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How To Use Image Stabilization
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How To Use Image Stabilization

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Optical image stabilization or anti-shake works by moving the image to counteract the effects of handheld camera shake—some systems use a moving group of elements in the lens, others move the sensor itself, and some also set a higher ISO when motion is detected so the camera will select a higher shutter speed.

All these systems help in achieving sharper pictures, and the ones with moving elements or sensors actually let you take sharp pictures at 2-to-3 shutter speeds slower than would otherwise be possible.

Too much coffee? Anti-shake is off in this shot.

Nice and clear: With anti-shake on, you can see all the details. Photos by Mason Resnick.
None of these systems work unless they’re activated, so make sure to turn on your camera’s image stabilization (IS) or anti-shake (AS) system whenever you’re not using a tripod. This is really essential when you’re shooting in low light without flash or when you’re zoomed out to the telephoto settings of your lens.

None of these systems is perfect, so check the sharpness of the images you’ve shot by assessing the fine details at the zoomed-in (high magnification) setting of your LCD. If the images are the least bit unsharp, reshoot using a tripod. 



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