Panasonic 14-42mm f/3.5-5.6 II ASPH MEGA OIS LUMIX G Vario

Lens Reviews / Panasonic Lenses i Lab tested

Most people tend to think of image stabilization as being mainly for telephoto lenses. While it's true that their longer focal lengths tend to magnify the effects of camera shake, image stabilization can provde a very useful assist at wider angle focal lengths as well; anyone who's ever tried to blur the image of a waterfall, while keeping the surrounding landsape tack-sharp knows exactly what I'm talking about.

At 14mm we see some significant improvement in hand-holding steadiness, perhaps in the range of 3 stops. With Mega O.I.S. not engaged, we see what what you'd expect - 100% sharp shots at the 1/15 second shutter speed - in keeping with the "1/focal length" rule of thumb. Engaging Mega O.I.S. allows us to shoot as slow as a half-second - we see 70% of our shots show excellent sharpness.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

Zoomed in to 42mm, it's the same excellent performance at around three stops of hand-holding improvement. Without Mega O.I.S. engaged, we get steady results at the 1/60 shutter speed; engaging Mega O.I.S., we see consistently sharp results down to 1/8 of second, and even some sharp shots at a quarter-second.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

IS systems tend to provide more benefit to less-stable shooters than very steady ones, so most users will see the same or greater amounts of shake reduction as we measured here. You can read more about our IS test methodology here: SLRgear IS Test Methodology, v2.