Short Description

Affordable Image Stabilization
Fujifilm FinePix T550 The Fujifilm FinePix T550 is an affordably priced digital camera with at least 6x optical zoom and and lens image stabilization for only $71.79.

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.

Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V
Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V
from $355
GPS Built-in GPS Help
Great for travel
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
921k dots
3D Takes 3D photos Help
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions

Learn more about the Sony Cyber-shot DSC-HX50V

Panasonic Lumix ZS30
Panasonic Lumix ZS30
from $319
GPS Built-in GPS Help
Great for travel
Zoom Great zoom Help
20x
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
920k dots

Learn more about the Panasonic Lumix ZS30

Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
Canon PowerShot SX280 HS
from $199
GPS Built-in GPS Help
Great for travel
Zoom Great zoom Help
20x
High-speed framerate High speed movies Help
240 fps

Learn more about the Canon PowerShot SX280 HS

Nikon Coolpix S9700
Nikon Coolpix S9700
from $327
Zoom Great zoom Help
30x
GPS Built-in GPS Help
Great for travel
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
921k dots

Learn more about the Nikon Coolpix S9700

Green arrow See more of the top travel zooms with lens image stabilization

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.

Olympus XZ-2 iHS
Olympus XZ-2 iHS
from $448
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
920k dots
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies

Learn more about the Olympus XZ-2 iHS

Pentax MX-1
Pentax MX-1
from $239
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
920k dots
Screen flips out Flip-out screen Help
Great for movies

Learn more about the Pentax MX-1

Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR
Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR
from $263
3D Takes 3D photos Help
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Movie format Full HD Help
1080p @ 30fps
Supports RAW Shoots RAW Help
Better editing

Learn more about the Fujifilm FinePix F800EXR

Olympus Stylus XZ-10
Olympus Stylus XZ-10
from $199
Aperture Wide aperture Help
f/1.8
Screen resolution High resolution screen Help
920k dots
Touch screen Touch screen Help
Less buttons

Learn more about the Olympus Stylus XZ-10

Green arrow See more of the top digicams with sensor-shift image stabilization

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.

Fujifilm FinePix T550
Fujifilm FinePix T550
from $72
Size Really small Help
Super compact 99x57x18 mm
3D Takes 3D photos Help
View photos in 3D on 3D televisions
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Lens

Learn more about the Fujifilm FinePix T550

Sony CyberShot DSC-W800
Sony CyberShot DSC-W800
from $78
External mic jack External mic jack Help
Record higher quality audio with a microphone
Size Really small Help
Ultra compact 50x22x54 mm
Announced New Help
February, 2014

Learn more about the Sony CyberShot DSC-W800

Samsung Galaxy Camera
Samsung Galaxy Camera
from $83
Screen size Large screen Help
4.8"
Zoom Great zoom Help
21x
External mic jack External mic jack Help
Record higher quality audio with a microphone

Learn more about the Samsung Galaxy Camera

Samsung WB30F
Samsung WB30F
from $88
Size Really small Help
Ultra compact 98x58x17 mm
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Lens
Thickness Thin Help
0.7"

Learn more about the Samsung WB30F

Green arrow See more of the top digicams with sensor-shift image stabilization

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-3
Pentax K-3
from $1,120
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,216 ISO
Cross type focus points Many cross-type focus points Help
25
Screen size Large screen Help
3.2"

Learn more about the Pentax K-3

Pentax K-5 II
Pentax K-5 II
from $660
Low light performance Low noise at high ISO Help
1,235 ISO
Overall image quality Great image quality Help
82.0
Battery life Great battery life Help
980 shots

Learn more about the Pentax K-5 II

Pentax K-30
Pentax K-30
from $433
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift
Shutter lag Barely any delay taking photos Help
162 ms shutter lag

Learn more about the Pentax K-30

Pentax K-50
Pentax K-50
from $497
Light sensitivity High ISO Help
51,600 ISO
Weather sealed Weather sealed Help
Shoot in extreme weather
Image stabilization Image stabilization Help
Sensor shift

Learn more about the Pentax K-50

Green arrow See more of the top entry level DSLRs with image stabilization

Discussion

Showing 2 comments

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.