Panasonic GX7 Owner assessment - Part 7 - Photographing with 'Real World' IBIS and Metabones speed booster

In Gordon Laings excellent review of the GX7 he writes this:-

'I repeated comparisons under different conditions with different subject distances and different lenses too, but the overall result remained very similar: I was typically achieving only a stop or so of compensation from the GX7 compared to at least three from the EM5 under the same conditions. Maybe your mileage will vary, but I'd say judging from my tests in its current generation the GX7's stabilisation isn't anything to get too excited about. It may let you handhold at slightly slower shutter speeds, but it's not yet any substitution for an optically stabilized lens or of course the Olympus system.' And in a real world outdoors shooting situation I have to agree with that. Yesterday I wrote about using the IBIS in an indoor shooting situation and getting a 1-2 stop benefit, however this is why proper testing is necessary before coming to final conclusion. Going out later yesterday in a freezing wind with cold hands I could only get around a 1-stop advantage (compared to what I normally would use) and with my 20mm Voigtlander lens anything below 1/40th. sec. produced camera shake with the body stabilisation set to on. So is it useful? Well yes anything is better than nothing, but I certainly didn't get the results I can get with Panasonic lens OIS or what I achieved with the Olympus OM-D E-M5 cameras I have owned. 

As is pretty well known by now, I'm not a fan of IBIS anyway. I much prefer the stabilisation in the lens. I know others like it and claim to get good results, but I've always found it less satisfactory moving the sensor around rather than the lens elements and as I write often it's only Olympus and Pentax (and now Panasonic in a very limited way) that offer IBIS whereas Nikon, Canon, Fuji, Sony and Panasonic for all but this camera don't. I'm willing to concede that it may well have to do with how I hold a camera, but I can achieve slow shutter speeds without any stabilisation and some spectacular results with lens OIS (e.g. 1/15 sec. hand held with my Panasonic 14-140mm at the 140mm end pretty much 100% of the time) so I'm inclined to think that may not be the case.

I did get better results with my Nikon 100mm series E lens. I was OK down to about 1/80th. sec. which is around that 1 stop advantage for me and proportionally better than I achieved with the 20mm.

So as Gordon indicated and I'm in agreement with, the IBIS is useful, to a limited degree, but no substitute for OIS in the lens or the somewhat more useful Olympus system. 

To be honest this isn't something I'd do of lot of anyway. While the Metabones Speed Booster does what it's supposed to very well, using MF lenses on the GX7 is something I might use for controlled indoors use or for video, but not much else. Certainly yesterday I was thinking pretty quickly that I wished I'd brought an AF lens with me (or a different camera). As I indicated it was VERY cold and after about 40 minutes my fingers were pure white with very little feeling left in them. It certainly makes that 42.5mm f/1.2 very appealing (if incredibly expensive.)

Yesterday proved to me what I've always felt about m4/3. That they are great fair weather cameras, but not so good when light levels drop. From the pictures you will probably be aware that it was a pretty dull day. As ever with m4/3 cameras I always want to use the lowest possible ISO, in this case 125 which was the reason I was pushing the IBIS. 

However it was a situation where I didn't loose anything. This is a location I can easily revisit and shoot the images I did in much better light. It did, in effect, turn out to be an outdoors location testing session and certainly clarified what the camera can (and can't) do for me. The day and the light was certainly tailor made for a Fuji X camera and if this was the first time I'd visited this location then that's certainly what I would have used. 

All original material on this blog is © Soundimageplus.  Please Respect That 

N.B. to see more on the cameras and lenses featured in this post click on the relevant labels (tags and keywords) at the bottom of this post.



For commenting, discussion, posting your pictures, links and articles - join the Soundimageplus Blog Readers Group on Google+ 
about soundimageplus 
follow by email 
follow on twitter
follow on facebook 
follow on 500px
follow on pinterest 
follow on tumblr   
soundimageplus blog readers pictures group on flickr
soundimageplus on YouTube  
soundimageplus on Vimeo    
shutterstock portfolio