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Thread: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

  1. #1

    Default Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Most entry-level cameras ($100 - $200 price range) comes only with digital image stabilization (DIS).

    Is optical image stabilization (OIS) useful and important in today's compact/ultra-compact digital camera?

    Would cameras with only DIS result in out-of-focus and blurry images most of the time? Is it worth topping up a little to $250 - $300 price range to get models with OIS.

    How much would OIS help?
    Last edited by u0206397; 6th June 2012 at 12:25 PM.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    With regard to the above, do those low end cameras without optical/lens/mechanical/sensor-shift stabilization (typically with digital image stabilization) tend to take blurry pictures even with minimal shakes or movements (e.g. a slight 1 or 0.5mm movement as finger presses down shutter button) like mobile phones?

  3. #3

    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by u0206397 View Post
    With regard to the above, do those low end cameras without optical/lens/mechanical/sensor-shift stabilization (typically with digital image stabilization) tend to take blurry pictures even with minimal shakes or movements (e.g. a slight 1 or 0.5mm movement as finger presses down shutter button) like mobile phones?
    Why do you think they "tend to take blurry pictures"? Back up your statements with proof first.

    FYI, my mobile phone shoots sharp pictures and stable video. I don't know what lousy mobile phone you are referring to.
    Alpha

  4. #4

    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae View Post
    Why do you think they "tend to take blurry pictures"? Back up your statements with proof first.

    FYI, my mobile phone shoots sharp pictures and stable video. I don't know what lousy mobile phone you are referring to.
    Perhaps you have a higher end smartphone with good camera like iPhone, HTC or Samsung, that's why your personal experience is quite different.

    If you have ever tried taking photographs with those sub-$250 feature phone released 2 or 3 years ago, you would know how hard it is to get a clear focused picture. Just take a look at the sample photos/VGA videos from Nokia's entry level 2MP, 3MP or 5MP phones and you can guess the quality I'm referring to. Basically they are splatters and blots of discoloured pixels. A slight 1mm movement can end up with a blurred photo even under good lighting condition.

    But in any case, I realise that for digital cameras, they can tolerate slight movements better, even w/o optical/mechanical stabilization. Optical/mechanical stabilization would be useful if one is trying to take a picture when standing on a boat or unsteady surface, or under low light condition. Other than that, standing on steady ground and with normal outdoor sunlight, even entry level compact cameras with no stabilization can take relatively good pictures for most people who don't blow up their pictures to scrutinize each pixel for noise, white balance and chroma aberrations like photography experts and enthusiasts do. Just my personal opinion as an amateur camera user.

  5. #5
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by u0206397 View Post
    Most entry-level cameras ($100 - $200 price range) comes only with digital image stabilization (DIS).

    Is optical image stabilization (OIS) useful and important in today's compact/ultra-compact digital camera?

    Would cameras with only DIS result in out-of-focus and blurry images most of the time? Is it worth topping up a little to $250 - $300 price range to get models with OIS.

    How much would OIS help?
    I don't think DIS and OIS or whatever was being called was really that useful. And no.... cameras with DIS would not result in out-of-focus and blurry images most of the time. In the past, no one had image stabilizer except for tripod and monopod, and still they get clear sharp picture.

    I would say that it all depend alot on the techniques you use and lots of practice.

    (Oh... btw... I have used an old Canon A590 and taken very clear and sharp picture too.)
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  6. #6

    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by u0206397 View Post
    If you have ever tried taking photographs with those sub-$250 feature phone released 2 or 3 years ago,
    Oh, I've been using phones with built-in cameras for a lot longer than 2-3 years... And don't have your issues. I guess it is a matter of technique and not jabbing the shutter button like the incredible hulk.... Hulk SNAAAAAP!!!!
    Alpha

  7. #7

    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    User issue, not Camera/phone issue.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    I miss my old 3.2MP K800i. Now that was a kickass camera phone. IIRC it was supposed to be a proper Cybershot camera that had a phone attached to it!
    Last edited by dodgethis; 21st June 2012 at 11:18 PM.
    Canon 5D MkIII|70-200 f/2.8L IS II USM|24-70 f2.8 L II USM|Σ 50 f1.4 EX DG HSM

  9. #9

    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Sorry for resurrecting this thread, but since this is related, as well add to this.

    If there's something I have learned from researching on cameras, it is that photography is an art, not a science with hard-and-fast rules. Seems like we have experts of all sizes and shapes giving different advices.

    The general ideas for optical stabilization I got from various articles online on whether Optical Stabilization is worth the extra $50 - $100:

    • Just buy. Optical stabilization is always required. Digital stabilization doesn't work or is marketing tactic.
    • Buy, you will need it someday somehow and it's strongly recommended.
    • Good to have, but not necessary. Old cameras (maybe before 2006?) do not have stabilization and they work fine.
    • Useful and effective for DSLR but not PNS as OIS cannot compensate for the small sensors in PNS, so no difference in sharpness/image quality.
    • If shooting fast-moving objects, use a faster len. OIS is not going to help. (I agree)
    • If shooting low-light, OIS will help. (I agree)
    • Optical stabilization does work, but you may not even need/use it. So save the money.
    • Depends on whether you have shaky hands or whether you can hold a camera stable.
    • If you don't/can't use tripod, then it's important.
    • Only useful for long-zoom cameras (10x and above) as blurriness gets magnified from the slightest movement. For cameras with 3x to 5x, not necessary.


    And these are only for optical stabilization.

  10. #10
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by u0206397 View Post
    Sorry for resurrecting this thread, but since this is related, as well add to this.

    If there's something I have learned from researching on cameras, it is that photography is an art, not a science with hard-and-fast rules. Seems like we have experts of all sizes and shapes giving different advices.

    The general ideas for optical stabilization I got from various articles online on whether Optical Stabilization is worth the extra $50 - $100:

    • Just buy. Optical stabilization is always required. Digital stabilization doesn't work or is marketing tactic.
    • Buy, you will need it someday somehow and it's strongly recommended.
    • Good to have, but not necessary. Old cameras (maybe before 2006?) do not have stabilization and they work fine.
    • Useful and effective for DSLR but not PNS as OIS cannot compensate for the small sensors in PNS, so no difference in sharpness/image quality.
    • If shooting fast-moving objects, use a faster len. OIS is not going to help. (I agree)
    • If shooting low-light, OIS will help. (I agree)
    • Optical stabilization does work, but you may not even need/use it. So save the money.
    • Depends on whether you have shaky hands or whether you can hold a camera stable.
    • If you don't/can't use tripod, then it's important.
    • Only useful for long-zoom cameras (10x and above) as blurriness gets magnified from the slightest movement. For cameras with 3x to 5x, not necessary.


    And these are only for optical stabilization.

    Photography is not an art. It is the art, science and practice of capturing images. Many people might want to go all arty facty on, Photography being an art, but in my opinion that is soooo not true. Science is within the entire term... there are facts and logics that cannot change. The only art thing that I see in photography is your composition, the way you play with the given light (be it ambience lighting, artificial lighting or whatsnot).

    As to DIS vs OIS, like all the thing we have written before. Sure OIS, DIS whatever IS would help in preventing or reducing blurriness caused by shakes to the camera body/ lens/ etc.

    Oh... just saw that bolded line... hahahaha... that is soooooooooooo not true too.

    You cannot judge whether you needed IS for that. So basing on that conclusion if it was 24 - 240mm (10x needed IS) and if it was 200-400mm (2x only - no need IS...)
    Last edited by rhino123; 23rd July 2012 at 01:13 PM.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  11. #11
    Moderator Octarine's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by u0206397 View Post
    • Only useful for long-zoom cameras (10x and above) as blurriness gets magnified from the slightest movement. For cameras with 3x to 5x, not necessary.
    And do you believe that it's about zoom factor? What about a 300mm prime? Worth the IS or not?
    EOS

  12. #12

    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    Oh... just saw that bolded line... hahahaha... that is soooooooooooo not true too.

    You cannot judge whether you needed IS for that. So basing on that conclusion if it was 24 - 240mm (10x needed IS) and if it was 200-400mm (2x only - no need IS...)
    Quote Originally Posted by Octarine View Post
    And do you believe that it's about zoom factor? What about a 300mm prime? Worth the IS or not?
    Just to clarify, neither did I invent this assertion out of thin air or from some warpped thinking nor did I put "(I agree)" behind it. The bulleted list only summarizes some rough ideas I gather from reading 10 to 20 reviews and articles by googling for "optical image stabilization" and "effectiveness" and "worth". Some articles on the net suggest that long zoom cameras would benefit from optical stabilization and PnS used to be only 3x or 4x zoom a few years ago, so PnS didn't have such a problem in the past with shakiness.


    ...at higher zoom, (after 6X or 10X), a small shake in the camera might lead to a large patch (blur) in the image. Therefore in long zoom ranges, an image stabilized camera is preferred.
    See: https://sites.google.com/site/jkphil...gicam-features

    If you're shooting with 10X optical zoom or more, hand shake is going to be a problem anyway, but shooting in low light will only make the blur worse. The solution? Get a camera with anti-shake technology.
    See: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,1893631,00.asp

    Image Stabilization is usually only found on cameras with a long optical zoom range (10X - 12X.

    On cameras with 4X zoom there is no need to have image stabilization.
    See: http://forums.cnet.com/7723-7593_102...when-choosing/

    Not my intention to mislead people or to make brash statements.

    Hope this clears things up.
    Last edited by u0206397; 23rd July 2012 at 03:47 PM. Reason: Added references.

  13. #13
    Moderator rhino123's Avatar
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    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by u0206397 View Post
    Just to clarify, neither did I invent this assertion out of thin air or from some warpped thinking nor did I put "(I agree)" behind it. The bulleted list only summarizes some rough ideas I gather from reading 10 to 20 reviews and articles by googling for "optical image stabilization" and "effectiveness" and "worth". Some articles on the net suggest that long zoom cameras would benefit from optical stabilization and PnS used to be only 3x or 4x zoom a few years ago, so PnS didn't have such a problem in the past with shakiness.

    Hope this clears things up.
    If you do not agree with some of the bulleted points, I would suggest that you put some of your reason for not agreeing down. This is a newbie forum, and many newbies do not have much idea or knowledge on the subject and they might believe in those points you pointed out. And some of them are simply not true, to a certain level.

    As to those point you agreed... well... lets see,


    1) If shooting fast-moving objects, use a faster len. OIS is not going to help. (I agree) That would depend on your environment and speed and what and how you would define fast. So this point is not totally true or at least more information should be provided.

    2) If shooting low-light, OIS will help. (I agree) Not totally true. Again depend on your shooting condition..

    So as pointed out, the bulleted points that you agreed on, are not exactly true to a sense, there are more to it than that.
    I am not a photographer, just someone who happened to have a couple of cameras.
    My lousy shots

  14. #14

    Default Re: Compact/Ultracompact: Optical and Digital Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    If you do not agree with some of the bulleted points, I would suggest that you put some of your reason for not agreeing down.
    Some of the points are gathered from comments, opinions, remarks from other camera users online, their level of knowledge may range from casual shooters to professional photographers, so their views may not be representative or scientific. There are points that I remain neutral or open because I am no expert myself to be certain if they are correct, or real, and to what extent they are indeed correct or real. Which explains why I left them unasserted and open to interpretation. In short, I don't know whether those points or impressions they get from past experiences are valid or not.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    This is a newbie forum, and many newbies do not have much idea or knowledge on the subject and they might believe in those points you pointed out.
    Because I'm no photography enthusiast or DSLR expert, that's why I chose to post only in newbie corner.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    And some of them are simply not true, to a certain level.
    Yes, all the raised points are up to your personal interpretation and under what conditions, certain caveats apply.

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    1) If shooting fast-moving objects, use a faster len. OIS is not going to help. (I agree) That would depend on your environment and speed and what and how you would define fast. So this point is not totally true or at least more information should be provided.
    I'm only talking in general. This is due to some confusion and impression by novice camera buyers that optical stabilization can help freeze a fast-moving subject being captured, which requires a faster lens to capture.

    IS cannot prevent every blurry photo—such as when a subject is moving too fast for the shutter speed that you're using—but it works well with correcting blur caused by the slight movement of the photographer (don't feel bad; every photographer has this problem occasionally).
    See: Image Stabilization - How to Choose the Best Camera Image Stabilization

    Quote Originally Posted by rhino123 View Post
    2) If shooting low-light, OIS will help. (I agree) Not totally true. Again depend on your shooting condition..

    So as pointed out, the bulleted points that you agreed on, are not exactly true to a sense, there are more to it than that.
    This is based on the fact that in low-light condition, how most cameras (at least for PnS) deal with it is to increase ISO and/or lower shutter speed. With a slow shutter speed, any slight movement results in blurriness, which makes it challenging to capture shots in low light that is sharp without tripod/monopod. This is my simplistic understanding of it.

    Camera blur is more pronounced when using a long zoom lens or when shooting in low-light conditions, where the camera's shutter speed must be slower to allow more light to reach the camera's image sensor. With a slower shutter speed, any vibration or shake occurring with the camera is magnified, sometimes causing blurry photos. Even the slightest movement of your hand or arm could cause a slight blur.
    See: Image Stabilization - How to Choose the Best Camera Image Stabilization

    Again, I'm talking in general. Shooting conditions vary and will be unique and challenging at different time and space that determine the final image that is captured.

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