What is Image Stabilization?

What is Image Stabilization?

What is Image Stabilization?

When hand holding a camera, you run the risk of blurry photographs if you shoot at a shutter speed that is less than half your focal length.
For example,
Hand holding an 85mm lens, shooting at 1/125 = no blur
Hand holding an 85mm lens, shooting at 1/60 = potential for blur
Hand holding an 85mm lens, shooting at 1/30 = likely blur

For this reason, you’ll usually see me shooting a tripod. But, for those times when I’m unable to use a tripod, I turn on the Image Stabilization on my Canon lens. Nikon’s version of IS is called Vibration Reduction. I haven’t used Nikon’s VR, but I understand that it works the same way as Canon’s IS.

What is Image Stabilization?

Image stabilization is built into some Canon lenses. When turned on (there is a switch on the lens), tiny sensors and microcomputer inside the lens are activated. When the sensors catch movement, the microcomputer shifts the lens element to keep the image parallel to the focal plane.

Image Stabilization switch on canon lens

Image stabilization adjusts for jiggle movements indicative of hand holding. It will not adjust for subject motion. Also, it will still enable you to pan. (Panning is when you move the camera with your subject. Ever see photographers shooting a race? Notice how they keep the subject in their viewfinder and swivel the camera to keep the subject in their frame? That’s called panning.) Although, you may have slightly different results with your pan. As with all things photography related, you must test to determine you like best.

Image stabilization is helpful in low light situations, as you can lower your shutter speed into the range where your photograph would normally turn out blurry from hand holding. But, it’s important not to think of image stabilization as a replacement for using a tripod.

Copyright 2017 Valerie Hayken Up