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Old June 24th, 2005, 09:24 AM   #1
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Image Stabilization

This question is for some of the technical experts if you care to answer.

I believe I have the basic understanding about how most camera's image stabilization works. My question is this: if image stabilization is enabled, does this cause a small loss of resolution (does it depend on the camera?)?
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Old June 24th, 2005, 09:33 AM   #2
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Depends on the type of stabilization. Optical (OIS) is a mechanical process which does not affect image quality. Electronic (EIS) uses a border of pixels around the image area of the image sensor. EIS may or may not affect image quality depending on whether or not the bordered area cuts into the image area (on some camcorders it does; on some it doesn't). For instance, Sony reserves the brand name "Super SteadyShot" to refer to either an optical process, or to an electronic process that does not degrade image quality; when you see that Super SteadyShot name then you know it's not detracting from the image. At any rate, basic EIS technology has improved greatly in recent years and it is no longer the big hit on image quality that it used to be. I wouldn't be too concerned about it. It used to be a big deal but it isn't anymore.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 10:35 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Craig Terott
This question is for some of the technical experts if you care to answer.

I believe I have the basic understanding about how most camera's image stabilization works. My question is this: if image stabilization is enabled, does this cause a small loss of resolution (does it depend on the camera?)?
I have a Canon Optura 30 which uses electronic image stabilization. This model will use the entire width of the CCD when capturing video if the EIS is off. With EIS on it appears to "zoom" in a little and dedicate the border of the CCD to the stabilization process. Now in the old days this used to degrade the image enough to the point where you could often notice the hit. It appears now, with the huge pixel counts available on the CCD, that there really isn't any degradation. I actually did some A/B video to test the EIS image quality and found that, at least to my eyes, there wasn't any resolution hit.

My guess is that, at the very least, cams with megapixel CCDs aren't going to degrade your image when EIS is on. And even if it does, its not readily perceived, even to someone that's looking for it. And if someone is shooting a low-budget short movie type thing then turn off the IS and use a tripod and/or steadi-cam type equipment. I'm pretty sure those 35mm film cameras don't use any stabilization :)

Philip Williams
www.philipwilliams.com
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Old June 24th, 2005, 12:49 PM   #4
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Thank you. (I own 2 Sonys)
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