Sunday, February 7, 2010

Olympus E-P2 (Pen) - High Speed Video of Image Stabilizer

Last time I looked inside my E-P2 I shot some high speed video of its shutter in action. This time around I decided to check out its image stabilizer in action.

What drew me to do this was that strange and brief sound I kept hearing every time I turned the camera off and the IS was enabled... buzz, buzz, buzzzz. So I setup my Casio EX-F1 to record the video, removed the lens of the E-P2, turned on my studio light, and started recording. Then I simply turned off the camera and there it was, the sensor dance. I have to admit that I was quite surprised to not only see the sensor in motion, but how much movement it was capable of doing! Since the action wasn't very fast, my video starts off with an HD quality clip of this and then right after comes the 300 frame per second segment.

The third and final clip in the video demonstrates the camera's image stabilizer at work when an exposure (or photograph) is being taken. I set the shutter speed to two seconds and then nudged the camera around gently as it sat on the tripod. Because the movement of the IS is really small, it's quite challenging to see it in motion, but using annotations on the video I pointed out where this was most visible. My estimate of how much the sensor shifts is about 0.5mm. And I actually shot several other videos of this, some at 1,200 frames per second, but this video seemed to demonstrate the shift better than the others.

For next week, time permitting, I will be shooting a full episode of my photography series, this time on electronic flash basics.

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