    00SSy2-109961584.jpg
     
  63. And here's the Canon...
    00SSy4-109961684.jpg
     
  64. First let me say I really appreciate the curtsey and maturity of the members here on Photos.net. I got into a sensor vs lens based stabilization discussion on a Canon specific board about 18 months ago when I was switching from EOS to Pentax and the dogma was near rabid; I was almost crucified for suggesting another system could have advantages.

    If sports or wildlife are your primary subjects where long lenses and the fastest possible autofocus speed is critical: Then I agree in lens IS and in body focus motors on very short focus throws AF lenses with are the way to go. But otherwise I have to disagree especially on APSC DSLR.

    If active travel photography where weight is strong consideration a or street shooting where a low profile is important are more your speed and especially if you're into primes: there are other choices that may be a better fit. That's really why I why I left Canon. For an APSC DSLR using full frame lenses means you're carrying a lot of glass around that does nothing for your image. With few exceptions EOS better glass and all L's are full frame. Having the focus motor in the lens adds additional bulk and weight to each lens; the same is true but even more so for in lens IS.

    All of this is contingent on individual shooting styles. I believe with quality glass and favorable shooting conditions pretty much any system is going to deliver about the same final image. I do have to wonder if there really is a two stop ISO advantage. Does ISO 6400 on a Canon really look like ISO 1600 on a Pentax? Especially if cost is factored in from full frame to APSC bodies as I can't see the advantage being there without moving to a 5D or better.
    So for me who prefers primes, likes to backpack and does low light social photography. Pentax with the 2 to 3 stop in camera shake reduction and very compact high quality limited primes which are about 1/3 the size of their EOS counterparts and are beautifully machined, etched and engraved from aircraft grade aluminum was a better fit.

    So no. in lens focus motors and in lens IS is not always the better option.
     
  65. focus motor in the lens adds additional bulk and weight to each lens​
    Have you ever lifted an EF 50mm f/1.8 (in-lens focus) or the 18-55mm IS kit lens? Not exactly bulky or heavy are they? Lots of my old Nikkors are far heavier than anything in my Canon EOS inventory and they had no AF at all.
    chacun à son goût
     
  66. I agree with JDM, the addition of AF does not really make a significant difference to the size and weight of a lens. IS adds a little bulk but nothing to complain about.
     
  67. JDM I will agree with you the 50 f/1.8 is quite small I owned it for about 48 hours; it undoubtledly had the worst build quality of any lens I've ever held in 25 years. And I have played with the new kit lens in a store: It's certainly a step up from it predecisor, but still from a build stand point a very low end plastic comsumer lens. Slow f/5.6 lenses such as this kit lens can be made quite small. But even if the in lens IS can gain four stops I don't see as particualrly useful when you're starting at f/5.6 and probably more like f/8 to get to better sharpness. You're quite right to each their own tastes. Hard plastic, low build quality consumer lenses, no matter how good the optic at least for me are not satisifying to use.
     
  68. I find it interesting that in their p&s cams, Canon still choose to use lens based IS rather than sensor based IS, where in that case they could use either.
    Roger: yes a low end kit lens is indeed, a low end kit lens. What were you expecting? Four stops is four stops regardless of where you are starting. And I would have thought that it's actually more useful on a small aperture lens where you don't have the option to open up the lens. I think Canon have made the right choice with this lens (18-55IS), ie save on the build quality. Would you rather have a superbly built lens with crap glass and no IS? (Yes I know you'd rather have a more expensive lens, but pretend that's not an option)
     

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