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relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR

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Bob Cole
relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 27, 2012 at 5:10:02 am

I'm evaluating lenses for DSLR videography. I can see the relevance of good bokeh, build quality, and shallow DOF/wide aperture.

But I'm puzzled about IS (image stabilization). For still photography, I understand how IS can be evaluated in terms of "stops," or more precisely shutter speed increments; a good IS lens, hand-held, can be as sharp at 1/15 second as a non-IS at 1/60, for example. But how important have you found IS for videography? Is IS relevant only for longer focal lengths?

Bob C


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Phil Balsdon
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 27, 2012 at 10:28:28 am

A couple of months back I purchased a Canon L 24-105 f4 IS , mainly because its focal length range is good for interviews on my Canon 7D.

Last week I had a week long shoot following a group of people, continually on the move, lots of impromptu vox pop interviews. Sydney Harbour Bridge climb where tripods are not permitted for safety reasons and all camera equipment has to be secured to your person, it was a windy day. This was the first shoot I needed the image stabiliser for. The 24-105 images are almost tripod steady and what movement there is is more a slight but very acceptable gentle floating.

A stills photographer on the same shoot had an Canon L 70-200 II IS 2.8 which she let me try out, I've been contemplating buying one and was wondering if the extra $1,000 for IS is worth it, after testing the lens I decided the extra money for the IS will be worth it.

You don't need IS all the time, most of my shooting is from a tripod, but when you do need it it's a lifesaver, possibly a client saver.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Bob Cole
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 27, 2012 at 11:58:14 am

Happy (belated) Australia Day!

Thanks for the insights. Did you find IS helpful at all focal lengths of the 24-105mm zoom, or just the longer ones?

Bob C


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Phil Balsdon
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 27, 2012 at 12:33:30 pm

Pretty much all settings on the harbour bridge, it was quite a windy day. (I just turned it on and shot with it)

It really is useful when you have to do handheld interviews taking out the "jittery" effect you get with DSLRs.

I don't use it on tripod shots though, tends to float about a bit when reframing if you need to track a more fidgety subject.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Brent Dunn
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 27, 2012 at 4:54:56 pm

Typically I don't us IS when I'm on a tripod, but I always have it on otherwise.

Brent Dunn
Owner / Director / Editor
DunnRight Films
DunnRight Video.com
Video Marketing Toolbox.net

Sony EX-1,
Canon 5D Mark II
Canon 7D
Mac Pro Tower, Quad Core,
with Final Cut Studio

HP i7 Quad laptop
Adobe CS-5 Production Suite





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Bob Cole
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 27, 2012 at 6:28:10 pm

[Brent Dunn] "Typically I don't us IS when I'm on a tripod,"

I went to the local camera store this morning to test an IS lens - will report when I get a chance to see the results.

The Canon expert there told me that IS should be turned off when the camera is on a tripod - that IS could actually induce shake in that situation. I didn't have time to ask him why or how.

Bob C


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Bob Cole
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 27, 2012 at 10:00:46 pm

I tested a Canon 24-105mm IS lens on my Canon 60d today, with and without image stabilization.

It was a very hurried and non-scientific test, but at 105mm, the IS footage is steadier. It's actually kind of remarkable. Not a huge difference, but definitely visible.

I also tried to get a sense of whether the 24-105 is "parfocal," that is, whether the lens stays in focus (at manual setting) when you zoom out. Hard to tell, because the max. aperture is f/4 and zooming out to 24mm, the DOF is quite large. But it seems acceptable.

All things being equal, I think an IS lens is a good idea. I am still looking for recommendations for a specific lens. Ideally I'd like a fast (f/1.4 or faster) 50mm, or else a "normal zoom" (e.g. 24-105 or 24-70) with at least f/2.8, with IS. The 24-105 seems excellent, but f/4 gives too much DOF. I don't think there is anything in the Canon line which fills the bill - is anyone aware of another lens that is closer to what I'm looking for?

Thanks.

Bob C


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Phil Balsdon
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 27, 2012 at 10:16:38 pm

It's not an L series and only for APS-C but a professional cinematographer friend of mine finds this lens very useful on his 7D,
Canon 17-55mm f/2.8 IS. A review here http://www.kenrockwell.com/canon/lenses/17-55mm.htm

I totally agree with comments about not using the IS on a tripod.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Bob Cole
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 28, 2012 at 3:40:40 pm

[Bob Cole] "I also tried to get a sense of whether the 24-105 is "parfocal," that is, whether the lens stays in focus (at manual setting) when you zoom out. Hard to tell, because the max. aperture is f/4 and zooming out to 24mm, the DOF is quite large. But it seems acceptable."

Correction: Further research on the Internet yields this list of Canon parfocal zooms; the 24-105 is not on the list.

EF 16-35mm f/2.8L USM
EF 17-40mm f/4L USM
EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L USM
EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
EF 70-200mm f/4L USM
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 IS USM
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III USM
EF 75-300mm f/4-5.6 III
EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6 USM
EF 90-300mm f/4.5-5.6


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Michael Locke
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 28, 2012 at 9:42:26 pm

2012 and Canon has PL-mount cine lenses, but STILL no IS for the 24-70mm f2.8 L. Sigh...


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Liam Hall
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 28, 2012 at 5:30:13 pm

[Bob Cole] "The Canon expert there told me that IS should be turned off when the camera is on a tripod"

That's hokum.

There is a little optical lag when using IS and it can be a little noisy, but it can be useful on a tripod.

It's particularly handy during interviews where it gets rid of all those annoying micro vibrations and shakes that transmit their way up the pan handle or if you're doing a pull-focus without a follow-focus.

Also, there are different flavours of IS - my 70-200 f/2.8L has two IS settings, one works better hand-held, the other seems better when on a tripod.

Liam Hall
Director/DoP/Editor
http://www.liamhall.net


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Bob Cole
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 28, 2012 at 6:16:43 pm

[Liam Hall] "It's particularly handy during interviews where it gets rid of all those annoying micro vibrations and shakes that transmit their way up the pan handle or if you're doing a pull-focus without a follow-focus."

Interesting.

Liam, what do you find most useful about the 70-200? Quite a large lens - I imagine it's on a tripod or monopod, mostly, anyway, right?

another aspect to IS: On Philip Bloom's web page about lens selection, he states that IS helps with reducing rolling shutter artifacts.


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Liam Hall
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Jan 28, 2012 at 6:31:07 pm

[Bob Cole] "
Liam, what do you find most useful about the 70-200? Quite a large lens - I imagine it's on a tripod or monopod, mostly, anyway, right?

another aspect to IS: On Philip Bloom's web page about lens selection, he states that IS helps with reducing rolling shutter artifacts."


The 70-200 f/2.8L IS MkII is very sharp and has excellent bokeh. It really is a superb lens, brilliant for interviews where you want to blur the background. For stills it has a quick and accurate autofocus.

It is large and heavy compared to f/4 lenses, so yes it's always on a tripod or monopod.

Can't say it reduces rolling shutter artefacts though, that's a feature of the write speed of the sensor and has nothing to with the lens.

Liam Hall
Director/DoP/Editor
http://www.liamhall.net


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Bob Cole
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Feb 4, 2012 at 1:48:10 am

Liam, I picked up a used 24-105mm Canon and noticed immediately, in Movie mode, that the IS is quite audible (in a quiet room, and within a couple feet of the camera). Is this common or did I buy a bad lens?

Bob C


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Phil Balsdon
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Feb 4, 2012 at 2:27:40 am

Bob, I have a new 24-105 bought 2 months ago and have not noticed a problem with noise from the IS.

Cinematographer, Steadicam Operator, Final Cut Pro Post Production.
http://philming.com.au
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/


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Liam Hall
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Feb 4, 2012 at 10:21:11 am

Yes, it's common. Even if you get one that is silent after a gentle knock or two it might start getting noisy. Certainly, some lenses are more susceptible to noise than others.

Liam Hall
Director/DoP/Editor
http://www.liamhall.net


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Malcolm Matusky
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR
on Feb 17, 2012 at 2:27:28 am

I have 3 zoom lenses for my 7D, 2 IS, love them! Looking to add a 4th zoom, will be IS. Most of my shooting with the 7d is handheld video and stills, I use the feature for both and love it.

M

Malcolm
http://www.malcolmproductions.com


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Sam Linder
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR (and removing IS noise!)
on Mar 20, 2012 at 1:13:06 am

Hello all, I use a 5D and a 60D, with 70-200 f4 & 2.8, and the EF-S 17-55 f2.8, all with IS. I find IS crucial to handheld and also use it while on sticks. I never turn IS off, unless I'm doing certain pans; have found that I see the IS working through the pan and it detracts from the camera move, but on most pans the IS does not exert a negative effect.

I have had an issue with the noise from the Image Stabilizer being picked up by a Rode Video Mic, and that's why I'm posting here. I had a shoot with tons of audio issues, and found myself having to use several shots from the on-camera mic, where the IS gurgles and has been tough to remove. Does anyone have experience and luck with removing the IS noise in FCP or X-crackle in Pro-Tools? Searching for a plug-in but can't find one.

Thanks very much

FCP 7.0.3 / OS X 10.5.8 / MacBook Pro 2.6 GHz Intel Core 2 Duo / 4GB 667 MHz DDR2 SDRAM


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Drew Horen
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR (and removing IS noise!)
on Apr 25, 2012 at 1:07:10 am

Hi Sam,
I've had some luck using Soundtrack Pro's noise reduction feature. As long as you have some audio with just the IS sound and no other noise it should work.

Good luck,
Drew


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Bob Cole
Re: relevance of image stabilization to videography with DSLR (and removing IS noise!)
on Apr 25, 2012 at 3:00:17 am

"Gurgle" is a good description.

Good to know that STP will get rid of it, but I'd advise turning off IS when you have a critical audio situation. I shoot mostly with a regular video camera, and there are enough audio challenges in the environment without adding another.

I agree about the greatness of IS, though.


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