Friday, July 24, 2009

Friday's Photo Tip - Image Stabilization

Friday's Photo Tip - Image Stabilization

a floating buoy on the water

Image Stabilization is a new term when it comes to photography.

Before digital cameras came along, if this term was mentioned, it would probably be taken as a fancy term for "using a tripod".

And if we were to use a tripod at all times, then this image stabilization would not even be necessary, even with today's cameras.

But it does make life so much easier for a photographer to have this technology since it isn't always practical to use a tripod.

And just what does it do for photography?

It allows the photographer to shoot in lower light conditions with slower shutter speeds without using a tripod for stability. It detects slight movements of the camera body and compensates for them when it snaps the image.

The result is sharper images by hand held cameras with slower shutter speeds.

It used to be recommend with an SLR camera to not shoot below a shutter speed of 30 as it is pretty hard to hold everything very still and get a sharp image.

I have used 30 with no problems with my DSLR and I have also had good success with a shutter speed of 15 - without a tripod - so this technology does work.

But you won't find this image stabilization technology in most DSLRs.

It is in most point and shoot digital cameras, and the video cameras all have it also.

So why not the DSLR's?

Well, it is in one brand that I know of - Sony.

This technology is built into the camera, and what ever lens you put on the camera will be able to take advantage of this feature.

Most of the DSLR manufacturers have yet to add this feature in their camera bodies.

But they do make lenses that has this technology built into them. And they are very expensive.

Is it a necessary feature to consider when purchasing a DSLR?

I really don't think it is, especially when a tripod will do the job.

But when you are hiking around with a heavy zoom lens on the camera, it is awfully nice to have this feature when grabbing a quick image.

Even with a faster shutter speed, some of the lenses are heavy, and this image stabilization kicks in to save the photo.


  1. Kathy I so wanted to go with the new and fabulous Sony 24mm. However, if I do I will loose the expense of almost $1200 for my 400mm lens.

    My next dream choice was the Canon 5D Mark111. But the cost is just way above anything we can afford now.

    So we are going with the Canon 1D Mark11. Not my 1st preference by any means, but, it does allow me from having to dole out another grand for another 400mm telephoto.

    I could kill the sales Rep. where I bought my camera for not telling me that the RebelXSI is not a full frame view camera.

    At the time we were shopping we had enough funds to have purchased a much better camera.

    Well, you live and learn huh? Thanks for these great tips. I may even mosy over and take another look at that Sony!

  2. Kathy oh may be this is why I am able to take photos of the moon without my tripod, lol, I have image stabilizer on my Canon lens. And catching bird photos is too better. Anna :)

  3. Thanks to reading your tips and doing even more research, we have decided to try our best to go with the A900.

    I posted about it today and left a link directing people to your site for your Friday tips.

    They truly have helped me.

  4. Hi Anna - I am sure it helps - you images of the moon are great and your birds are awesome!

  5. Hi Jackie - You are such a fine lady - and you have all my wishes for a beautiful future. I thank you for all your visits and I look forward to watching your talents progress!


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