Micro 4/3 Longest handheld exposure with OMD's IBIS system?

Ray Sachs

Sep 21, 2010
Not too far from Philly
you should be able to figure it out...
I did a bunch of shooting in Philly yesterday, including a bunch of subway commuters coming through the turnstiles. I was using the OMD and the 12mm lens. I'm pretty sure I was leaning against a column or something, the camera was hanging at the end of the strap at belly level, so it was reasonably stable for a hand held approach. But still, no tripod, no bench or table to set the camera on - just me. I've had exposures of nearly half a second that looked good to me before yesterday, which I thought was pretty impressive. Yesterday I pulled out a shot I liked and was amazed to find it was 8/10 of a second. After some commentary on that from other folks. I went back through the shots I didn't use and found one that's very sharp at 1.6 seconds. It was too long - you can barely make out the ghosts in the shot. So that got me wondering if anyone else has found any longer exposure than 1.6 seconds that were reasonably intact??? I'm starting to wonder what the limits of this system are....

Here's the shot at 8/10:

Here's the less interesting but maybe more impressive shot at 1.6:

View attachment 63410


Lawrence A.

Hall of Famer
Nov 8, 2012
New Mexico
For me one second seems to be the cut off where I can pretty reliably get sharp images with the PL25mm atached (the lens I use the most) At 1.3 secs I hit one now and again, but most are decidedly blurred at 100%. For the most part I rarely go to even 1/2 sec, and I count on 1/4 being good. That's pretty good stabilization performance for my money. Granted, at 61, my hands are not as steady as they were at 21, when I routinely shot down to 1/15 sec (even 1/8 sec with special precautions) handheld with a 50mm on my OM-1. Fortunately, I'll have 5 axis IBIS as I come apart at the seams.


Hall of Famer
Nov 12, 2010
That's incredible! I don't have an OM-D (yet?) so I can't provide you with any data. On my EX1, I got a couple of sharp shots at 1/2 second, handheld without support or strap, but at those kind of shutter speeds, the hit/miss ratio isn't pretty. Any idea what kind of percentages you're getting?


Sep 14, 2011
Extremely impressive. I don't have a E-M5, but I've always wondered how long it would be possible to hand-hold with the new 5-axis stabilization. I recently got off a 2 second exposure with my 45-200mm @166mm on my GF1. It was braced against the handrail of my backyard stairs, so it had a little extra help keeping steady, but I was amazed that it came out somewhat usable (focus is on the moon):



Aug 19, 2012
Southern California
Gary Ayala
I shoot lots of low light, but usually of people so I have to keep my shutter appropriately fast enough to stop subject movement. This is probably one of the lowest handheld shutter speed I hae:

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OM-D w/ O45mm, 1/6, f/2.8, ISO 1600



Jun 30, 2012
I picked up an OM-D to try recently and one of the things I wanted to see was how IBIS fares compared to lens-based stabilization. Didn't have my Panasonic handy so I used the X-E1 + 18-55 @ 23mm and compared it against the OM-D with 17mm f/1.8 attached.

Didn't keep the test shots to show here since they were just for kicks, but I found to my surprise that I was able to get clear 2s (*two full seconds*) exposures on both cameras handheld. However, the IBIS shots were much more consistently sharp (say, 3 out 5 versus 1 out of 5 with lens stabilization). I felt it was clear IBIS has a distinct advantage and I'm duly impressed, at least at that focal length. I wouldn't be surprised if the advantage is less pronounced on longer lenses - but of course IBIS has other advantages like working with any lens :)


Hall of Famer
Dec 24, 2010
Brisbane, Australia
The key difference in the E-M5 ibis is really that the sensor is not constrained - the whole five axis thing. If the camera movement is neatly constrained in the x or y planes it shouldn't work a whole lot different to anything else. If for example you have a tendency to rotate the camera slightly with the action of pressing the shutter, or induce anything other kind of pitch, yaw, or roll movement, no other type of stabilisation will be effective.
Mar 3, 2013
John Griggs
Well done, Ray! This I think is the longest I have with the 75mm f/1.8 on it so it's actually very long for that focal length I think. This is 1/5 of a second.

Olympus 75mm f/1.8 Tests: Loco by Night by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

Longer at 0.5 seconds and that was with the ultrawide at 9mm so it's not quite as impressive as it's easier to hand hold that wide.

Door 20 by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

I think this is the longest one -- it's the Panny 25mm f/1.4 at 0.6 seconds.

Panasonic Leica DG Summilux 25mm f/1.4 Test: Down the Track by Entropic Remnants, on Flickr

So I've not gotten even CLOSE to that really long one you did. That's amazing!

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