|5-Axis IBIS illustration. Image copyright by Olympus Corporation.|
When I purchased the E-M1, the IBIS feature was not on my "must-have" list. I purchased the camera because of its other features (weather sealed body, 10fps shooting speed, great viewfinder etc.). My understanding was that image stabilization that is done on a lens (favored by Nikon & Canon) is always better than image stabilization done in the camera body (by moving the sensor, as shown in the illustration above). I was very skeptical that this type of stabilization would give good results.
I was completely wrong.
The following video illustrates what the 5-Axis IBIS actually does, and how it differs from traditional systems such as VR (Vibration Reduction), used by Nikon, or IS (Image Stabilization), used by Canon.
I had seen some examples posted by a popular Olympus blogger Robin Wong, showing 1-second hand-held exposures using the E-M1. Even with the best VR lenses, I have never got sharp results with my Nikon gear at such slow shutter speeds, so I was highly skeptical about the results posted by Robin.
Well, I have been using the E-M1 for more than 1 month now. If someone asks me what is the best feature in this camera, then the IBIS feature would beat all other features by a very big margin. In fact, I consider the entire investment in this camera to be worth it, just because of the IBIS feature.
The first time I experimented with the slow shutter (hand-held), I decided to recreate Robin's attempt at 1 second. I set the camera to shutter priority and selected 1 second. I was completely shocked by the results. It was indeed clean and sharp.
|My very first attempt at 1-second hand-held exposure, with the E-M1.|
|Another 1-Second hand-held exposure.|
As it turned out, tripods are not prohibited, but they are totally useless, unless you want to shoot through thick glass. The deck has a small opening about 5 feet high, so the only way you can shoot good pictures is by shoving the camera into the opening and shooting hand-held.
A perfect match for the IBIS!.
|View from top of Burj Khalifa, Dubai.|
|Another view from Burj Khalifa, Dubai.|
I am a believer.