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Thursday, March 1, 2007

Image Stabilization

When you can't or won't use a tripod, these technologies steady your hand

Image Stabilization

There are two distinct image-stabilization technologies employed to prevent blurry photographs when shooting at slower shutter speeds. Lens-shift stabilization, as the name implies, is achieved through moving elements in the lens barrel itself. Canon’s IS and Nikon’s VR technologies are both of the lens-shift variety. Sensor-shift stabilization occurs within the camera body rather than the lens. The primary advantage to sensor-shift technology lies in the ability to use any lens and get a stabilized image. Panasonic, Pentax, Samsung and Sony all have sensor-stabilization camera models in their lineups.

A tripod is required gear for serious landscape photographers and long-lens wildlife specialists. It assures that the camera won’t move during exposure, thus eliminating image blur caused by camera shake, and it will lock in a composition so you have time to study it carefully without accidentally changing the frame while squeezing off the shot.

Sometimes you have to shoot without a tripod, however, perhaps because carrying one over rough terrain would be too cumbersome or because something happens too fast to set one up. Fortunately, there are great solutions for those situations: cameras and lenses with built-in image-stabilizing features.




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