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The strange noise that IS makes on 5DMkIII, is it only on startup/shutdown, in operation or can it be related to IS element parking brake application ?
I think this is only on startup/shutdown of the IS. With AI Servo- the startup/shutdown seems continuous therefore making the noise always there.
Is the sound qualitatively different, or just the volume of it is higher ?
It is different- it is like a CLICK CLICK sound not just the gyroscope spinning.
Does the IS stabilize the image OK ?
Yes- IS stabilize OK. No problems with it. Just the CLICKing worries be- because it doesn't sound too friendly with the noise.