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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:13 PM   #1
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Image Stabilization -- On or Off..?

In a different thread, Per Johan Naesje wrote:
Quote:
I will recommend you to turn IS off, because it'll work against you on pans and tilts movements!
I'm curious -- generally, do people leave the Image Stabilizer on or do you turn it off?

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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:30 PM   #2
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ON when handheld.

Definitely OFF when using a tripod.
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Old February 20th, 2009, 05:36 PM   #3
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Or ON if on a tripod locked off on a subject and it's windy. But if the subject moves, let it go!
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Old February 21st, 2009, 09:48 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Definitely OFF when using a tripod.
So what kind of side effects does the IS cause when using a tripod?

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Old February 21st, 2009, 10:00 AM   #5
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You can't pan or tilt properly because the IS interprets your pan or tilt as wobble and tries to correct it! So you're constantly fighting the IS. But it is good for long lens locked-off shots in the wind.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 02:22 AM   #6
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Hi Peer,
the quote you're reference to is when using the camcorder on a tripod of course! I believe this quote is from a thread using ef-lenses with huge focal length and this case it's required to use a tripod!
Second Steve in using IS on when doing static shoots in windy conditions.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 09:09 AM   #7
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So you are shooting a presenter from the back of a small auditorium. Using your favorite mid-priced tripod ($1500).

The presenter is moving around the stage. You will be riding zoom, focus and exposure, maybe gain and audio levels.

You set OIS off?

I would leave it on.

Welcome responses from anyone with first hand experience of this type of situation, wildlife, comedians, any mid-distance work where the subject is moving around.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:10 AM   #8
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Yes, I would set the OIS to Off, if it is on a tripod. If you pan with OIS On, it is going to try and correct that movement, with no so nice results. Canon also recommend turning OIS off when using a tripod (Pg 54 of the Manual).

I think the only exception would be an say, an exterior lock-down shot, at the long end of the lens, but perhaps in a high wind, where the lens/camera might move in a way you don't want.
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Old February 22nd, 2009, 10:23 AM   #9
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Definitely off. If you pan or tilt not only will it not look nice but it'll make you dizzy and be impossible to do. Every time you pan or tilt it'll fight you and the more you do to correct it the more it'll fight. There's no getting away from the need for a good tripod.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 12:46 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack Barker View Post
Yes, I would set the OIS to Off, if it is on a tripod. If you pan with OIS On, it is going to try and correct that movement, with no so nice results.
I'm still curious to know how those artifacts actually look like. I recently shot a documentary about a theater group, including a med-distance tripod shot of a play (pan & zoom) -- all using the OIS. As far as I can tell, there aren't any symptoms of distortion. Hence, it would be interesting to see some footage of this above mentioned "no so nice results."

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Last edited by Peer Landa; February 23rd, 2009 at 01:52 AM.
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 03:07 AM   #11
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I too see my Sony's Super Steady Shot as almost totally transparent a technology, and as such can be left switched on at all times. My Z1 has 4 SS choices in the menu, and it's onlt the 'hard' version that in any way shows the artefacts Steve describes. But I don't have a Canon, so maybe their OIS isn't as good as Sony's.

I often use a locked-off 2nd cam and I turn its SS off for no other reason than it saves battery power.

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Old February 23rd, 2009, 06:53 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Peer Landa View Post
I'm still curious to know how those artifacts actually look like. I recently shot a documentary about a theater group, including a med-distance tripod shot of a play (pan & zoom) -- all using the OIS. As far as I can tell, there aren't any symptoms of distortion. Hence, it would be interesting to see some footage of this above mentioned "no so nice results."

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Hi Peer. It's not a question of distortion, at least from what I have seen. If you are following a subject with the camera on a tripod then the IS may work fine. But if you are trying to pan slowly across a static scene the IS will break the pan into a series of jerky movements, as if the camera movement was not smooth at all.

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Old February 23rd, 2009, 08:20 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Bennett View Post
So you are shooting... Using your favorite mid-priced tripod. You set OIS off? I would leave it on.
Noooooo. Most definitely OFF. See below.

Quote:
...any mid-distance work where the subject is moving around.
Doesn't matter if the subject is moving around or not. OIS has no impact on this type of work; that's not what it's for. OIS does nothing to assist intentional camera movement (such as panning to follow a moving subject); the purpose of OIS is to dampen *unintended* camera movement (see below) and it can't do that from a tripod (except maybe in breezy or windy conditions, maybe).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Peer Landa View Post
I'm still curious to know how those artifacts actually look like.
When panning: a "bump" in the image at the end of the pan. For example when panning left to right, at the end of the pan, you'll get a little bounce in the image back to the left, followed by a slight slide as it returns to the right and settles down. When changing focal length: a "bump" or a hiccup in the image at the end of the zoom, especially when going in to telephoto. At the end of the zoom, you'll get a slight pulse in the image as if it were going slightly wide and back in again. This is unwanted movement of the image (not the camera, but the image) in both cases.

Remember that OIS is intended to dampen a particular frequency range, most commonly the type of low-frequency vibration that's transmitted from your hands to the camera by the blood coursing through the veins of your hands, but also other types of situations where the camera is subjected to vibration within a certain frequency range.

However, on a stable mounting platform such as tripod, these vibration frequencies don't occur... but if OIS is left on, it goes to work anyway, and now it's working against you, because the *only* sort of vibrations it can detect now are the *intentional* motion inputs you're giving via panning and zooming. Having nothing else to fight, OIS does its best to counter that movement, resulting in the little glitchy stutter that occurs at the end of a pan and the end of a zoom. For this reason, you turn OIS off when shooting from a tripod.

Except, as has been pointed out, in breezy conditions outdoors, but in those situations you're better off experimenting with it on or off to determine what the best results are. Hope this helps,
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Old February 23rd, 2009, 08:33 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Hurd View Post
Noooooo. Most definitely OFF. See below. [...] When panning: a "bump" in the image at the end of the pan. [...] When changing focal length: a "bump" or a hiccup in the image at the end of the zoom, especially when going in to telephoto. [...] Hope this helps,
Oh yea, thank you Chris for that very comprehensive explanation. Guess I now have to revisit my tripod footage.

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