Image stabilization counters physical motion and thereby decreases blurring of images. Shutter shock is also physical motion so it might be corrected by image stabilization. However it might also not correct it because both effects could be on different time scales (maybe shutter shock happens too fast?). I was wondering if image stabilization counters shutter shock?

The reason I ask is because I`m considering buying a second hand sony a7r, which is known to have terrible blurring from shutter shock at shutter speeds between 1/2 and 1/200 second. Most likely I would use the body with a lens with image stabilization. I have found one photographer explicitly turning off image stabilization when examining shutter shock. But I have not found anyone directly examining if image stabilization counters shutter shock.


I did find two people saying that image stabilization does not counter shutter shock, but that seems to be expert opinion and not tested. After rereading that first link and clicking a link in that post I found someone testing the effect of IS on shutter shock. It seems IS worsens shutter shock on the a7r, at least with 200mm focal length and shutter speeds longer than 1/1000 s.

  • 1
    If shutter shock is a concern, it might be prudent to select a camera without a reputation for shutter shock problems. That won't eliminate them, but it may provide better performance at the shutter speeds over which there is concern.
    – user50888
    Nov 30, 2016 at 20:02
  • 1
    I would think this would have everything to do with the inherent latency of the IS system; if it's large enough, it will be responding to a short, sharp jolt too late to help... whereas shake from hand holding is relatively slow motion. Nov 30, 2016 at 22:13

2 Answers 2


There are advantages and disadvantages to lens based image stabilization. One of the advantages is that the IS can be tuned for the focal length of the lens and counteract motion on very long focal length lenses that would be much too large to do with a sensor based IS system. On the other hand, sensor based IS is better at dealing with other types of motion. Lens based IS can reduce the influence of camera based vibrations such as shutter shock (and mirror slap for camera that have mirrors) on lens movement. But they can't deal with it as effectively as cameras that incorporate IS into the camera's sensor. By far the best way to deal with shutter shock is to use a camera with an electronic curtain, rather than mechanical curtain, shutter.

  • Thank you for your answer. So you think IS will at least somewhat correct for blurring from shutter shock? Do you have experience with this or a source?
    – Leo
    Nov 30, 2016 at 13:06
  • 1
    @Leo In general it can. That doesn't guarantee any specific IS implementation actually does. The Canon Super Telephoto series lenses in their current implementation (IS II series) include an IS mode that reduces the effects of mirror and shutter vibrations when the lens/camera are mounted on a stable platform such as a tripod.
    – Michael C
    Feb 12, 2017 at 19:06

Most modern implementations does counter shutter shock, others primarily fist generation doesn't. But it depends on the type of implementation.

IBIS and current generation optical IS does almost exclusively work during the entire exposure and therefore does counter shock (A7R included by the way).

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

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