Introduction to Image Stabilization and Techniques to Avoid Blur

The chief concern for most digital photographers is taking a sharp, crisp image. Amateur photographers usually struggle with image stabilization and avoiding camera blur. But thanks to image stabilization technology, which generally comes built in the lenses or camera body of many DSLR cameras today, photographers can now take exquisite photos with less difficulty. This article will help you understand this technology as well as how to avoid camera blur effectively.

What are the Different Types of Image Stabilization Technology?

There are three primary types of image stabilization technology utilized in DSLR cameras. It’s important that you understand their functions and differences to help you pick a suitable camera.

Optical Image Stabilization

Some of the most popular high quality camera brands use this type of image stabilization. It includes tiny, compact high speed motors that constantly shift to compensate for any movement in the camera frame. The brands that have this technology are Nikon, Canon, Panasonic and Sony.


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In Camera Image Stabilization

This technology doesn’t have different motors. Instead, it consists of a single large motor which shifts the entire sensor once motion is detected during exposure. This image stabilization technology is used by Olympus, Pentax and Sony.

Electronic Image Stabilization

Video cameras mostly use this technology to manage tiny shifts while shooting handheld video.

How to Avoid Image Blur

Camera shake, or image blur, is a huge problem that many photographers, especially beginners, need to battle against. Even if you buy the best equipment and practice a lot, you may still become baffled about why your images aren’t sharp and crisp. It’s really a frustrating dilemma that can torment even seasoned photographers.

There are various reasons why image blur occurs. Understanding the causes will help you solve the problem. Here are some of the most common culprits to camera shake.

Slow Shutter Speeds

If the lighting is dim and you need your camera shutter to remain open longer, you should keep your camera still for longer periods of time. If using a slow shutter speed is absolutely necessary, then try to use a tripod, so the camera will be stable throughout the imaging procedure.

Pressing Down the Shutter Release Severely

Sometimes, image blur occurs when you depress the shutter release harder than you should. This typically causes the camera to shake.

Shooting While Moving

Taking pictures while moving will most likely cause image blur, even with a fast shutter speed.

Telephoto Lenses with Heavy Weight

More often than not, lenses with a long focal length are heavy, and most of the weight is carried in the front. This results in an unsteady camera, particularly when mounted on a tripod. An unbalanced camera can lead to image blur.

Mirror Shake

In some cases, camera shake isn’t related to the photographer nor the tripod. The mirror itself could be moving within the lens, causing camera shake. Use your camera’s mirror lock, if it has one.

Techniques to Avoid Camera Shake

Now that you’re aware of the common causes of image blur, the next step is to learn how to avoid getting blurry images. Here are several easy solutions to prevent camera shake:

>>Select a method to keep your camera stable.

Tripod - This is a three-legged stabilization device used to keep a camera still.

Monopod - This is a handy one-legged device that’s easy to transport.

C-clamp - This helps in clamping a camera to stable objects. It’s also easy to pack and use during travel.

>>Take advantage of the image stabilization technology included in your camera. Keep in mind though that it can’t freeze action, and it can slow down the camera. However, it’s a great tool to prevent camera shake.

>>Try a shutter release. If you have a problem with having heavy hands, you may want to consider a cable release. This connects to the camera and pushes the button without the need for you to touch the button using your fingers. Another option is a wireless release which works with a sensor on your camera.

Overcoming the trouble with camera blur can be one of the toughest struggles for beginners in the realm of digital photography. But with perseverance and practice, and by applying the tips above, you can solve the problem more easily.

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