Image Stabilisation

What is Image Stabilisation?
Image Stabilisation (or ‘IS’) is a feature of many lenses, and of some cameras. It is also known as Vibration Reduction (VR) and Optical Image Stabilisation (OIS), the name tends to vary depending on the brand.

Activating this function reduces the amount of ‘camera shake’ when taking the photo. Camera shake comes from when you are hand holding the camera, and is often much more apparent when using telephoto lenses. 

How does it work?
The feature essentially works by creating it’s own small movements, in order to counter balance the small movements you are making when you hold the camera. Thus resulting in a steadier shot. 

When do I need to use it?
If you are using a tripod with your camera, or resting your camera on a still surface, you do not need to use this function and should have it switched off. 

If you are hand holding your camera it is good to keep this function on. Sometimes there is an option for ‘extra’ stabilisation, this is useful if you’re moving whilst taking the photo, e.g. on board a boat, and need extra stability for your photograph. 

Where do I find this function?
Not all lenses feature a stabilisation mode, but if they do they are most commonly found at the side of your lens in the form of a switch. 

In some cases cameras themselves feature a stabilisation function, this is useful as that way it doesn’t matter what lens you use, you always have the option to activate stabilisation. 


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