Normally, if you’re using a tripod, camera shake isn’t something you’ll have to worry very much about. However, there are some obvious exceptions. If you’ve ever found yourself taking pictures in heavy winds, you’ll know the difficulties of capturing sharp photos — particularly if you’re using a telephoto lens. This seems like an impossible situation; what do you do when a tripod isn’t enough to stop your camera from shaking? Luckily, there are ways to improve sharpness even in windy conditions and come away with photos that are completely usable. I’ll cover some of the most important here.
I had a number of discussions with other fellow photographers and our readers about Vibration Reduction (also known as Image Stabilization, Vibration Compensation and Optical Stabilization), its behavior and how to best use it. While I will provide detailed information on how to properly utilize Vibration Reduction on Nikon’s lenses in a separate article, for a while I wanted to prove that letting VR stabilize first yields sharper images. There are a number of folks out there, who seem to think that just firing the shutter button is sufficient and that VR will stabilize those images as good as if one were to half-press the shutter button, wait a few seconds and then take an image. From my experience, letting VR stabilize first for a few seconds always yielded better shots, but I just could never actually prove it. Until today.
While I am currently working on a couple of Sony camera and lens reviews, I decided to write a quick article on differences between in-camera and lens stabilization. As you may already know, Nikon and Canon are both big on lens stabilization, while other camera manufacturers like Sony and Pentax have been pushing for in-camera stabilization technology (also known as body stabilization). I have had a few people ask about differences between the two and I thought that a quick article explaining the pros and cons of each stabilization technology would be beneficial for our readers.