GX8 & OM-D EM-1 Image Stabilization Question from Ray Hirsch

Posted Sep. 12th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

GX8 & OM-D EM-1 Image Stabilization

Hi Dan,

Just received my GX8, and have run some tests. Using the 35-100mm f2.8, this combo comes close to matching my Oly Em-5ii with the 40-150mm set at equivalent focal lengths and shutter speeds. This lens has the latest firmware so the dual stabilization was active. Even then it still fell a half to one stop short of the E-M5. When I put 40-150mm directly on the GX8 using body stabilization only, the difference fell to at least a 2+ stop difference in favor of the Oly. I was hoping for better than this and I am just wondering what your experience was and what you have heard from others?

Margie and I are headed to Tahiti for a couple of weeks soon and I was hoping to travel light, but that 40-150mm is important for the birds and seems to perform best on the Oly. Before I send the GX8 back to B&H, I would like to hear your thoughts and whether I should try a second copy?
All the best,
Ray

A black-collared hawk shot with the Lumix GX8 and Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 in 4K Photo Mode.

A black-collared hawk shot with the Lumix GX8 and Olympus 40-150mm F/2.8 in 4K Photo Mode.

Ray, I don’t think trying a second copy of the GX8 is going to improve your in-body image stabilization concerns. I’m finding similar results with the 40-150mm on the GX8. Not stellar in-body IS with this lens but better than none at all for sure. As far as Lumix lenses that have the new firmware and Dual IS, I’m finding about a 4-5 stop IS benefit. I’m still putting the GX8 through substantial real world tests here in Brazil and have been very impressed with the auto focus. That’s been the holy grail for me, getting a mirrorless camera that focuses as fast and accurately in Predictive AF than my Nikons. So far I think I’ve got that in the GX8. Still need to run the speeding pooch test to be certain. The 4K Photo Mode on flying birds has been absolutely stunning. Will be sharing more in depth review when I get back from Brazil and South Africa in October. Thanks for the input.

Update

Ray, I recently ran some GX8 IBIS tests and will be including a full report in an upcoming Blog. Interestingly, I was able to to get a few sharp images, hand holding the Olympus 40-150mm with the 1.4X teleconverter attached at 1/8th. of a second. At 1/15th. of a second I was able to get about half the images reasonably sharp and at 1/60th. of a second I was getting over 60% sharp. So I’m going to say with in camera IS I’m getting a little over two stops of IBIS. I’ll be including a series of the GX8 with the Lumix 35-100mm making it the GX8 Dual IS. Without the Dual IS it’s not as good as I would like but it certainly will be helpful. With the Dual lens and camera IS stabilization is fabulous. More to come.

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There are 3 comments on this post…
  1. Joseph AvellinoOn Aug. 19th, 2017

    Good day. I apologize for a naive question, but I am hoping you can help considering your deep experience.

    I have a GX8. I have the 14-42 lens that came with the camera kit and bought the Lumix 45-150 lens. I just purchased the Lumix 14-140 lens that has an IS switch on the lens.

    I mostly hand hold for taking photos.

    Do I want to turn the switch on the lens to on and turn the IS in the camera body off? Do I want both on? Do I want to keep the switch on the less set to off and use the camera body IS? What is best recommendation? Thanks so much in advance.

    • Portrait of Daniel J. Cox

      Daniel J. CoxOn Aug. 19th, 2017

      Hi Joseph, I’m a bit confused since I don’t know of a Lumix 45-150mm lens. Are you referring to the Olympus 40-150mm or possibly the Lumix 45-175mm lens? Either way, the rule of thumb for all Lumix lenses is to keep both the lens and the camera IS ON as long as you’re shooting Lumix or Leica lenses. If you’re shooting Olympus lenses that have Optical Image Stabilization (OIS) in the lens, you want to turn the camera IS off. If the Olympus lens does not have OIS you want to leave the camera Image Stabilization ON. Hope this helps.

  2. Portrait of Ray Hirsch

    RayOn Sep. 12th, 2015

    Thanks Dan,

    I have not had it long enough to do a fast moving subject focus test. The Hawk capture is really great and very sharp to my eyes. Our dog park is closed until Friday, but then I can do a running pooch test of my own. I was impressed with the stabilization with the 35-100mm Lumix. If continuous focus tracking works as well as a dslr then I may find a reason to keep it. There are some really cool features like the eyepiece that goes vertical, 4K photo mode and auto focus in very low light. I will definitely wait for your in depth review before making a keep/return decision.

    All the best,

    Ray

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