Camera feature of the year: Dual Stabilization

Today’s Post by Mark Toal

Dual stabilization refers to the camera body and lens both being stabilized together. When I first heard about this concept I thought it was a marketing gimmick until I tried it with the Panasonic Lumix GH5.

Cameras have had body or lens stabilization for a long time, which makes shooting at low shutter speeds a lot easier. Dual stabilization takes that to a whole new level. Olympus cameras have always had in-body stabilization where Panasonic cameras used lens stabilization. The benefit of in-body stabilization is that when you use a non-stabilized lens the camera provides the stabilization. The benefit to lens stabilization is that it can be customized to each lens and tends to work better for longer zoom lenses.

Cameras like Panasonic’s Lumix G85, GX85 or GH5 have five stops of in-body stabilization plus the lens stabilization. This allows you to shoot handheld at lower shutter speeds while keeping your ISO low. The recently announced Panasonic Lumix G9 has 6.5 stops of in-body stabilization!

This photo was taken handheld at a 1/2 sec shutter speed with a Lumix GH5. With just lens stabilization I was never be able to handhold a camera below 1/30 second. For a night and early morning shooter like me this is life changing.