in-body image stabilization versus in-lens stabilization?

Discussion in 'Canon EOS' started by slichtyler, Jun 28, 2006.

  1. Canon puts their image stabilization technology into individual lenses, while Minolta/Sony build it into the
    camera bodies. From a user's perspective, is there any advantage to one over the other? (Besides the
    obvious: if I have an IS lens, it will work on all my bodies; if I have an IS body, it will work with all my
  2. I have a camera with AS in body and works great, I can use old lenses, at a cheaper price that an expensive IS lens.

    It gives me 2.5f-stops extra but the new Sony alpha will give you 3,5 extra f-stops.
  3. <<It gives me 2.5f-stops extra but the new Sony alpha will give you 3,5 extra f-stops.>>

    It is important to differentiate what Sony /claims/ the Alpha will do and what it /actually/ will do. There have been no tests (that I've seen) that provide any real data on how many extra stops the Sony stabilization method will /actually/ give you.
  4. If I presume that the 'in camera' stabilization is done from the image chip and software then it won't work with SLR optics unless, that is, there is a secondary chip doing the work. Even then what moves to correct the camera movement?

    I suppose that gyros in the camera could move the main sensor to compensate, this would mean the chip would be on a floating gimbal or the sorts. Quite complex and very susceptable to damage. Particularly when cleaning.
  5. Jeff >> Yes, it's the sensor that moves to compensate for movement.

    It is possible to develop algorithums to compensate the movement with software but that requires lots of computational power and cannot be done effectively on the camera in real time.
  6. <<Quite complex and very susceptable to damage. Particularly when cleaning.>>

    Which may be one reason Sony provided in-camera dust removal by way of an anti-static layer and high-frequency vibrations.
  7. I seem to remember that the AS in the minolta body corrects for one less degree of freedom than the IS in the lens. Is this true?

    Also, even though canon IS lenses are expensive, they might still be less expensive than the non-IS minolta counterpart which means going with IS in the body might not save you any money at all.
  8. One significant difference in terms of the user's experience is that, with in-lens stabilization,
    you can see the stabilized image in the viewfinder! With in-body stabilization, the sensor is
    stabilized (its position is shifted around based on gyros), so when the shutter opens, hand
    shake is accounted for, but that doesn't help you frame or time your shot.

    A side-effect of the in-body approach is that the same equipment that shifts the sensor can
    (in many bodies) also be used shake dust off the surface of the sensor on power-up.
  9. Somewhat off topic, but... I think it will be interesting to see how the image stabilization battle plays out over the next few years. Canon/Nikon want to protect the price premiums they can charge for IS lenses, while customers want to have IS working with all lenses. From an engineering standpoint, I suspect putting the IS in the body makes a lot more sense (less mass to move, and over a much smaller distance.)

    This is a classic case of the established business model ("charge $400 extra PER LENS for IS") clashing with both the engineering factors and customer desires. My guess is that Canon and Nikon will both hold off on bringing IS into the DSLR camera bodies as long as possible, eventually giving in to demand and canabalizing their market for IS at the lens level. But what do I know?
  10. In theory, you don't even need to turn off the camera. Just jump up and down with the lens cap off. It is natual move after chimping :) You will soon see former Minolta macro shooter refine this to an art :) :)
  11. I have little experience with build it into the camera bodies. But I had the opportunity to try a Minolta 7D for a couple of days. It worked flawless but for me it was annoying no to see the effect in the viewfinder but certainly I would adapt to this. As I shoot a lot with telephoto focal lengths in IS mode 2 (mostly the 4.0/500mm) with great success I was disappointed with the results of using the equivalent mode of the Minolta 7D and the 4.0/600mm.
    I also found that particularly with these two lenses the IS worked more reliable with the Canon system. There was no such difference using zooms with shorter focal lengths (for example 28-135mm or 80-200mm). Maybe the IS in the lens is a advantage for telephoto lenses.

    Regards Gerhard
  12. Why cant they just use a bigger sensor to provide some sort of buffer (around a "cropped" frame) to accomodate for movement? So this will allow the camera to be used in either IS-on:"cropped frame" OR IS-off:"full frame mode". I do not think it requires that much more processing power! Maybe they can also use the LCD as the "viewfinder" in IS-on mode? BTW, I am new to SLR/digital technology so I am not sure if all this is possible or not :)
  13. For those who may not have been following developments: the in-camera IS in the Minolta 7D (moving sensor) forms the basis for the in-camera IS in the new Sony, because Sony picked up Konica-Minolta's DSLR line. The name of the camera itself, the Alpha, actually comes from the Japanese name of the Maxxum line: Maxxum = Dynax = Alpha, but now it's all Alpha. The Alpha will use the old Maxxum mount.
  14. <<Why cant they just use a bigger sensor to provide some sort of buffer (around a "cropped" frame) to accomodate for movement?>>

    Because bigger sensors cost big money.
  15. <<Why cant they just use a bigger sensor to provide some sort of buffer (around a "cropped" frame) to accomodate for movement?>>

    how do you just "accomodate" for movement?

    Yes the bigger sensor will caputre the original position and the shifted position but the image will be blurred. To "un-blurr" an image that was blurred due to motion requires huge processing power. It can only be done with iterative techniques and these techniques require the knowledge of the motion path. Not only that, the optimal gain in these iterations does not have a predetermined optimal value and the worst part, even with all this information, a non-divergent solution to the iteration is not guarnteed.
  16. I think the answer has already been given, with the stabalisation on lens you see this the effect in the viewfinder, quite usefull. Of course this is not an issue for non-SLR cameras.
  17. I can imagine how useful it is to see the stabilising effect in the viewfinder, particularly with long lenses, but are there any other advantages to having IS in the lens rather than in the body?
  18. let's have both. why not?
  19. With lens stabilization you can tune the whole system to optimize stability. You need a very different set of control parameters to optimize the stabilty of a 17mm lens vs. a 600mm lens. For example the image moves around a lot faster and with much greater amplitude at 600mm than at 17mm.

    For general purpose work at under 100mm they probably work about the same, but I've seen reports that suggest that for long telephoto work - where you need a lot more movement to compensate for lens shake - the Canon system works better.

    There's no reason (other than pride and patents) you can't have both.
  20. "let's have both. why not?"

    Yes, what would happen, if you had both in-camera and in-lens IS - would you get 6 stops of stabilization?
  21. Unless the two stabilizers are coupled appropriately, you can't have both. The lens is built so as to keep the image stable on an assumed fixed-relative-to-the-camera sensor. If this assumption is violated and the sensor is also jiggling around, the effect is that you'll get essentially no stops of improvement.
  22. Thanks for the many comments; this answers some questions. Still, it seems that the biggest advantage of in-lens stabilization is that you can see it in the viewfinder. (As for tweaking the technology for the particular lens, I'll put that in the "engineering viewpoint" category -- it's the same reason that Canon decided it made more sense to equip each individual lens with its own AF motor, rather than building this into the camera body.)
    I did want to addresss one comment: Canon/Nikon want to protect the price premiums they can charge for IS lenses, while customers want to have IS working with all lenses.
    As an economist by training, I have to think that Canon *could* devise some scheme that implements in-body IS, while *improving* their profit margins -- especially given how they've segmented their market. A person who uses a 30D might buy a single IS lens at the $300 (or so) price premium that it involves, but might be willing to pay $500 for a camera that provides it with all lenses. A 5D user might buy two or three lenses, but the price of the camera could be jacked by $1000 for a body that provides it with all. A DRebel user who would never buy an IS lens might still pay a couple hundred bucks more for a camera that offers the ability.
    Obviously, this is a very simplistic example (and I know little about the specifics of the camera industry). But the basic principle should be the same: a better product package can command a higher price, which translate into higher profits for the company. If Canon doesn't choose to go this route, I'd presume there's a reason that they don't feel it's a superior package, whether it's technology or performance of in-body versus in-camera stablization.
  23. There's no practical way to move the film around so IS/VR has to be in the lens and Canon/Nikon still have a lot of film users. Personally I would like to see IS/VR as a selectable option in the body so that you can turn it on for non-IS/VR lenses. Does anybody honestly think that Canon/Nikon will add IS/VR to every prime lens? I'd love to have it on my 28/55/85 f1.4 lenses. Maybe you could shoot by candlelight with that kind of setup.
  24. I've seen reports that suggest that for long telephoto work - where you need a lot more movement to compensate for lens shake - the Canon system works better.
    I've heard that also. Never seen anything like an objective test, however.
  25. I agree with Bob, I think lens based IS is likely to work better across an entire system. Why?
    Because it can be individually optimized for a particular lens. The problems of a
    supertelephoto are bound to be very different--or more demanding--than a wide zoom.
    However for a point 'n shoot body IS is the way to go as the lens is fixed.
  26. Being a small manufacturer, I can say with confidence that anyone not directly involved with the combination of marketing, sales, future product strategy, manufacturing, and profit and loss cannot possibly get a handle on how complex the decisions of future products while maintaining current profitability really is. So guessing Canon's future direction in this area will be impossible. There is one thing I would bet on though: that satisfying film users is not one of their top priorities over the next 3 to 5 years. I suspect that their IS strategy will not hang on whether or not the film cameras will be able to take advantage of any proposed system.
  27. The new pentax AS system works based on the focal length, you can even dial in the focal length for the older non electronic lenses that cannot communicate their focal length to the camera. That suggests to me that they are trying at least to negate the issue that Bob has mentioned. Whether it works as well in the real world remains to be seen of course.
  28. I think canon will continue to do in lens IS because that's the way they have been doing it all these years since the film days with the first 75-300 IS years ago. They charge a premium for IS lenses (e.g., 70-200/2.8L non-IS vs IS). Why would they want to kill that market by developing in camera IS which will work with all their lenses? I'm sure they could, and probably already have some prototypes which do that, but why would they? There's more money this way ... get users to buy lenses, and a few years later offer slightly different / IS versions. Cash cow.
  29. no one mention that Is in body wouldn't work with full frame sensors cos pictures would be really blury at the edges isnt it?
  30. Canon/Nikon will add IS/VR to every prime lens?

    No. How useful to have every lens you buy,or have, to be IS/VR. That is what Sony have achieved with it's body image stabilizer.
  31. As I see it, AS is a better concept than IS. When switching to digital I debated long and hard whether to go to Minolta with the 7D or stick with Canon. The 7D has a great UI, bright VF and AS. In the end I decided that the overall advantages of the EOS system are more important than AS. I got the 1D.

    Happy shooting,
  32. We seen that Sony and Pentax can market reasonably priced DSLRs with in-camera image stabilzation. Every lens you would use is stabilized, no extra cost, no extra weight, and fewer parts to fail. The only reason I am with Canon, is because of my Nikon primes I can use on it, and a generally better range of high performing fast lenses.
    To be honest, even a 1 stop gain with an in-camera IS system would be well worth it to me, and Canon and Nikon lens based IS systems are heavy and very expensive. Add the weight of 2 or 3 IS lenses, against the weight of an in-camera stabilzation system, and lighter same spec lenses sans IS, and I would feel miles ahead. I feel that most amateur DSLR users would feel the way I do. The fact that previous discussion in June, seems already an anachronism, only supports my perceptions. Who ever changes first, Nikon or Canon, to in-camera stabilzation under $1000, I will go with. Obviously it can be done cheaper than that, and should be. The newest Nikon D40 is a step backward, and another slap in the face from Nikon, who could have made their whole DSLR range compatible with old MF lenses, as they did with the D200. I think they could have done it for no cost, or for pennies. Shame on Nikon.
    Bring on in-camera IS for old weaklings like me, who are not made of money, to be thrown away on new IS equipped lenses
  33. I don't think profits have anything to do with it. Canon wants the best image stabilization
    system so that they can sell the most camera systems.

    The reason they have IS in their lenses is because it works significantly better. They can
    tune the image stabilization for each lens specifically and it also has a positional
    advantage by being in center of the lens. If you're stabilizing a camera you're going to
    want to do it from the center and not from the back of the camera.

    This is a big problem with the Sony DSLR's. Just as how point and shoot cameras pack as
    many megapixels possible into the camera to prove how 'good' they are, Sony markets it's
    Image Stabilization in the camera as an advantage, when really it's nothing of the sort. It's
    meant to trick people that don't know what's going on into buying their cameras and
    system. The Sony DSLR is a decent camera. But there's no reason these days to not go
    with a Nikon, Canon or now Fujifilm camera. The Fujifilm's CCD does the most
    unbelievable job at getting rid of noise while keeping the same image quality.
  34. The reason they have IS in their lenses is because it works significantly better.
    I think people are losing track of the history of IS. Canon introduced this technology in the '90s, when essentially all cameras used that ancient technology called 'film'. Since there's no practical way to move the film around to stabilize an image, moving the optics is the only option (other than costly, heavy, and unwieldy gyroscopic stabilizers like the Kenyon system.
    It may well be that in-lens stabilization works better than in-body stabilization, but I strongly suspect that factor wasn't part of the engineering decision process that led to the Canon IS and Nikon VR systems. Stated simply, in-body stabilization is pretty much an impossibility for film cameras.
  35. I have image stabilization system and the manual tells me to turn it off. The simple reason is to use a tripod when using slow shutter speed or a large telephoto lens. The tripod is the best choice for any stabilization trick. When I cant use a tripod its good policy to lean against something and not to drink too much the night before because no system can help the stabilization of DT's. Technique and good stance is the best shot for any "photographic sniper" in the professional world.
    In camera stabilization gives one the option to over 25 million lenses worldwide while vr lens technology will cost an arm and a leg for the cost of a recommended tripod for 400+ focal lengths.

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