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  • Optical vs Digital Image Stabilization

    First let me state that I don't know if this is in the correct section.

    I understand the difference between optical and digital zoom but I really could use a simple explanation as to the difference between Optical and Digital stabilization. Is one superior to the other and if so, how?

    I plan to buy a new digital camera to replace my Kodak Easy Share Z740 which lasted me for a whole 15 months before it required $180 to repair.(A real piece of junk), so I would appreciate any explanation that will make me decide if this feature is really important.

    Thanks

  • #2
    Re: Optical vs Digital Image Stabilization

    hi,
    basically optical stablilization.. uses mechanical means to stabillize the picture....

    digital stabilization manipulates the pixals electronically

    this link gives a nice quick run down on the various stabilization meathods that used...
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image_stabilization

    hope it helps you


    Originally posted by albatrosss View Post
    First let me state that I don't know if this is in the correct section.

    I understand the difference between optical and digital zoom but I really could use a simple explanation as to the difference between Optical and Digital stabilization. Is one superior to the other and if so, how?

    I plan to buy a new digital camera to replace my Kodak Easy Share Z740 which lasted me for a whole 15 months before it required $180 to repair.(A real piece of junk), so I would appreciate any explanation that will make me decide if this feature is really important.

    Thanks

    Comment


    • #3
      Re: Optical vs Digital Image Stabilization

      Digital image stabilization usually really isn't much other than an automatic reduction in iso. I know the manufacturers say all kinds of stuff about other things done, but the primary effects are from taking down fstop in auto mode. So, it has pretty major negative effects on indoor and low-light photo quality. It basically makes the camera use lower iso settings than it would like to. This is really something you want to avoid with small digital cameras because they have tiny CCD sensors, so they are basically terrible compared to larger cameras in lower-light conditions to start with. Lowering the iso makes things even worse.

      If you are going to get a small camera with digital image stabilization then make sure it at least has a reputation for relatively good low-light performance (Fuji F-series is the most famous for this). And learn to squeeze the button in a manner that reduces camera movement as much as possible when you snap the picture.

      Also, optical image stabilization doesn't do anything for major motion blurs such as in pictures taken while moving arm making big movements, things moving by quickly, being in car, walking, etc. It only helps for shaking hand/small motions.

      Kodak actually has a generally good record for camera reliability, I'm sorry yours didn't work out well. Dpreview just recently raved about one of their new lower cost models saying it incredible for money.

      To sum up though, optical image stabilization is great and really worth something whereas digital really isn't. However, even optical isnt a fix-all for the motion blur issues that small digital cameras have in general.
      Last edited by vkg1; 05-02-2007, 07:38 AM.

      Comment


      • #4
        Re: Optical vs Digital Image Stabilization

        vkg1,

        Thanks for the info.

        Image Stabilzation is certainly not my top priority but something that I would certainly like to consider. Interesting that you should mention Fuji since my camera before the Kodak was a Fuji. Should have stuck with a winner but Kodak model had a 10x optical zoom that I wanted.

        Thanks again.

        Comment


        • #5
          Re: Optical vs Digital Image Stabilization

          Canon has released info on their updated Powershot S5-IS --

          (Info from press releases)
          * 12x optical zoom lens with Ultrasonic Motor (USM) and UD lens
          * Optical Image Stabilizer
          * 2.5” high-resolution vari-angle LCD
          * High ISO 1600 and Auto ISO Shift

          the 12x optical zoom lens (f/2.7 – f/3.5, 36-432mm) incorporates the same leading technologies used in professional EF lenses:

          * Optical Image Stabilizer (IS) technology suppresses blur when taking stills and minimises image shake when shooting video footage. Canon’s lens-shift type IS allows photographers to shoot at shutter speeds up to 3 stops slower with no perceptible increase in image blur.
          * An Ultra-Sonic Motor (USM) delivers rapid, responsive zooming with virtually silent operation, reducing the risk of sound interference on movies and or when shooting wildlife subjects.
          * An Ultra-low Dispersion (UD) lens element curbs chromatic aberrations at longer focal lengths to ensure faithful colour reproduction and sharp definition.


          http://web.canon.jp/Imaging/pss5is/index-sam-e.html

          My Fuji 5600 doesn't have IS, and I miss it sometimes since I have it on my Oly 2100 UZI (with only 2mp), so I always love to see the latest releases on super-zooms.

          It will be a while before we see any reviews, but DPreview.com said that the IS "worked well" on the previous model (S3-IS). Canon added more pixels with the same size sensor, so image quality above ISO 400 will be a question.

          Comment


          • #6
            Re: Optical vs Digital Image Stabilization

            CJ Scwartz,

            Thank you very much for the information. Went to Steve's and read a long and glowing report. Has all the features that I want and many more that are beyond my abilities and interest. Since my fiasco with the Kodak Z740 I am more than a little concerned about reliablity. I don't believe in extended warantees but the Kodak is making me strongly consider one.

            Once again thanks for bringing this camera to my attention.

            Comment


            • #7
              Re: Optical vs Digital Image Stabilization

              I'm just waiting for a P&S camera with both Optical IS and a 1/1.7" CCD rather than the ubiquitous (and tiny) 1/2.5" CCD. The larger CCD is much better in low-light/indoor conditions, the optical IS is much better for video and very nice anyway because of handshake blur that can happen even when trying hold still as possible.

              It's only a matter of time before these two come together b/c 1/2.5" CCDs have maxed out on pixels -- the higher the MP these days, mostly just the higher the noise. Really a 7MP is every bit as good as any 10MP of these CCDs.

              Right now Fuji F-series is the only compact P&S I know with the larger CCD, but it doesn't have optical IS. If you don't take indoor pics so much and mostly daylight outdoor pics then camera such as the many current Canon's with Optical IS would probably give you better results.
              Last edited by vkg1; 05-08-2007, 04:00 PM.

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