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steady camsIf you’ve got shaky hands or can’t hold a camera steady, it just might be that you need some image stabilization. It is what it’s called now, but before it was called lens stabilization. However, now there are two types of stabilization – lens stabilization and sensor stabilization. Maybe it ought to be called camera stabilization. I have also seen the terms: anti-shake, vibration reduction, and image stabilization. There is a third method that some digital cameras utilize and advertise as image stabilization. This method to counteract movement involves increasing the ISO setting to allow a faster shutter speed setting. This is not real stabilization. Also, be aware that image quality will go down as ISO goes up. Lens stabilization is obtained by moving the lens elements inside the lens that is attached to the camera. Sensor stabilization is obtained by moving the sensor that is in the camera body. Canon and Nikon currently utilize lens stabilization. Canon is more or less getting raked over the coals for not offering sensor stabilization. Nikon not so much. Not sure why Canon and not Nikon. In any case if the demand is sufficient, then Canon and Nikon will both someday offer sensor stabilization. So, what’s the big deal? With lens stabilization you have to buy each lens with the stabilization capability built into the lens. This can be expensive. However, for those that want it and have a digital single lens reflex (DSLR) camera, you can see the affect of stabilization through the lens. For some that is a big advantage. With sensor stabilization you have stabilization for all lenses. That’s a potential cost savings. However, you can’t see the affect through the lens. Is that a disadvantage for you? After all we call these things D-SLR cameras because you can see the result of all your photographic techniques through the lens. Basically, it allows you to handhold the camera in many situations in which you could not without stabilization. This allows you to get fewer blurry photographs. So, if you’ve got shaky hands, you get a break that results in better photographs because they are sharper. This technology is becoming available for nearly all digital cameras – not just the high end cameras and not just digital single lens reflex cameras. Stabilization is a great benefit in many situations. It allows you to handhold the camera at lower shutter speeds 2 to 4 stops slower depending on the stabilization technology built into your camera.