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Furd May 2, 2010 12:58 AM

Sony Alpha 350/900 Steady Shot feature
Image stabilization: Sony Alpha 350/900 Steady Shot feature.
Scenario, photographing a high speed object such as a speed boat.
One choice is to use a fast shutter speed and freeze all action.
A second choice would be to pan the object appropriately to freeze the object and blur the background.
My question is ... is it better to have the image stabilization ON or OFF?
When you are doing a smooth pan, is the stabilizer trying to compensate for your intended motion?
The answer may be obvious, but I'm not certain. ( my guess is OFF )
Appreciate any inputs.
Thanks Furd

TCav May 2, 2010 7:01 AM

SteadyShot compensates for oscillations (shake), not movement (panning). The human body, in its constant attempt to stand upright, uses a feedback system of tremors, which occur at a frequency of 18-22Hz and are almost always nearly vertical. So the movement must be a quick back-and-forth (or up-and-down) motion before SteadyShop will try to compensate for it. Panning doesn't do that, so SteadyShot doesn't interfere with panning (unless you happen to be shaking the camera up-and-down while you're panning from side-to-side, for instance.)

The only time you should turn off SteadyShot is when the camera is mounted on a tripod or on some firm surface. SteadyShot causes components inside the camera to move, and that movement, all by itself, could cause the camera to shake, requiring SteadyShot to compensate for shake that it created, thereby creating a perpetual feedback loop.

But during normal, handheld use, there's no reason to turn off SteadyShot.

Furd May 3, 2010 12:28 AM

Well my guess was wrong ....
Thanks for the reply TCav, I appreciate the explanation, as opposed to just a YES or NO answer.
So I guess the camera is smart enough to change the rules when you switch from horizontal to vertical, not sure when I would pan horizontally in vertical anyway.

TCav May 3, 2010 7:12 AM

It's not smart enough to switch. It's just smart enough to counteract shake, but not do anything for regular, consistant movement (like panning.) You have to shake it before the Anti-Shake kicks in.

JimC May 3, 2010 7:32 AM

This is what was mentioned in one of the Konica Minolta 7D reviews about the system (and note that Sony's SSS is based on Minolta's Anti-Shake System):

" ...can also detect a panning movement and only compensate for movement on the opposite axis..."

See the second paragraph in the Anti-Shake section on this page:

IOW, it's probably trying to compensate for vertical movement when panning. I leave my SSS on when panning at slower shutter speeds.

Furd May 3, 2010 11:23 PM

Thanks for the info guys, I'll post some results soon.
i.e. boat race.

Furd May 4, 2010 12:35 PM

SteadyShot panning
2 Attachment(s)
Hand held panning , shutter speed 1/30 sec.
20 year old Beercan lens, A900 camera great combo.
I was pleased with the results.

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