Image Stabilization - how much of a difference does it make? Olympus Evolt E620 12.3MP Live MOS Digital SLR Camera with Image Stabilization and 2.7 inch Swivel LCD (Body Only)
I'll admit up front that I'm a lousy photographer and this contributes to my interest in image stabilization. I currently have an e-500 that i'm reasonably happy with and so, I'm wondering if I will notice a crisper image with the e-620's IS. Thoughts? I mostly use my camera for wildlife and travel.
With a non-image stabilized camera, the rule of thumb for a 4/3 camera is to use a shutter speed of 1/(2 X FocalLength) sec or faster in order to avoid camera shake blurring.
With the E-500 and a 200mm lens, you would need to shoot handheld at a shutter speed of 1/400 sec or faster in order to avoid camera shake blurring. With the E-620 and a 200mm lens with image stabilization engaged, however, you could use a shutter speed of 1/100 sec or possibly as slow as 1/50 sec.
Note that image stabilization will not stop blurring from subject motion.
Optical Image Stabilization makes a huge difference in the results you will get, especially when shooting at long focal lengths. This is because any body motion is exaggerated by long lenses. The way this works is that when the camera senses movement (camera shake) it will move the sensor in the opposite direction of the motion to cancel out the effect. All of this happens in a nanosecond. This is a pretty useful feature for people who can't hold a camera rock steady, like us senior citizens!
Your E500 is one of the last cameras Olympus made without IS built in. This is such a popular feature today that every manufacturer now offers IS either built into the camera body, or built into their lenses. The Olympus IS system is one of the very best and should provide around 2 to 3 stops of extra stabilization, making it less necessary to carry a tripod around with you.