Jump to content


Photo
- - - - -

Image Stabilization


  • Please log in to reply
6 replies to this topic

#1 holloways

holloways

    Moray Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 75 posts
  • Gender:Female
  • Location:San Diego, CA

Posted 27 May 2012 - 11:20 PM

Image stabilization - just how important is it underwater with M4/3s and DSLRs photos?

Dealers are telling me that image stabilization is not really relevant underwater. It sounds to me like it would be important both on land and underwater - but I'm certainly no expert.

Is image stabilization important to have whilst shooting underwater? If yes, which mode of image stabilization is better (if either) - in the lens or in the camera?


#2 JimSwims

JimSwims

    Tiger Shark

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 662 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Mornington Peninsula, Australia.

Posted 27 May 2012 - 11:40 PM

Dddddeepppenddds hhhhhhow ccccccccold thhhe wwwwatter is! :P

My photostream on Flickr My gallery on Redbubble

D90 in Nexus; 60mm, Woody's Diopter, 105mm, SubSee +5 & +10 magnifiers, 10-17mm, Kenko 1.4 TC, 10-24mm, 18-55mm & Inon Z240 strobes.


#3 MortenHansen

MortenHansen

    Sting Ray

  • Member
  • PipPipPip
  • 211 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Tulamben, Bali, Indonesia

Posted 28 May 2012 - 02:37 AM

Image stabilization - just how important is it underwater with M4/3s and DSLRs photos?

Dealers are telling me that image stabilization is not really relevant underwater. It sounds to me like it would be important both on land and underwater - but I'm certainly no expert.

Is image stabilization important to have whilst shooting underwater? If yes, which mode of image stabilization is better (if either) - in the lens or in the camera?


Hi Jim,
I have not really had the need for it underwater, let me also quickly say that I'm no expert, but I believe that "IS" is something that you will need if you are using long focal lengths with no flash.

Underwater you will most likely use a maximum focal length of 100/105mm for your macro shots, and for macro you will always be using flash anyways. The only benefit that I could imagine is that it will be easier to produce blue/green macro backgrounds, as you can handhold a longer shutterspeed than without IS. I shoot in the warm clear waters of Indonesia, and here I have not had the need of it, but if you have low ambient lighting (cold water/low viz) and you don't want a blacked out background, maybe it would be handy.

As I said, I'm no expert, but thats the conclusion I came to when I purchased the 100mm USM instead of the 100mm IS (maybe the price-tag had something to do with it as well) :P

For topside photography with no flash, for sure IS must be great, so if you take photos of a lot of bugs and flowers, maybe you should consider it?

Hope this helps,
Happy bubbles, Morten.

#4 rtrski

rtrski

    Great White

  • Member
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1001 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Texas, USA
  • Interests:Slowly learning digital photography and underwater digital photography. Like drinking from a salt-water firehose... ;-)

Posted 28 May 2012 - 06:08 AM

I think I'd also tend to agree with what the dealers are telling you - in the water movement is going to be a bit slower if only because having to displace water with a rig instead of air as you swing it around. There are a lot of instabilities with shooting underwater (surge, current, photographer not being 'planted', fighting rig balance (tendancy to rotate 'dome up' with large domes), etc, but none of these result in a 'shaky' so much as a 'wandery' movement...unless as someone else pointed out you're cold and shivering, in which case you probably shouldn't be shooting anyway. Plus as others have pointed out the max focal length underwater is probably 150mm (which may be slightly magnified by being behind a flat port, but still). Assuming you're shooting with a strobe, and are trying for exposures on the order of 1/100th or so maximum....IS might only be helpful in a few circumstances.

All that said, you camera choice is quite possibly used much more often above water than below....so if IS is available and not a dealbreaker, cost-wise, why not? I haven't looked into the M4/3 line for quite some time, so I don't know what options are out there, but I'd say if in body stabilization is available it is a worthy addition...but I wouldn't spring for in-lens stabilization on a lens you primarily intended for underwater use.

(I'm currently shooting Sony and have both in body stab and one lens -- 150mm - 500mm -- with optical stabilization. Obviously the latter is not used underwater, but on that lens I find I turn off the IB and use the lens's optical stab instead.)

Current rig: Sony SLT-alpha55 in Ikelite housing, Sigma 105mm f2.8 DC Macro w/ Ike 5505.58 flat port or Sigma 8-16mm f/4.5-5.6 DC HSM behind UWCamStuff custom 5" mini-dome. Dual INON z240 Type IVs triggered with DS51 for TTL mimicry, or DS51 alone with home-made ringflash assy for macro.

 

Topside, unhoused: Sony SLT-alpha99, Sigma 150-500mm + 1.4TC (Saving for Sony 70-400 G2), Sigma 15mm diagonal fish, Sony 24-70mm f2.8 CZ, Tamron 180mm f2.8 Macro...all the gear and nary a clue...


#5 Phil Rudin

Phil Rudin

    Great White

  • Industry
  • PipPipPipPip
  • 1057 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:WEST PALM BEACH, FLORIDA

Posted 28 May 2012 - 08:25 AM

I think you may want to follow this thread by Alex Mustard, http://wetpixel.com/...showtopic=46536 who is testing the new Olympus OMD E-M5 camera which has the latest five axis in-body image stabilization. I have been using the mirrorless cameras (Olympus, Panasonic & Sony) for several years and the IS has been taken to a new level with this camera. The advantage of the in-body system is of course the fact that when it is turned on every lens used will have the stabilization. You can see in the posted test shots that all of the images were taken at 1/30th or less, some with the 8mm fisheye while being stabilized.

For the most part these in-body IS systems are offering at least three extra stops over non-IS. I think that a case can be made for this having value both above and below water.

Phil Rudin

Edited by Phil Rudin, 28 May 2012 - 08:27 AM.


#6 denniscloutier

denniscloutier

    Clownfish

  • Member
  • Pip
  • 23 posts

Posted 28 May 2012 - 11:50 AM

I have an EM-5 and have been very impressed with the image stabilization out of the water. I don't have a housing for it, yet, so I haven't tried it underwater, but I suspect that the image stabilization might have some value. On land I have been able to get some sharp shots hand holding a 50mm lens at 1/10 of a second (not reliably, but sometimes). So as someone else has already mentioned if you need a slow speed to get the background exposure you need it might help there. The EM-5 also stabilizes the viewfinder image, which does seem to help in macro photography. It will be interesting to see if this carries over underwater.

#7 bkkchriss4

bkkchriss4

    Wolf Eel

  • Member
  • PipPip
  • 125 posts
  • Gender:Male
  • Location:Los Angeles & Bangkok

Posted 28 May 2012 - 12:33 PM

I also just purchased an OM-D and the in body IS is pretty great. I also can imagine that it would be great for video underwater as well.

Olympus OM-D