Does Image Stabilization really do anything?

floridabwoy

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Im trying to decide between the Nikon D80 and the D40x...

I shoot a lot of landscape and it just seems like a waste to me.
I also dont want the streaky lights when shooting in low light
situations. I the image stabilization just a tool for noob amateurs
or is it useful when using a digital slr??

thx,
n
 

Garbz

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If you shoot landscapes a tripod is cheaper. Beyond that IS is a great tool just like autofocus which compliments the camera user and is not designed just for amatures. Racing photographers use it to keep their vertical vibration in check when panning, nature photographers use it so they don't need to shoot 1/600th when using their MASSIVE lenses. You can get between 2 and 4 stops improvement in quality depending on the lens which is great in low light when shooting something stationary. Just don't forget that VR only suspends camera movement and doesn't tell your subject to keep still.
 

JerryPH

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IS or VR is a great tool when hand holding, but nothing beats a tripod and IS/VR turned off. I've been able to save many a good shot from a moving car using VR-II in the Nikkor lens of mine, shots that were not as motion blur free with other lenses under those circumstances.

It has it's place, no its not a newb trick, it is a legitimate technology... but its not the cure-all for every situation. It is aimed more at motion blur rather than low light compensation, thats where I think a lot of confusion stems from.
 

Big Mike

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IS or VR etc. is to combat camera shake...allowing you to get sharper shots while hand holding the camera. If this is how you shoot your landscapes, then it would be great. However, it's highly recommended to shoot landscapes with a tripod etc....in which case, you don't need stabilization at all.

To know if it really works, I suggest you try it out. Go into a store and ask to try out something like a 70-200 VR or 100-400 IS. Zoom the lens all the way out, look through the viewfinder then activate the VR or IS...that simple test will show you just how amazing this technology really is.

As mentioned, it combats camera shake blur but it will do nothing to combat blur from subject motion at slower shutter speeds.
 

JIP

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Im trying to decide between the Nikon D80 and the D40x...

I shoot a lot of landscape and it just seems like a waste to me.
I also dont want the streaky lights when shooting in low light
situations. I the image stabilization just a tool for noob amateurs
or is it useful when using a digital slr??

thx,
n
Well lets see.. I bought the Nikon 70-200VR 2.8 retail price $1600 (I paid a litlle less) I honestly do not think this is a "noob gimmick" lens.
 
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floridabwoy

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not as much talking about the lens as the camera itself.
my question is is the IS really worth the investment.
 

Big Mike

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not as much talking about the lens as the camera itself.
With Nikon & Canon, the VR or IS, is in the lens....so that's why we are talking about lenses.

my question is is the IS really worth the investment.
Yes
 

patrickt

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I know one photographer who intentionally avoids IS but he admits he hasn't used it. Whether it's in the lens or in the camera it's useful, in my opinion.
 

JIP

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not as much talking about the lens as the camera itself.
my question is is the IS really worth the investment.

I think you need to do a little more studying. With Nikon as Mike said any VR will be provided in the lens. While there are some slower lenses that do have VR I do not think that it is a frivilous feature in others. And also with certain specific lenses the more advanced lenses that Nikon is releasing will be the VR lenses.
 

domromer

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If you shot a lot of hand held stuff it's fantastic. I just can't afford it. If i need IS I grab my cannon IS2
 
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floridabwoy

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So ....

If I buy a body that doesnt have image stabilization I cannot use
a lens w. IS because they wont talk to each other? Or can I buy
a body w/o IS and if the lens has IS it will still work?

EX If i buy the D40X and my upgraded lens has IS it wont work.

thx... sorry for the stupid question I am comming from analog large format
background..
 

domromer

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An Is lens will work with any modern SLR. As for an IS body and an IS lens I'm not sure what happens. IS in the lens does all the work, it doesn't really need to talk to the body. At least thats how I understand it.
 

Big Mike

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Some systems (Canon & Nikon) put the anti-shake technology into the lens. This makes sense because this was developed before digital was the mainstream. The advantage of this is that the technology is specific to the lens, and therefore works very well. The downside is that to get this technology, you have to buy each lens with it (if it's avaliable)...and it adds quite a bit to the price of the lens.

On the other hand, we have in-camera anti-shake technology (Sony, Pentax etc). Because it's in the camera, any lens can take advantage of it....so you don't have to pay for it, again and again. However, many people say that it's not a good as the lens based systems.

So for the most part, you can go either way but not both. Canon & Nikon lenses have IS or VR...but the cameras don't. Sony (Minolta) and Pentax cameras have anti-shake and it works with any lens.

The exciting part is that some third party lens companies (Sigma in particular) is coming out with their own anti-shake technology...which essential could be used in conjunction with Sony or Pentax in-camera technology. I haven't heard any reviews about this and if it actually makes the images extra stable or if it causes a feedback loop.

Either way, you don't need to worry about matching the technology in the lenses to the cameras....just pick a brand/system and stick to it.
 

fido dog

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I use Canon and I absolutely love the IS lenses. They really are a great tool for action OR low light. This is a snapshot of my mom in Pagosa Springs Brewery. 1/20 sec., f5.6, 33mm, ISO400. Hand held and tack sharp. Give 'em a try. If you don't care for them, you can always reclaim most of your money on ebay.
89tqgp2.jpg
 

wildmaven

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My Minolta 7D DSLR has image stabilization built into the BODY of the camera. So any lens I buy will benefit. :) It works great, especially when I've had too much caffiene.
 

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