Short Description

Affordable Image Stabilization
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS The Canon PowerShot SX620 HS is an affordably priced digital camera with at least 6x optical zoom and and lens image stabilization for only $217.99.

Image stabilization prevents blurring images from camera shake. It's especially important to have image stabilization when buying a large zoom camera, or when shooting in low light situations because the images are at significant risk of being blurred. There are different types of image stabilization. Lens stabilization is the best, senor stabilization second best and digital stabilization the worst. If image stabilization is important to you than we recommend either lens or sensor based stabilization and don't recommend digital image stabilization.

Lens Stabilization

Lens based stabilization is the best and most versatile option. A portion of the lens group is typically moved horizontally and vertically to compensate for vibration/shake, depending on the implementation accelerometer, gyros and electro magnets and tiny motors do the work. Fortunately lens based image stabilization is not that expensive of an addition to most digicams but it can be with SLRs because each lens requires it. Since mid to high end dSLRs don't have image stabilization built into the body the only way to get image stabilization is to buy lenses with it built in - the cost of this adds up over time. SLRs with sensor shift can avoid this price premium on each lens. Nonetheless lens based image stabilization is king and that's why the most camera manufacturers use it in their best cameras. Additionally, it is the only option that provides stabilization during video recording.

Travel Zooms with Optical Image Stabilization

The following are some of the best travel zooms digital cameras with optical image stabilization.

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
from $218
Zoom Great zoom Help
25x
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 30fps
Screen size Large screen Help
3"

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

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Sensor Shift

Sensor shift can provide excellent results and provides a means of giving non image-stabilized lenses free image stabilization, this can lower the cost of your lens collection significantly and instantly modernize a collection of vintage glass. Some very high end full frame cameras do use sensor shift so it is indeed a viable option, although it is still largely used by the smaller makers of dSLRs, namely Sony and Pentax. Its use in digicams is more widespread. Sensor shift detects vibrations and physically adjusts the position of the image sensor accordingly to cancel out shifts in the image. One disadvantage to sensor shift is the image in the viewfinder is not image stabilized which can make composition harder. A further disadvantage is the inability to use image stabilization during video shoots as the image sensor typically must be locked. Finally auto focus performance in low light can suffer in cameras using phase-detection auto focus (typically SLRs).

Best Sensor Shift Digital Cameras

The following are some of the best cameras that incorporate sensor shift image stabilization.

Fujifilm FinePix XP120
Fujifilm FinePix XP120
from $139
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Screen size Large screen Help
3"
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
920k dots

Learn more about the Fujifilm FinePix XP120

Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (Lumix DMC-LX15)
Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (Lumix DMC-LX15)
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.4
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
25,600 ISO
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Fewer buttons

Learn more about the Panasonic Lumix DMC-LX10 (Lumix DMC-LX15)

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Digital Image Stabilization

Although theoretically capable of reducing blur, we do not recommend digital image stabilization because it is difficult to ascertain how good the software algorithms will be in range of conditions, especially in low light when they are most needed. Theoretically by reducing the resolution of the sensor and using the outside border to approximate sensor shift image stabilization should be possible but typically digital image stabilization is a technique utilized in lower end cameras and again the effectiveness across all conditions cannot be guaranteed. We suggest you stick with either optical or sensor shift image stabilization.

Ultra Affordable IS Cameras

The following cameras use lens image stabilization and are ultra affordable illustrating that there is no need to settle with digital image stabilization.

Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
Canon PowerShot SX620 HS
from $218
Zoom Great zoom Help
25x
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 30fps
Screen size Large screen Help
3"

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot SX620 HS

Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II
from $419
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/2
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Fewer buttons
True resolution High true resolution Help
20 MP

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot G9 X Mark II

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V
from $970
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Autofocus Phase detection autofocus Help
fast and accurate
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
1,228k dots

Learn more about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-RX100 V

Casio Exilim EX-ZR5000
Casio Exilim EX-ZR5000
Wide angle Wide angle lens Help
19 mm
Battery life Great battery life Help
430 shots
Continuous shooting Rapid fire Help
30 fps

Learn more about the Casio Exilim EX-ZR5000

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DSLRs with IS

Although many manufacturers only offer image stabilization in lenses, some DSLR manufacturers do offer IS in the body meaning you can use it with all of your lenses.

Pentax K-70
Pentax K-70
from $595
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.62x
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Viewfinder Great viewfinder Help
Pentaprism

Learn more about the Pentax K-70

Pentax KP
Pentax KP
from $897
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
819,200 ISO
Viewfinder size Large viewfinder Help
0.62x
Continuous shooting Rapid fire Help
7 fps

Learn more about the Pentax KP

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Discussion

Showing 3 comments

Avatar for Dude-e Dude-e (1:39 PM, May 06, 2014)
Old link, here's the new one. Very nice animation
http://nikon.com/about/technology/life/imaging/stabilization/index.htm
 
Yohanes Martino (6:00 AM, March 24, 2012)
Why Snapsort don't accept lens image stabilization for DSLRs and Mirrorless Interchangeable Lens Cameras?
 
Avatar for Alex Black Alex Black (6:22 PM, July 14, 2010)
Nikon has an indepth article describing the different types of image-stabilization found in Nikon cameras here:

http://www.nikon.com/about/technology/life/stabilization/index.htm

It includes an animation that tries to show visually how each method works.