Saturday, 19 November 2016

G85 video stabilization vs Olymous E-M5 Mark II

I recently showed that the Lumix G85 is way superior to the GH4 when it comes to video image stabilization, using the newer in-body image stabilization (IBIS). However, the focus speed was not as good in 4k mode, probably due to less processing power in the Lumix G85.

But how does it compare with the Olympus E-M5 Mark II, which made waves in this area almost a couple of years ago, with a fantastic video image stabilization?

In this article, I put them head to head. To avoid any possible advantage of using the same brand name lens as camera body, I have used the third party Sigma 30mm f/2.8 Art lenses, which I like a lot:

Both cameras are mounted to a Desmond stereo bracket here. They are both recording in 1080p resolution, with 60FPS framerate. I have both set to f/2.8 aperture, and using continuous autofocus. Here is the comparison:

Based on this comparison, it looks like the Olympus E-M5 Mark II is still a bit better when it comes to image stabilization, however, this was a quite extreme test, with some careless walking around.

In terms of autofocus, no single camera is consistently the best here, but I think both do quite well.

The Lumix G85 has the newest firmware, 1.1, designed to fix the panning jerkiness.

Given the capabilities of the two cameras, my choice is clear. The Lumix G85 is by far the most usable. I also like its ergonomics much better. With the Olympus E-M5 Mark II I often get annoyed trying to find the feature I want in the menus. I will still keep it for when I want to try the high resolution mode.

Monday, 14 November 2016

G85: Awesome video image stabilization in 4k

The recently announced Lumix G85 breaks new ground with the in-body image stabilization (IBIS) trickling down into more camera models. It also helps giving very good stabilization of video recordings. See a demonstration of how the sensor moves here.

To further illustrate the effectiveness of the image stabilization, I have compared it with the Lumix GH4. In the comparison, I used two pairs of lenses: The classic Lumix G 20mm f/1.7 pancake prime, and the Lumix G 14-42mm II basic kit zoom lens. I had both cameras mounted to a Desmond stereo bracket for the comparison:

Both cameras were recording 4k video at 30FPS, at maximum aperture. On the Lumix G85 I had the in-body image stabilization enabled, but not the additional E-stabilization. Both cameras were set to continuously autofocus during the video recording. Here are the results:

Saturday, 12 November 2016

Lumix G85 IBIS sensor shift demo

While Olympus have relied on in-body image stabilization (IBIS) since the start of Micro Four Thirds, Panasonic have taken another route: Optical Image Stabilization (OIS), i.e., lens elements moving to offset camera shake. The disadvantage of OIS is that it needs to be implemented in every lens. And many Panasonic prime lenses do not have OIS built in.

Hence, Panasonic have started to use IBIS: First in the premium rangefinder style GX series: GX7, GX8, and the more reasonably priced Lumix GX85. Starting this autumn, the technique has also trickled into the SLR styled G series with the Lumix G85. At the same time, we see the quality and the usability of the IBIS implementation improve.

To demonstrate how this works, I have mounted the Lumix G85 on a Desmond stereo bracket, facing the Lumix GH4 with a Samyang 7.5mm f/3.5 fisheye lens:

The lens was set to the closest possible focus distance, and f/4.5. By powering on the Lumix G85 camera without a lens mounted, it is possible to see how the sensor moves around inside it:

Sunday, 6 November 2016

Mirrorless or DSLR camera?

If you are in the market for a system camera, i.e., one with interchangeable lenses, there are basically two choices: A mirrorless system like Micro Four Thirds, or a more traditional DSLR system. So how are they different?

To illustrate, here are two enthusiast cameras in the categories: Olympus OM-D E-M5 Mark II and Nikon D7200:

One difference between them, which is not easily visible in the picture, is that the register distance is much shorter for the mirrorless camera on the left: 20mm vs 46.5mm for the Nikon F mount on the right. This allows for making smaller cameras, obviously, but it also allow the designers make smaller wide angle lenses.

This is illustrated with the Samyang fisheye lenses pictured: They are functionally the same, but the fisheye lens for the mirrorless camera can be made much smaller due to the smaller register distance. For longer tele lenses, there is not so much difference for the same focal lengths, though.