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How much difference does "in camera image stabilization" make?


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I am newer to digital photography, so I would appreciate your patience with me and my questions. My hands shake a little bit when holding objects.  I am wondering if, considering my situation, I should rule out the x-T30, even if I use it with Fuji Lenses with Image Stabilization built into them.  Is that enough for me or do you feel I really must have a camera with it also built into the camera itself? For me and my slight shake, is in in-camera image stabilization, nice to have or a must have?   I can currently afford the X-T30 and would like to get it, but if you advise me that, because of my minor shaking, I really should wait until I can afford the likes of the X-T4, that would be good to know.  Thank you, in advance for sharing your time and expertise.

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Hello cup4sharks

I think your problem with IBIS will be mainly that it is quite expensive and I'm not sure you can compensate that with cheaper lenses (more on that below). If the X-T4 will include IBIS, it will be a more expensive camera than the XT-3 is. And of course a much more expensive camera than the X-T30 you look at. So if you "wait" for the X-T4, it's possible you'll wait for the "wrong" price range. I'm also pretty sure the X-T40, X-T50... won't have "physical" IBIS because of that for a long time.

But first you have to understand that camera IBIS is not the same like in-lens IS. IBIS does minimize the "flat" shaking on x, y axis and rolling. In-lens IS does minimize pitch and yaw. That's the reason why a XH-1 can combine both systems together. However, In-lens IS helps more for photos with long range lenses, while IBIS is generally helpful in movie situations. Facing that, I can imagine that in-lens image stabilization will help you more than IBIS. But I can't presume to be the judge of that, as I don't have that sort of problem. So the first advice I give you is: try to find out if you really need IBIS or if you have to buy IS lenses anyway. I can imagine you don't need both systems together, but as I said: how can I know that?!

Beside of that I'm pretty sure you need a more hefty camera. A X-T3 is a bigger camera which is less difficult to hold in the hands. If you buy a cheaper X-T30, I would recommend you to include a nice hand grip in your calculation.

If you have the time to wait, I would also set a watcher to the price of the X-H1. Rumors say it's not that of a success for Fuji and it is possible that they'll drop the price in a very foreseen future (it already dropped remarkable). If there really will be a X-T4 with IBIS released, I'm pretty sure X-H1 gets a rather hefty price drop if not even a sell-out. Saying that, the X-H1 wold get a true bargain in that situation.


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cup4sharks - Have you worked any on shooting technique to minimize the hand shake? I learned a very long time ago that deep breath-exhale-hold-SHOOT is a technique that worked well for me at photography, shooting firearms, shooting bow and arrow, bowling, and even hammering nails.

I just turned 66, and I can you with certainty I am not as steady as I once was, but I can still shoot 1/30 without OIS using this technique. My wife has the same issue as you - she has never been able to shoot a clear photo, and this is working for her now.   

I don't have a Fuji body with IBIS, but I have three lenses with OIS, and the extra latitude for still shots is significant. I don't shoot video, so I can't comment on that.

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Having Fuji, Olympus and Sony, I would advise you to try an Olympus body: its IBIS technology is fantastic and would allow you to put that "extra-shake" behind your concerns. Or, if you really want to go Fuji, I guess you would be very happy with a 2nd-hand X-H1 (I had one and replaced it with an X-T3): it is heavier and the IBIS is also great. 

But I'd check the Olympus before anything...

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IBIS and lens OIS are absolutely wonderful to have but as Boessu mentioned, proper technique will take care of the need for IBIS.  Holding the camera correctly and when there is a heavy lens, holding the lens with one hand while shooting, arms in close to the body will stabilize any camera.  Then for shooting, keep your shutter speed fast enough to cover any shake you are introducing.  The 1/focal length rule is a solid starting point to compensate for any shake that you introduce.  IBIS and OIS allow you to more easily shoot at speeds slower than that BUT isn't absolutely needed to do so.  Cameras for decades have not had any stabilization in them and millions upon millions of pictures have been taken that are tack sharp without it.

Only two of my lens have OIS on them and I have never had IBIS in any body and I shoot weddings in low light all the time without any problems.  I also shoot wildlife with long lens' and also have no problem.  If I can do it, anyone can do it.  :)

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I have slight hand shake due to an injury. I currently own a Canon Rebel SL1 (not stabilized) with a 24 MM F2.8 stabilized lens.which offers up to 4 stops of image stabilization (IS). Even with that, I found ways to minimize/eliminate shake , because I found, I tend to move more than I realize - I need to be very aware of my body and what I am doing when I shoot. I am a landscape / travel photographer and find things to lean against (trees, poles, etc), put my camera on (rocks, branches, sign posts, walls...), and also - as others suggest - found ways to hold the camera to minimize shake. It can take some experimentation to see what works best in holding a camera. And it works! For me too, setting the shutter over 125 also hopes. I found anything under that with my Canon might result in blurry images.

Keep in mind too, that aperture under about F/8 or so may look like it is blurred in areas but can be just depth of field.  

I am upgrading my camera set up and image stabilization is important.  I liked  Olympus cameras or Panasonic/Lumix which offer stabilized cameras which folks can rave about.  I was really impressed with the OMD M-5 from Olympus for the stabilization.  

That said, I demo'd the XT30 and XT3 and found it very stabilized through lens stabilization. What sells the camera for me is the incredible amount of detail  throughout the image that II can get and the stabilization. Of course I shot a photo of someone while moving and it blurred, but that was to be expected since i was moving.

Check photo below. I only decreased the size of it.  This was just a quick demo with the 18-55 F2.8-4 lens. That detail, even in darker areas, sells me with this camera.

Last I would say go to a camera store  and demo.

Keep in mind though when demo'ing that the settings the camera is at may not be what you need not bring out the full capabilities of the camera (happened to me quite a bit when demoing). As you learn a camera and its functions/capabilities, you will get better.

 I suggest you mention the type of photography you want to do, mention the hand shake issue, and ask the salesman/saleswoman to set the camera for your needs. You might want to review the images with them too so they can explain why an image might look the way it does.

All the best!





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