Image Stabilization Test (firmware 1.01)
This image was taken at 720mm with EVF on.
There are four IS modes in HS10:
(IS Mode 1) Continuous IS: IS is always on all the time before and after the shutter release button is pressed.
(IS Mode 2) Shooting only IS: IS is only on after the shutter release button is pressed.
(IS Mode 3) Continuous + digital IS: there is no explanation of how "digital IS" works in the manual. From my observation, the camera takes 2 consecutive shots and combine the two images into one shot (that's why it is called "digital"), with continuous IS on.
(IS Mode 4) Shooting only + digital IS: same principle as above, but with shooting IS on.
This image shows 100% crops from original photos, with shutter speed ranging from 1/800s to 1/13s. Since high ISO had to be used for getting a fast shutter speed, more noise/noise reduction could be noted in the images taken at 1/800s, thus resulting in more crispy images.
I can get the following conclusion after the test:
(1) Handheld condition could only give you 1 stop slower shutter speed than required, while IS mode 1 and 2 can give you 3 stops slower shutter speed than required.
(2) Since digital IS takes 2 shots, double images would be resulted in some shots. When shutter speed is within 3 stops slower, I cannot see any advantage of using IS Mode 3 and 4, but when shutter speed becomes further slower, IS mode 3 and 4 could produce "sharper" result than IS Mode 1 and 2.
(1) If shutter speed is faster than the "safe shutter speed", switch off IS.
(2) If shutter speed is slower than the "safe shutter speed", but faster than 3 stops slower, use IS mode 1 or 2. Both of them give you similar results.
(3) If shutter speed is slower than 3 stops from the "safe shutter speed", use IS mode 3 or 4.
(4) For sure is that if you have tripod, always switch off IS to get the best result.
(5) After all, if you only print photos in small size (say 4R), I would conclude that all 4 IS modes could give you good results.
(6) Small tips to prevent handshake: high speed shooting mode, e.g. 7fps, could reduce handshake. Try it and tell me the result!
24mm handheld at waist level
Centre Crop - IS Mode 1 (Continuous IS)
Centre Crop - IS Mode 2 (Shooting IS) - quite efficient for remove handshake - shutter speed nearly 3 stops slower
540mm with tripod, IS Mode 1, Timer on
Enlarged crop of the previous photo
540mm with tripod, IS off, Timer on
Enlarged crop of the previous photo (don't use IS when the camera is fixed on a tripod!)