Panasonic G85 vs Olympus EM-5 II – IBIS vs Dual IS Stabilization

I’ve shot with Micro Four Thirds essentially since it’s inception in 2009 with the Panasonic GF1. Back then, it’s main differentiator was the size. In addition to that, today we’re seeing µ43 first to the race with things like IBIS, Dual IS, 4k, etc.

Stabilization was a game changer for me. Not that I even attempt the 1+ sec handheld shots that some people boast about. But the fact that I can shoot at 1/60 and not have to worry about a tad bit of camera shake is amazing. And if I want to bend the handheld rule a little bit (adding 1 before the focal length ie. 100mm =1/100s), I can.

Lately, I’ve been getting into video where the effect of the stabilization is really evident. People have been arguing about pixels for a while, and it will continue to happen. But one thing that’s undisputed, is an optically stabilized lens is no match for IBIS. Plenty of tests on this, including my own with the G85 vs the Sony A7 in my G85 Review.

The Panasonic G85 and Olympus OM-D EM-5 II both have tremendous stabilization, it’s almost silly that these $1000 cameras have better stabilization than cameras that costs thousands of dollars. But it’s understandable, it’s a product of the sensor size where larger sensors do have many advantages.

In the above video, I wanted to see how they compared, and if you’ve already watched it, it’s really close. I’ll let you decide who the winner was but I will say a few things about each:

Panasonic G85 – Has the 4k advantage, this means you could use Warp Stabilizer in post (which crops a little) and still retain much more than 1080p. The Olympus would crop down to less than 1080p.

Olympus EM5 II – IBIS only. Panasonic has to use a Dual IS compatible lens for the results to be comparable, and a lot of their best lenses (eg. 20mm f1.7, 25mm f1.4, etc.) don’t have stabilization.

Again, I have no dog in this race. I love both cameras, that’s why I bought them. Just wanted to put this out there for anyone shopping for a camera under $1000.

If you want to see some real world footage, this is the first YouTube video I shot with the Panasonic G85, all handheld:

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