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What You Need to Know About In-Body IS

The EOS R5 and EOS R6 are Canon’s first cameras to be equipped with In-Body Image Stabilizer (In-Body IS), which not only works with the optical (in-lens) image stabilizer (Optical IS) on compatible lenses to enhance image stabilisation capabilities, but also makes it possible to reduce camera shake by up to eight shutter speed stops’ equivalent when using non-stabilised lenses. Learn more about it in this article. (Reported by: Kazuo Nakahara, Digital Camera Magazine)


1. It works with lens-based image stabilisation to achieve better overall image stabilisation

Capable of up to eight shutter speed stops’ equivalent image stabilisation, Canon’s In-Body Image Stabilizer (In-Body IS) system is powerful on its own. However, what makes it more powerful is how it coordinates with the Optical Image Stabilizer (Optical IS) system on compatible lenses.

When you use a lens with Optical IS, information from the various sensors on the lens is transmitted to the camera’s image processor via the high-speed RF mount communication system. This information, combined with the information from the various sensors in the in-camera image stabilisation system (see point 2), is used to coordinate the Optical IS and In-Body IS systems, moving the lens IS unit or shifting the image sensor as necessary to achieve the best results.

See the inner workings of the In-Body IS system below.

Better correction of angular camera shake

A prominent benefit of Coordinated Control IS lies in its effective correction of angular camera shake.

Angular camera shake refers to camera shake along the pitch and yaw axes. This happens when the camera is tilted up and down or rotated from left to right. At shorter focal lengths, this is more effectively corrected on the camera end (with In-Body IS), whereas at long focal lengths, it is best corrected in-lens (with Optical IS). Coordinated Control IS coordinates the two IS systems, playing to the benefits of each for more effective image stabilisation.

5 axis image stabilisation

The five different axes of camera shake that can be corrected by In-Body IS. The lens-based Optical IS might be more effective for correcting certain types of camera shake at certain focal lengths. Coordinated Control IS coordinates the two systems so that the best results can be achieved.

Note: Coordinated Control IS does not correct shift camera shake, which occurs when the camera is panned horizontally or vertically, or rotational camera shake, which occurs when the camera is tilted horizontally. These are corrected by In-Body IS.

*As of July 2020. Except RF600mm f/11 IS STM and RF800mm f/11 IS STM


2. It detects camera shake with very fine precision

Before In-Body IS can correct camera shake, it first needs to be able to detect it! An excellent sensor-shift system would be nothing without highly precise camera shake detection.

On the EOS R5 and EOS R6, detailed data from these three key components is sent to the DIGIC X image processor for camera shake detection:

- Gyro sensor (angular velocity)
- Acceleration sensor (acceleration)
- Image sensor (image information)

The camera uses this information to determine the volume, direction, and speed of camera shake, allowing it to shift the image sensor to stabilise the image. When a lens with in-lens (optical) image stabilisation (Optical IS) is attached, camera shake information from the gyro and acceleration sensors in the lens is also incorporated into the image stabilisation calculations to perform Coordinated Control IS.

The flow of information

*Only on lenses equipped with Hybrid IS


3. It lets you enjoy 5-axis image stabilisation even with a non-IS lens

In-Body IS can correct camera shake that occurs on 5 different axes (see point 1) on its own, even if Coordinated Control IS is not available, such as when using a lens with no Optical IS system.

This applies to the many excellent non-IS lenses that Canon, such as the three RF lenses pictured above.

- RF85mm f/1.2L USM
- RF28-70mm f/2L USM
- RF50mm f/1.2L USM

It also applies to non-IS EF mount lenses attached via an EF-EOS R mount adapter*. Handheld slow shutter images, handheld portraits at night…In-Body IS unlocks more possibilities on all these lenses, making them viable options for a greater range of scenes.

* Image stabilisation effect depends on the lens and shooting conditions.

EOS R6/ RF50mm f.1.2L USM/ Manual exposure (f/16, 4 sec)/ ISO 100
In-Body IS (ON)

With In-Body IS, even a 4-second handheld shot on the RF50mm f/1.2L USM looks sharp and free of camera shake.


Know this: Why In-Body IS is more suitable for mirrorless cameras than DSLRs

In-body image stabilisation is carried out by shifting the image sensor to counteract camera movement. This means that when you use a DSLR camera, the part of the scene captured by the camera (image sensor) might be slightly different from the scene you see in the optical viewfinder (OVF).

On a mirrorless camera, the image that you see in the electronic viewfinder (EVF) is the same as the image captured by the image sensor—the shifting of the image sensor during image stabilisation would not affect your framing accuracy. This is why In-Body IS works better with a mirrorless camera compared to a DSLR.


Summing up: The advantages of In-Body IS

- It makes image stabilisation available even when using vintage lenses and non-IS lenses.
- It can correct types of camera shake that are difficult or impossible with Optical IS alone, such as shift and rotational camera shake.
- In-Body IS and Optical IS can coordinate for more effective image stabilisation.


You may also be interested in:
How are Image Stabilisation Stops Determined?
[Hands-on Review] EOS R5 in Beauty Photography


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Digital Camera Magazine

Digital Camera Magazine

A monthly magazine that believes that enjoyment of photography will increase the more one learns about camera functions. It delivers news on the latest cameras and features and regularly introduces various photography techniques.
Published by Impress Corporation

Kazuo Nakahara

Kazuo Nakahara

Born in Hokkaido in 1982, Nakahara turned to photography after working at a chemical manufacturing company. He majored in photography at the Vantan Design Institute and is a lecturer for photography workshops and seminars, in addition to working in commercial photography. He is also a representative of the photography information website studio9.