Dust Reduction v Image Stabilization

Discussion in 'Digital Photography' started by job, Oct 9, 2006.

  1. job macrumors 68040

    job

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    in transit
    #1
    So which one is more important when it comes to taking pictures?

    Is Image Stabilization really that important if you take the time to compose your shots, use a tripod, and reasonable shutter speed?

    Is Dust that big of an issue as well? Or is it just another thing for camera companies to charge you for?

    Also...I'm looking at finally moving from 35mm to a dSLR, and I'm debating between Pentax and Olympus due to costs and was wondering which one has the better lens selection (in terms of price/quality.)
     
  2. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #2
    If you're shooting from unstable ground, image stabalization is really good. If you have good support, you really don't need it under most circumstances- people shot for quite a while before it was invented and made great photographs.

    If you clean your sensor regularly, dust won't be an issue unless you change lenses in dusty conditions without using a bag or just holding the body lens opening down.

    I'd seriously, seriously think about Canon or Nikon first though, the lenses available for them are much more available, and it's the photographer and the glass that make all the difference, lenses will outlast most bodies. The D50 or whatever Canon's equivalent is probably won't be much of a stretch from the 2nd tier manufacturers, but you'll want to get better lenses over time, and there's a heck of a lot of fantastic glass out for the two market leaders. I don't think I've brought a new lens in over 10 years, and I've got some great glass.

    Which of those two to get is almost a religious issue though.
    (I'm a practicing Nikonian)
     
  3. John T macrumors 68020

    John T

    Joined:
    Mar 18, 2006
    Location:
    UK.
    #3
    Yes it can be - particularly if working in dusty conditions or if you change lenses a lot. In a 35mm camera dust is not much of a problem because you are always changing the film. However, in a digital camera you are using the same "film" over and over again!
     
  4. Frank (Atlanta) macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Oct 29, 2004
    #4
    I think the previous poster had some good points - depends upon what's important to you.

    If you shoot high-speed action in dusty environments, the dust reduction/removal may be better. Likewise, if you shoot landscapes or macros and mostly have your gear on a good tripod, then stabilization may not be as important.

    On the otherhand, if you shoot with long lenses or with long lenses in low light, the stabilization may be more beneficial.

    Since I do a mix of shooting, I'd much rather have (and have chosen) stabilization. I can always (easily) clean dust off my sensor (or even clone it out if it isn't too bad). I can't always, however, recover a blurry shot due to camera shake, etc.

    Thx,
    frank
     
  5. tech4all macrumors 68040

    tech4all

    Joined:
    Jun 13, 2004
    Location:
    NorCal
    #5
    I have an Olympus dSLR that has the Super Sonic Wave Filter dust reduction system. I think it's nice to have. A lot of people say sensor dust isn't a problem (at least not a serious one). The dust is only really visible when your shooting at small apertures (high F number). I've seen some images on websites where people did a test shot at a small aperture and the dust visible was shocking. Course that isn't necessarily the case with all people. Depends on your environment. However, with the release of the Canon 400D, they have implanted there own dust reduction system. And I believe that new Sony Alpha dSLR has a dust reduction system as well. With that, I think we will start seeing dust reduction system across the brands of dSLRs.

    But image stabilization is a nice feature to have, especially when zooming in on your subject. I personally wish my dSLR had IS or lens with IS. If Canon continues it's trend with the reduction system on their future dSLRs, I may switch to Canon as they do have a nice selection of lenses and lots of compatibility with 3rd party equipment (although I haven't ruled out Nikon, especially if they introduce their own dust reduction system as well).

    With that said, I agree with the previous posters; it depends on what your going to do. Long telephoto shots or dusty environment. Hopefully your not doing telephoto shots in a dusty environment ;) Have your looked at the 400D? It has dust reduction, and lot of lenses for it. :)
     
  6. maxi macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 23, 2006
    Location:
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    #6
    Personally, I think dust reduction (or whatever it´s called) is more of a gimmick than anything. I cleaned the sensor in my D70 once in almost 3 years i've had the camera, because one big dust particle became visible.

    As for VR, I think it's really nice but you should know what it is and what it isn't. It's handy for a telephoto or lower light. Too bad it is being used as a marketing strategy for the people who know nothing: I saw a billboard for an Olympus the other day that said "sharp pictures even if your subjects move". That's BS, if the subject moves no VR will make it freeze.

    well, sorry for my rant. If I had to choose, I'd get VR over dust reduction.
     
  7. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #7
    I would agree with with IS/VR over dust reduction. I don't think the system is good enough to eliminate dust as well as a good cleaning. It is also something else to break. Here is a test of dust reduction systems and while the reviewer says that the Olympus system did reduce the dust, I can't really see that much of a change.

    http://www.ephotozine.com/equipment/tests/testdetail.cfm?test_id=468
     
  8. ChrisA macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2006
    Location:
    Redondo Beach, California
    #8
    If you are using a tripod Image Stabilization is not needed. It can only help with hand held shots

    I;ve never had a problem with dust on the sensor. But then I don't change lenses in dusty enviroments either. Also there at least with my Nikon there is an anti-dust method that uses an out of focus test shot to find the dust and software to remove it. Kind of semiautometed

    If selection, quality and value maters then I'd have to say Nikon, Canon, Pentax and then Oly i that order.
     
  9. Abstract macrumors Penryn

    Abstract

    Joined:
    Dec 27, 2002
    Location:
    Location Location Location
    #9
    I think Image Stabilization is more useful because it's not a gimmick. :p

    Get your sensor cleaned once every 1 or 2 years. I can't imagine myself requiring a sensor cleaning for quite awhile with the way I shoot. It all depends on the way you shoot.
     
  10. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    in transit
    #10
    Thanks for the replies guys, it's much appreciated.

    I've been looking at all the official websites (e.g. the companies themselves) and dpreview and dcresource.

    I have an old Canon 35mm SLR body and kit lens (Rebel 2000.) The only reason I was considering Pentax or Olympus was the fact that their dSLR bodies were several hundred dollars cheaper than the comparable Canon body.

    Since this is more of a hobby than a professional thing, I was hoping to find an original Digital Rebel body (300D I think?) for a decent price, use the lens from my old body (even with the multiplier) and save the cash for some nice pieces of glass.

    Anyone know of any sites that sell refurbished or used camera bodies? This is going to be my first step into digital and I don't really see the need to go all out on buying the body when I'd rather put that money towards glass.

    Thanks.
     
  11. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    in transit
    #11
    Is www.keh.com a legit site?

    All I need is a digital body. "Test the waters" if you will...
     
  12. nbs2 macrumors 68030

    nbs2

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2004
    Location:
    A geographical oddity
    #12
    Never used them, but from what I can tell they are a wonderful site to use for used gear. Grading is honest, prices are fair and shipping is efficient.

    On the side, I'd like to echo that IS is helpful. I've noticed that sometimes the only way I can get a shot just right is to have a longer exposure (1/4 sec), which makes the IS really nice when you are hiking on a trail and don't have time to set up. I have a Pentax K100 and would totally recommend it, but in your case I think that picking up a used Rebel is a no loss situation for you - I don't imagine you would lose too much of your basis when you sell and upgrade down the road.
     
  13. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #13
    Yes, KEH is very reputable.
     
  14. Buschmaster macrumors 65816

    Buschmaster

    Joined:
    Feb 12, 2006
    Location:
    Minnesota
    #14
    Don't be afraid of that one! It's one of the, what, 3? that are actually okay to order from!

    www.keh.com www.adorama.com and www.bhphotovideo.com are all I ever look at. Keh would be a great route for you as long as you order something that's not in too bad of shape and make sure you're saving a good chunk of money, or you're better off buying new.:)
     
  15. compuwar macrumors 601

    compuwar

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2006
    Location:
    Northern/Central VA
    #15
    Calumet is also reliable, and has items you can't easily find elsewhere.
     
  16. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Location:
    Rohnert Park, CA
    #16
    I always heart that. It's only a gimmick when your camera don't have it. It's such a peace of mind not to worry about dust. I also have an Olympus DSLR and I like the fact that I never have to clean or worry about cleaning my captor.

    If it's a gimmick why would Canon put it on their camera then?
    And the Canon system is non working either

    http://forums.dpreview.com/forums/read.asp?forum=1031&message=20369135


    [​IMG]
     
  17. andiwm2003 macrumors 601

    andiwm2003

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2004
    Location:
    Boston, MA
    #17

    uhm, did you ever try image stabilization? it clearly helps a lot even when your subject moves (a car driving by or a bird for example). When you follow it with your camera the image stabilization makes it much easier to get a sharp picture. that's because when you move the camera along you also get a lot of vibration from muscle tremor. that vibration is compensated (of course the wings of a bird would still be blurred). at least in my experience it really helps and i wouldn't want to miss it.
     
  18. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #18
    Judging from the picture, yes it is not working. There is still visible dust and I would clean the sensor using a blower bulb or sensor swab. There are some who have never cleaned their sensor and have no dust problems.

    In camera IS/VR is also a half-gimmick. It helps, but not as much as an in lens IS/VR.
     
  19. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #19
    I'd say that image stabilisation is important to a lot of people because they tend to shoot in low light without flash or beyond the reach of their built-in flash units.

    I've seen a lot of point and shoot cameras lately get the feature, along with a few SLRs. I'd rather see it put into the body to make it work properly than to add weight and cost to individual lenses. However, for Canon and Nikon to do that, they'd have to start designing new bodies and they're loath to do that. Pentax seems to have done it right, though. I'm not sure about the Olympus billboard since I haven't seen it but they just added I.S. to a couple of their point and shoot cameras. It won't be out in their SLRs until next year, if at all. Of course, lighter equipment lessens the necessity.

    The Olympus SSWF dust reduction has been good for me over the past 3.5 years. I've yet to see any dust on my shots, unless of course, I was shooting something dusty. Is it a gimmick? Could be, but it's a gimmick that provides real value. I've read a few too many horror stories of someone damaging a sensor.
     
  20. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    in transit
    #20
    So how does one go about safely cleaning a sensor and removing the dust if you don't have a built in dust remover?

    It seems like a lot of this is hit or miss, your milage may vary sort of stuff. Some people swear by dust removal or image stabilization, other people don't see the point. Hmmmmm.

    I've found a used Digital Rebel (300D) for $399. I've also found a used Olympus E-300 with the kit lens for $379. Which one would ya'll choose? I've got the kit lens from my old film Canon and even with the FOV crop, it should still work alright until I can get a really nice Canon L lens. Or would the Olympus be a better starting point?

    Fire away...
     
  21. bousozoku Moderator emeritus

    Joined:
    Jun 25, 2002
    Location:
    Gone but not forgotten.
    #21
    I've been a long time Olympus user, but in this case, neither would be a good starting point. Neither camera is worth having.
     
  22. beavo451 macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jun 22, 2006
    #22
    Try this link
    http://www.copperhillimages.com/index.php?pr=tutorials

    I don't really know anybody that "swears" by either technology. IS/VR is more usable and believable in its effectivness.

    Neither are good choices anymore. They are around 2 generations behind the times.
     
  23. sjl macrumors 6502

    sjl

    Joined:
    Sep 15, 2004
    Location:
    Melbourne, Australia
    #23
    I have a puffer bulb - I make sure the camera's battery is fully charged, hit the "sensor clean" option of my 20D, and puff away. It's moved a few large (in pixel area, maybe not in absolute area) dust particles quite happily.

    Anything beyond that, I'd rather pay somebody to do it - that way, if they damage it, they pay for the repair. :D

    I'd be inclined to go with the Canon if you had to go with one of those two; it'll let you build up your lens library while you save the dough for a better body. However, I'm not really sure that the 300D is particularly good value for money these days. If you're strapped for cash, it'd probably be ok, but personally, I'd prefer the 400D. The 300D is now around three years old (since its introduction) - not bad, but not particularly great, either.
     
  24. Mr. G4 macrumors 6502

    Mr. G4

    Joined:
    Mar 29, 2002
    Location:
    Rohnert Park, CA
    #24
    The 300D is 6 Megapixel and the E-300 is 8 megapixel to start with.

    The olympus kit lens are excellent, way better than the canon. Especially the 40-150.

    For sure these camera are 2 generation behind but for the price the E-300 kit lens is a great camera to start.

    I have the E-500 for more than a year, I change my lens anywhere, sometimes, I have the body hanging out of my neck while I put away one len to pick up the new one from the back and not once I have to clean the sensor.

    On the other hand if you have a lot of old canon lens then you might just stick with canon, if you don't the e-300 is the way to go IMHO.
     
  25. job thread starter macrumors 68040

    job

    Joined:
    Jan 25, 2002
    Location:
    in transit
    #25
    Hmmmm. Thanks for the replies guys. :)

    To answer the unasked question as to why I'm picking up such an old (and used) camera body is because I don't have the cash to shell out for a $700-$800 body. Not yet anyways. Also, I'm just learning the nuances of shooting digital and don't need anything too fancy to begin with.

    If anyone can find me a 350D body for $399 I'd be happy as can be, but as far as I can tell, they hold their value pretty darn well.
     

Share This Page