Before the rush

Before the rush
by evan-pak

Submit your Photo
Hall of Fame

Please participate in Meta
and help us grow.

Photography Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for professional, enthusiast and amateur photographers. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

Do professional and semi professional cameras have good optical image stabilization, sometimes called steady shot?

share|improve this question
High end Nikon lenses have what they call vibration reduction capability. These lenses have VR in their full model designation. – Olin Lathrop Jan 8 '12 at 14:00
And in the Canon world, the same tech is called "IS" for Internal Stabilization. Tamron calls it something else again, as does Sigma. It's all the same thing under the hood though. – Staale S Jan 8 '12 at 14:43
SteadyShot is the Sony trademarked IS. Not to be confused with SteadyCam, which is a physical stabilisation technology used in video. – MikeW Jan 8 '12 at 18:50

In the DSLR world, different brands handle this differently.

Nikon, Canon and Panasonic camera bodies do not have any stabilization, rather some of their compatible lenses do implement image stabilization (the hardware is in the lens.)

Other brands, like Sony, Olympus, and Pentax, implement vibration reduction in the camera body, so that any lens used is stabilized. The Sony version is called "SteadyShot".

share|improve this answer
It's worth mentioning that this is not just in the higher-end cameras and lenses — many entry-level cameras and lenses have this feature as well. – mattdm Jan 8 '12 at 14:09
To further what mattdm stated, I think EVERY entry-level DSLR comes with an image stabilized zoom lens, and these days, the IS on those lenses is usually rated to about 3 stops of hand-holdability. It usually the 18-55mm kit lens, which is almost ubiquitous on entry-level DSLR's, and most other mid and pro-grade bodies also include an IS lens. Include sensor-level stabilization, I would say that makes IS a de-facto industry standard feature. – jrista Jan 8 '12 at 21:02

Most digital SLRs and many mirrorless interchangeable lens cameras — and many point and shoots — have optical image stabilization of some sort. But they all call it something different, and the technology used differs.

Olympus, Pentax, and Sony use a sensor-shift image stabilization approach very similar to that used for SteadyShot in Sony's camcorders. Sony even uses the same term. Exact details of implementation vary — for example, Pentax's system corrects for rotational shake, which is common when pressing the shutter release. You can read more about each of of these systems at each manufacturer's web site:

Canon, Nikon, and Panasonic take a different approach, providing many (but not all) lenses with elements which move to counteract shake. Again, there are differences in exact implementation (including types of movement which can be compensated for). More information at:

Third-party lens makers also make lenses with this feature:

The differences (including advantages and disadvantages) of these two approaches are well-covered here: What is the difference between in-lens image stabilizing and in-sensor image stabilizing?

share|improve this answer

If by "professional and semi professional cameras" you mean something like top and mid level DSLRs, the simple answer for Canon and Nikon is simply NO. The camera bodies have no built-in stabilization. Instead, optical stabilization, if present, is built into the lens, which is of course replaceable. Not all lenses have stabilization either.

Other brands like Sony or Pentax may have stabilization built into the camera body. Canon and Nikon are the most usual DSLR brands to see in professional hands though, by a wide margin.

share|improve this answer

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.