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Old Dec 7, 2006, 11:24 AM   #1
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Does image stabilization reallyto as good of a job ofeliminating camera shake asa tripod withno compromise inevery situation?
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 11:38 AM   #2
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I think it is safe to say that IS will not replace a tripod. What IS does is help to reduce camera shake. Depending on what kind of IS you have it will add 2-3 stops before you would normally need some kind of support. this is all relative to how steady you are while shooting and when you normally get camera shake.

Yes IS is very helpful but it will not replace tripods or other support methods.

Hope this helps

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Old Dec 7, 2006, 11:40 AM   #3
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Thanks for your comments Mugmar. So, what would be a situation where IS would not be effective at reducing camera shake enough to take a shot?
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 11:44 AM   #4
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IS is always effective for what it does. it won't stop action for you. but it will allow you to hand-hold an evening or night landscape at say 1/10th of a second, where without IS you can't generally hand-hold under 1/30th a second without some kind of movement (thats a general rule of course, and will vary based on how much the person holding the camera actually shakes, and also based on the focal length of the lens - i.e. a zoom shot requires faster shutter speeds regardless). at least thats my basic understanding of it.
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 11:49 AM   #5
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The rule of thumb when shooting with a telephoto lens is to pick a minimum shutter speed of 1/focal length so a 500mm lens would need a 1/500 second shutter speed. Three stops down for IS would be 1/60 second so if the best shutter speed you can manage at the time is 1/15 second you would need firm support such as a tripod.
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 11:50 AM   #6
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OK, now how about this...In situations where IS does work, does it do just as good of a job as a tripod? Or, would using a tripod still produce even slightly better results?
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 11:56 AM   #7
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I would say IS will always be second best to a solid tripod. Some lenses support using IS with a tripod for best results. Other lenses recommend turing off IS with a tripod as it can degrade image quality.
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 12:18 PM   #8
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Interesting points Bob. I never thought about using IS with a tripod, but I suppose that depending on how stable the ground is where the tripod is or if it is windy, that that can affect the stability of the camera. Even more interesting is the fact that some lenses recommend turning it off.
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 12:33 PM   #9
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Older implementations of IS won't work properly with a tripod as a rule.

Some Nikon VR (Nikon for IS) lenses have two modes, one for hand held and the other to be used while in a moving vehicle!
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Old Dec 7, 2006, 1:15 PM   #10
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One important thought to add to all this - not all tripods are created equal. So, a cheap tripod in windy conditions may be WORSE than using IS hand-held.

So, I would say - a tripod STURDY ENOUGH for the equipment load and environmental conditions will be better than IS. But, don't go buying a $30 tripod and expect steady shots in outdoor windy conditions.
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