Image stabilization has been used by photographers to compensate for shaky hands while shooting at long exposure. Its effect for videographer is even more noticeable but operates differently. Instead of making the image looks sharper (IS has no effect on moving subjects), the IS removes the camera shake in the clip, making it look like if was shot on a monopod (or even tripod in the best cases).

Unfortunately, IS lenses are not perfect:

  • They generate some noise (audio not digital image noise). While the most recent models are much quieter than the old ones, they are still too loud to allow using the camera internal microphone or even a mic mounted in the hot-shoe can pick up the IS noise.
  • IS lenses tend to be ‘slower’ having a minimum f-stop of around 4.0 – making it tougher to shoot in low light.
  • When doing slow panning, it is possible for the IS to ‘hang on’ at some point and then ‘jump’ back into panning. This does not happen often and is mostly caused by the IS misinterpreting the panning as camera shake.
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