Image Stabiliser

Methods to avoid camera shake in photography are known as image stabilisation. Free-hand photography of moving motifs or photographing without flash with little surrounding light usually leads to blurry photos. Image stabilisers help prevent such blurs and compensate for small movements of the photographer’s hands. This plays less of an important role in motion blurring; here, a shorter exposure time is a much more important factor.

There different kinds of stabilisers including optical, mechanical, and digital, though digital stabilisers are not as effective as the first two. Digital or optical image stabilisers are apart of the standard outfitting of many mid-range camera models.

An optical stabiliser is housed in the lens of the camera. Canon, Nikon, and Sigma are some examples of manufactures that offer lenses with built-in image stabilisers. These are capable of moving around in the lens of the camera and make it possible to view the stabilised photo through the viewfinder. Lenses with integrated image stabilisers are more expensive than those without them. However, with this technology, it is not necessary to buy a completely new camera as soon as lenses with new stabilising technology come to market.

Pentax and Olympus, on the other hand, produce a sensor-based image stabiliser that is located in the camera itself. The image stabilisation here is mechanical and results from the electromagnetic movement of the sensor when photographing, which ensures that the photograph stands still at the right moment. It can compensate for both horizontal and vertical movements as well as rotation on the image’s axis. An advantage of using a mechanical image stabiliser is that the mechanism functions independently of the lens and can thus be used without difficulty with older lenses or with lenses from other manufacturers. A downside with using a senor-based image stabiliser is, however, that you would have to buy a completely new camera to take advantage of further advancements in the technology down the road.

Digital stabilisers automatically raise the ISO sensitivity when photographing in order to reduce the necessary exposure time and thus reduce possible blurriness. As a result, however, the amount of image noise rises on single-colour areas due to disrupted pixels. This is the simplest form of image stabilisation and is thus found in almost every new digital camera. For producing especially high quality photos, however, digital image stabilisation is often not sufficient enough.

Purely mechanical image stabilisation can be achieved with the help of a tripod, gyro stabiliser, or camera stabiliser on which the camera can be propped up. The latter is primarily used to photograph moving objects in order to best stabilise a hand-held camera in motion.