Image Stabilization: What Is It And When To Use It

I love creating free content full of tips for my readers, you. I don't accept paid sponsorships, my opinion is my own, but if you find my recommendations helpful and you end up buying something you like through one of my links, I could earn a commission at no extra cost to you.

Image stabilization is a technique used to reduce camera shake and ensure a higher quality image when taking pictures and videos. It is an important element of photography and videography, ensuring crisp, clear shots.

In this article, we will look at the basics of image stabilization, what it is, and when to use it for better results.

Image Stabilization What Is It And When To Use It(jn4v)

Definition of Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is a process that reduces or eliminates camera shake, which is caused by small movements in the photographer’s hands or body during exposure. It is most commonly used in photography, videography, and scientific applications. By using techniques such as lens-shift or electronic/software-based image processing, image stabilization can be used to compensate for camera movement and retain focus on the intended subject.

When camera shake or blur occurs it degrades the resolution of the image and causes distracting artifacts like motion blur which deters from its visual clarity. The use of image stabilization technologies helps to improve both static frame images as well as videos by reducing motion blur effects caused by changeable movements.

Image stabilization systems are available in many forms from simple optical designs found in certain lenses to more advanced systems such as active shutters that are built into digital cameras. These systems vary greatly in terms of performance and therefore it is important to understand how they work so that you can determine which solution would work best for your particular application.


Types of Image Stabilization

Image stabilization prevents camera shake, which can significantly reduce the quality of your images. There are two main types of image stabilization to choose from: optical image stabilization and electronic image stabilization.

Optical image stabilization works by using built-in sensors to sense any camera shake or movement and counteracts it with an attached lens element that moves in the opposite direction to compensate for the motion. This helps minimize the appearance of camera shake in photos and videos.

Electronic Image Stabilization (EIS) is a software-based form of image stabilization that’s available on some cameras and phones. It uses the data from built-in sensors and gyroscopes to determine how much movement is occurring when taking photos or recording video, and then adjusts the recorded content accordingly by cropping out any unwanted motion blur caused by camera shake. While EIS can help reduce some types of motion blur, it does have its limitations due to its software-based nature since it can’t actually counteract physical camera movement like optical IS does.

Benefits of Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is a technique used to reduce or eliminate the effects of camera shake during long exposures. This technique is used to sharpen up blurred images and make photos look clearer and crisper. Image stabilization can help to reduce motion blur and allow for sharper images in lower light.

Let’s look at some of the benefits of image stabilization:

Getting started with your own stop motion storyboards

Subscribe to our newsletter and get your free download with three storyboards. Get started with bringing your stories alive!

We'll only use your email address for our newsletter and respect your privacy

Improved Image Quality

Image stabilization is a technology used to reduce blurring caused by camera shake. It enables the photographer to capture clearer and crisper images in low-light conditions, when using a telephoto lens, or when using a slower shutter speed.

Image stabilization also helps reduce camera shake blur and ghosting while taking sharper images in still or video mode. Ghosting shows up as double-images in parts of your shot and it can be caused by camera movement, which causes your subject to appear twice; one slightly behind and out of focus the other slightly ahead and in focus. Image stabilization minimizes this effect, making it easier for you to capture crisp images with smoother, sharper detail.

When compared with shots taken without image stabilization, shoots with image stabilization consistently show improved image quality. This valuable feature can help make your photos look professional and clean—especially when shooting from long distances or shooting handheld in challenging conditions.

Reduced Camera Shake

Camera shake can be one of the biggest issues affecting the quality of an image. With image stabilization, photographers can capture clear and sharp images, even when shooting handheld or in low-light conditions. Generally, the more effective versions of image stabilization are found in lenses. By moving elements of a lens as you compose your picture in order to counter any unintentional movements of the camera body, it allows you to take sharper images than would otherwise be possible.

Image stabilization helps maintain a sharp and clear image by reducing angular shake during photo or video capture, giving greater flexibility for those photographing subjects either stationary or on the move. Depending on how active the scene is and how much camera movement is expected in a range of circumstances, your choice of hardware will help greatly improve both video and photography results – make sure to consider features such as optical stabilization before making a purchase decision.

Image Stabilization technology also compensates for small movements across multiple axes – called compensation ‘bursts.’ This means that it will recognize any unstable movement from side to side or up & down (or any combination) which may occur when capturing footage with an unsteady hand (not on a tripod) ensuring that the frame remains level and keeps focusing on your chosen scene regardless. The result should be noticeably crafted videos with far fewer jerks or bumps compared to non-stabilized footage – creating much smoother content with fewer distractions while still maintaining excellent clarity and quality.

Increased Dynamic Range

Using an image stabilization system also increases the dynamic range of your image. Dynamic range is defined as the amount of distance between the lightest and darkest tones that can be captured in a single shot. The increased stability provided by image stabilization allows for a greater lens opening, resulting in a wider signal-to-noise ratio from the captured signal. This enables your camera to pick up more details on both light and dark areas, improving the overall look and color accuracy of your images.

Furthermore, it helps improve contrast as well to render sharper and more realistic images. With a larger signal-to-noise ratio, you are able to pick up more subtle textures and tones which would otherwise have gone lost entirely within lower dynamic range shots, giving your photos life-like tone mapping abilities.

When to Use Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is a technology used to reduce camera shake and blurring when capturing photos and videos. It can be found built into some cameras, as an add-on device, or as a feature in photo and video editing software.

To determine if you should use image stabilization, it is important to first understand what it does and when it should be used. Let’s take a closer look:

Low Light Situations

When used correctly, image stabilization can be extremely useful for improving image quality in low light situations. The most common scenario for using image stabilization is when you are taking hand-held shots in low light environments. By using this technique, photographers are able to minimize camera shake and avoid motion blur from their images.

ISO plays an important role in this particular scenario because the higher the ISO, the more sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light and the faster it can capture movement. Using a higher ISO allows you to shoot with a lower shutter speed and still get a sharp shot. However, the resulting images can appear grainy; therefore it may be beneficial to use image stabilization while shooting at higher ISOs in low light situations.

It is important to note that some camera brands offer different levels of image stabilization depending on their models; so make sure you understand what your specific brand offers before making a decision on when to use it. Additionally, there are some lenses available that already feature built-in OIS (Optical Image Stabilization), which can help reduce vibrations caused by camera movement; however this feature won’t compensate for certain movements such as panning shots or fast action scenarios where blur may still appear even when shooting with OIS enabled lenses. Keep these points in mind when deciding when and how to use image stabilization for improved results!

Long Exposures

Long exposures are one of the most common applications for image stabilization technology. This technique requires a steady hand and a long exposure to capture a specific scene in the best quality possible. When shooting with long shutter settings, it is important to ensure that there is no handshake while taking the picture.

Image stabilization technology works by recognizing and correcting camera movements that could be disruptive during long exposure shots. It uses an optical system to detect any camera shake and shifts the image sensor in such a way that it compensates for any unwanted movements, thus keeping the photos sharper regardless of how slow your shutter speed is set.

In addition to creating sharp images with slow shutter speeds, image stabilization can also allow you to reduce blur caused by subject movement when shooting in low-light conditions with wide apertures. When using this technology, results can vary greatly from lens to lens as different manufacturers employ:

  • Different technologies
  • Different levels of effectiveness

Therefore, if you find yourself wanting better photographs even after employing image stabilization techniques, consider investing in professional lens equipment for improved quality images.

High Magnification

When shooting with a high magnification lens (over 300mm) creating sharp, blur-free photographs can be more challenging. As magnification increases, the slightest movement of the camera will be exaggerated in the final image resulting in blurred details if left unchecked. This is where image stabilization can help.

Image stabilization technology is designed to detect movement of your camera and counter it with corrective movements to reduce blur caused by camera shake. Depending on the manufacturer, this technology could be automatic or manual—meaning you need to activate it or deactivate it when using various lenses that may require different levels of stabilization.

When using long focal length lenses, there are two main uses for image stabilization: stills and video. When shooting stills you should use image stabilizer to reduce any movement or handshake held by the photographer while making an exposure; this added bit of stability will usually result in sharper images compared to not using any form of correction at all. When shooting video on a relatively stable platform like a tripod or monopod, activating stabilizer features can help keep footage free from unwanted artifacts caused by extended telephoto focal lengths.

How to Use Image Stabilization

Image stabilization is a process of reducing motion blur in photographs and videos and to reduce distortion caused by camera shake. Image stabilization is a great way to improve the quality of your photos and videos, especially in low light and when changing perspective quickly.

In this article, we will discuss how to use image stabilization and when to use it.

Set the Mode

When it comes to image stabilization, knowing when and how to use it is key. There are usually specific modes on digital cameras and camcorders that you can use to enable or disable the image stabilization feature. It’s important to set the stabilization mode properly so that you can get the best results.

First, check your camera’s manual or instructions for information about available stabilization modes. Many cameras have a special “stable” mode, which is optimized for less camera shake when shooting still photos. Some cameras also have a “panning” mode which is designed for shooting videos while moving your camera (or tracking an object). Other common settings include “tripod” mode, or “night shot” mode which both offer additional features such as shutter speeds and image anti-shake compensation in low light conditions.

Choose the mode that works best for your situation, but be sure to check its default settings before you start shooting – some modes require you to switch off other settings (like a flash) in order for them to work correctly. Set the correct ISO values for optimum results as well. The higher the ISO value set in image stabilization, the better performance you’ll likely achieve from your photos or videos – but it’s important to be aware of noise levels when making these adjustments!

Finally, choose a shutter speed as appropriately fast as possible— this will help minimize motion blur and optimize overall image quality when using stabilizers.

Adjust the Settings

Image stabilization technology continues to advance, with many digital cameras and DSLRs (digital single-lens reflex cameras) including built-in IS systems. It is also available on some camcorders, lenses, and smartphones. While it is unlikely you will be able to adjust the settings on your built-in camera IS system, it is possible with some items such as camcorders and lenses.

If you are using a lens or camcorder with an adjustable image stabilization system, you should be able to control the type of IS used (commonly called active or powered IS), the amount of processing applied (usually measured as a percentage), as well as any other related options (such as crop factor for stabilized video). Adjusting these settings can be a great way to get important shots without compromising image quality.

If you are wondering how to determine the optimal settings for your lens or camera body, consider:

  • Consulting your user manual. Most user manuals provide detailed instructions on how to adjust image stabilization settings.
  • Researching online tutorials.
  • Speaking with an experienced photographer in order to gain more insight into how these settings could potentially impact your photos and videos.

Use a Tripod

Using a tripod is the most effective way to dominate image stabilization. A tripod will ensure that your camera does not move, and it keeps your camera in one place for long exposures, such as taking an image of the stars and night sky. You can also utilize a tripod when using telephoto lenses to help with potential distortion from handshake, or when taking images in low light conditions. Most professional and enthusiast photographers use tripods to compose their shots and get the perfect shot each time.

When working with a tripod, make sure it is securely attached to whatever surface you are working on. Be sure to check all components are tight before shooting – minor slips can cause big problems! Additionally, if you don’t have access to a traditional tripod, you can improvise by placing your camera between two objects such as books or even pillows – anything with some level of stability that lifts your camera off the ground.


Image Stabilization is an essential tool for photographers and videographers as it can help reduce shakiness and blur in photos and videos. There are many techniques and tools available to apply image stabilization and the decision of which to use depends on the type of image and the desired effect.

In this article, we have discussed when and how to use different image stabilization techniques. We have also discussed some of the most popular image stabilization tools available. In conclusion, image stabilization is a powerful tool for enhancing images and videos.

Summary of Image Stabilization

Image Stabilization is a process used to reduce or remove motion blur or other artifacts when taking photos. This technique is commonly used during low-light or fast-moving scenes, when there may be more movement than the camera can detect. Image Stabilization works by stabilizing a camera’s movement for a better image quality. By moving the camera in different directions, in a controlled manner, it compensates for any shakes that can affect image sharpness and clarity.

Image Stabilization can be done manually, through software, or through mechanical means. Manual stabilization requires manual control of the camera’s movements in order to stabilize the shot. Software stabilization allows for more automated methods of stabilization and gives tools such as:

  • cropping to smaller frame sizes;
  • tone curve adjustments;
  • color balance;
  • lens aberration reduction;
  • vignetting reduction and others.

Mechanical Image Stabilization will provide support to the camera while shooting high speed images, providing greater control over hand shakes while producing crisper images with reduced blur and distortion.

Image Stabilization is an essential technique that has proven to be an important tool in digital photography and videography, ensuring greater levels of sharpness and eliminating artifacts in both still photographs as well as video footage. When shooting under low-light, fast motion scenes or situations where there is a large number of moving subjects around you, then it is important to consider using Image Stabilization techniques either manually or via specialized software packages to secure the quality of your shots to get the most out of your photography experience!

Tips for Getting the Best Results

In general, image stabilization is a great tool for getting the best shot in challenging environments. However, to ensure that you get the best results from your shots, there are a few tips to keep in mind:

  • Consider the type of motion you are capturing. If you are recording something that changes over time and is unpredictable in terms of its speed and direction (such as a water stream or person walking), then it’s recommended to use a longer shutter speed with a slower-speed lens such as 50mm f1.4. On the other hand, if your scene involves more uniform motion (such as sports), then it’s better to use shorter shutter speeds with higher-speed lenses like 70mm f2.8 or even faster ones like 85mm f1.2. Just keep in mind that faster lenses will be more prone to camera shake than slower ones and using image stabilization may not always be necessary.
  • Ensure that you are aware of any potential limitations posed by your camera’s technology and glass elements used for image stabilization when determining your shot settings. Both camera technology and glass elements used can result in ‘shutter shock’ which may cause images to appear blurry due to minute movements caused during long exposures. Taking into account any potential limitations when setting up the shot can help prevent this issue and ensure maximum image quality is maintained throughout the process.
  • Experiment with various levels of stabilization during post-production to decide what looks best for each individual scene or circumstance. Increasing or decreasing levels of stabilization can affect how your footage plays out on different monitor sizes or viewing angles – so make sure you always adjust accordingly and test before publishing any content!

Hi, I'm Kim, a mom and a stop-motion enthusiast with a background in media creation and web development. I've got a huge passion for drawing and animation, and now I'm diving headfirst into the stop-motion world. With my blog, I'm sharing my learnings with you guys.