What is Image Stabilization? What is a IBIS in Camera? What is a Gimbal?


The camera motion causes a loss of sharpness. Even the slightest movement during exposure, such as the trembling of your hand as you hold the camera or the slight shock when you press the shutter button, can affect blurring. Frequently, you will not notice the impacts of camera shake. If you are using a fast shutter speed or a wide-angle lens, the blurring may not be significant enough for you to see it. However, it will still be present, and it may become apparent if you make a dramatic crop or a huge print. Hence, at this point it becomes important for one to know what is Image Stabilization?

Image stabilization is a technique that allows your camera to compensate for motion blur caused by small camera movements. The image stabilization will prevent blurring if you accidentally tap the camera while taking a photo. This is useful if you are shooting handheld with a slower shutter speed. Some cameras incorporate image stabilization into the camera body. Thus this technique, on the other hand, could be used for the lens too.

What Is Image Stabilization on a Camera?

filmmaker cinematographer videographer stabilizing

Image stabilization is a camera feature that reduces the blurriness of images and videos when taking a photograph or recording a video. It compensates for the angle and continuous camera shake. When the camera moves during a photograph, the result is a blurry image, which is always a problem. Also, you may suffer frame disturbances in video cameras. For this reason, image stabilization is essential in cameras, as it helps to prevent blurring caused by camera movement. A benefit of the best camera with image stabilization is that it can take photos with a slower shutter speed than other cameras. Moreover, it produces a sharper image in low light and with less noise in high ISO.

Image stabilization also aids your Autofocus system by reducing vibrations and stabilizing the subject, resulting in a sharper image. Therefore, photographers can take photographs in low light without a tripod. Image Stabilization is only possible with a floating lens element, which allows the camera to detect the movement of the floating element within the lens. The lens’ electronic element then shifts in the opposite direction of the camera shake. Image stabilization in a camera operates somewhat differently. It shifts the sensor slightly to compensate for camera shake.

There are numerous IS types. Let’s begin by discussing lens-based (“optical” IS) Image Stabilization.

Optical Image Stabilization

The first lens with image stabilization was released in 1995. It took a lateral approach to the issue of camera shake. In order to maintain a static image on the camera’s sensor, a stabilized lens was introduced to compensate the movement within the camera.

This type of stabilization occurs during the shooting or capturing process, not afterwards. It occurs within the lens and through the camera components. Consequently, it counteracts the movement caused by trembling hands and bodies.

There are two types of optimal stabilization: lens-based and in-body (sensor-shift) stabilization. Lens-based stabilization is typically integrated into the lens, where it maintains object focus. A gyroscope detects motion, and then the lens uses other elements to stabilize the image. The camera’s body also incorporates optical image stabilization. This feature, also known as Sensor-shift stabilization, moves the gyroscope from the lens to the sensor.

DSLR cameras utilize lens stabilization, whereas mirrorless cameras utilize in-body stabilization. Nonetheless, some cameras use both in-lens and in-body stabilization for enhanced sharpness and stabilization capability.

How does Optical Image Stabilization Function?

Optical image stabilization employs a gyroscope to detect motion, and then adjusts the lens or sensor accordingly. It detects particularly the movement and refocuses the camera to capture the moving object.

Look for the abbreviation IBIS (in-body image stabilization) in the camera’s specifications to determine whether it has OIS. Each manufacturer has a unique way of denoting the in-lens stabilization feature. Sony’s optical image stabilisation system is OSS – Optical (O) steady-shot (SS), while Nikon cameras use the abbreviation VR.

Lens Based Stabilization

A set of elements within the lens that move at right angles to the lens axis controls image stabilization (IS). An onboard microcomputer controls the movement of this specialized lens group, which functions to compensate for camera shake.

Detects the speed and angle of camera movement using gyroscopes. The sensor data is transmitted to the lens’ microcomputer, which analyses it and recommends a stabilization lens group.

This command is sent to the stabilization lens group, which compensates for camera movement by adjusting its speed and direction. This entire sequence is repeated indefinitely, resulting in an instant response to any change in the amount or direction of camera shake.

  • Canon – Image Stabilization (IS)
  • Nikon – Vibration Reduction (VR)
  • Sigma – Optical Stabilization (OS)
  • Tamron – Vibration Compensation (VC)
  • Leica – Mega OIS
  • Pentax – Shake Reduction (SR)
  • Sony – Optical Steady Shot (OSS)
  • Fuji, Olympus – Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)
  • Olympus – Sync-IS
  • Panasonic – Dual / Mega / Power OIS

In-body Image Stabilization (IBIS)?

The abbreviation IBIS stands for in-body image stabilization. It’s a relatively new camera feature that stabilizes the sensor in order to produce stable, shake-free video footage and sharp still images when shooting handheld at slower shutter speeds.

IBIS, also known as sensor shift technology, compensates for camera movement by physically shifting the sensor within the camera. Built-in gyroscopes and accelerometers can calculate the camera’s motion and rotation and adjust the sensor accordingly to maintain image stability.

Built-in stabilization (IBS) works by adjusting the sensor inside the camera to compensate for camera shake. The camera has built-in accelerometers to measure lateral movement, which corrects by moving the sensor left, right, up and down. Cameras have built-in gyroscopes to detect rotational motion.

Because pitch, yaw, and roll are rotations, they can be detected by gyroscopes. Their effect varies with the distance of the subject. Accelerometers detect left and right camera movements, which are translated up and down. These camera translation effects become significant at higher magnifications and therefore depend on the distance of the subject.

Today’s mirrorless cameras are capable of 1 to 8 stops of camera stabilization. Numerous cameras with IBIS feature 5-axis image stabilization. This indicates that your camera has five axes of stabilization: yaw, pitch, roll, horizontal, and vertical.

Moving Vertically ( Y-axis )
Circulating Up and Down ( Pitch-axis )
Changing Directions Left and Right ( X-axis )
Making Left and Right Turns ( Yaw axis)
Rolling Right and Left ( X-Y axis)

Olympus In Body Stabilization

Fuji In Body Stabilization

Canon In Body Stabilization

Sony In Body Stabilization

What is a Camera Stabilizer?

A camera stabilizer is a rig that can be attached to the camera and works to prevent any unwanted movement while the camera is running. Stabilizers must frequently be well-balanced and may include gimbals to prevent shaky footage, some of which are electronically powered by brushless motors for precise adjustments.

As a matter of fact, all camera stabilizers are dependent on the camera’s weight. As a result, while most stabilizers are designed for heavier cameras, there are also professional options for lighter cameras. Some stabilizers can negatively impact the video captured by a camera with a lower weight rating. Always check the weight rating before making a purchase.

Handheld Stabilizers (Steadicam)

You don’t have to wear a vest or use a 3-axis gimbal. A handheld stabilizer is a stabilizer that does not rely on a vest or 3-axis gimbal to provide additional stability. This is often a cheaper option that relies on smooth operation.

3-Axis Gimbal

This type of gimbal has a set of rotating gimbals and is usually electronic. It may depend a lot on the battery and how long it takes to charge.

Vest Stabilizer System

The Vest Stabilizer System consists of a vest attachment, springs, iso-elastic arms, a multi-axis gimbal, and a weighted sled. All of these components are held together by a weighted sled.

What is a Gimbal?

A gimbal is an essential camera support device that allows rotation or movement to capture any object along a single axis. The term “gimbal” is defined as an essential camera support device.

Three – Axis

A typical three-axis gimbal isolates the camera mounted on it from the movements of the person holding the gimbal. The names of these three axes are pitch, yaw, and roll. A common 3-axis gimbal stabilizes the camera’s motion regardless of whether the person holding it is moving Left and Right (X-axis), Up and Down (Y-axis), or Rolling Left or Right (X-Y axis). We refer to this as Pan, Tilt, and Roll stabilization.

Due to the additional axis, 3-axis gimbals typically provide greater video stability than 2-axis gimbals (yaw, pitch, and roll). In comparison to 2-axis gimbals, which have only pitch and roll axes. Compared to their 2-axis counterparts, 3-axis gimbals are heavier and more expensive. These 3-axis gimbals stabilize the movement of a camera regardless of its motion, making them ideal for videographers and cinematographers.

Anatomy of Gimbal

The Pitch axis (Tilt) refers to the up and down movement of a subject. A good example of when to work with the tilt is when you’re trying to capture objects falling Down.
The Yaw axis (Pan), often known as the Pan axis, relates to the movement from left to right and can be utilized to record objects that are moving horizontally.
The Roll axis (Roll) allows for capturing objects with off-center or unleveled angles, (eg. Dutch angle).

How to stabilize a gimbal?

Step 1: Want to adjust and balance ‘back’ and ‘front’ movements like your camera mount.

Step 2: Face the Camera Up and balance the ‘Tilt motor’, (Turning Up and Down “Pitch-axis”)

Step 3: Want to balance the ‘Roll motor’, (Rolling Left and Right “X-Y axis”)

Step 4: Want to hold the gimbal horizontally

Step 5: Want to balance the ‘Pan motor’, (Turning Left and Right “Yaw axis”)

Enjoy! Gimbal is balanced! On your gimbal

Modes of Gimbal

Pv mode, also known as “Pan Follow mode,” is typically used for panning shots. In “Pan follow mode” Gimbal automatically follows your Left and Right panning movements. Handle follow to move the camera in the horizontal direction only.

In “Pan follow mode,” the motors for the two axes (Tilt and Roll) are locked. So they both do not work in Pv mode (Pan follow mode). If you want to change the camera angle in Pv mode you can use the joystick. Pressing the joystick up camera will move downward and pressing the joystick down camera will move upside. 

F Mode 

The F mode is also known as “Follow mode.” Normally used for the Tracking Subject. In “Follow mode” Gimbal automatically follows your “Left and Right panning movements” and “Up and Down tilting movements”. 

The Roll axis motors are locked when the mode is set to “Follow.” Therefore, you should utilize the joystick if you want to roll the camera angle. Pressing the joystick left camera will roll the left side and pressing the joystick right camera will roll the right side.

L Mode 

If you are utilizing the L mode, which is also known as “Lock mode,” the motors for all three axes of the gimbal—the pan axis, the tilt axis, and the roll axis—will be locked. As a result, the gimbal will not automatically follow your movements. So you can walk circles around the camera, you can go left, you can go right but the camera maintains its front orientation. So you won’t miss a shot in any situation. Normally used for running shots.

POV / FPV Mode 

POV and FPV are both the same. The POV mode is also known as “Point of View mode,” and the FPV mode is referred to as “First-Person View.” The gimbal will synchronize with all different types of movement, including your left and right panning movements, your up and down tilting movements, and your left and right rolling movements. It will provide a first-person perspective viewing experience. Normally used for point-of-view shots.

V Mode 

V mode is also known as “Vertical mode” or “360 modes.” Using Vertical mode is an excellent technique to add a dramatic turn to the movement of the camera. If you are using Vertical mode, the camera will face Vertically (facing Up). Then press the joystick to the left or right to rotate the camera to 360 degrees.

Inception mode 

Vertical mode (V mode) and Inception mode (I mode) are interchangeable. This is an outstanding method for adding a dramatic camera movement twist. If you’re using I mode, the camera will face Vertically ( facing upwards ). Thereafter, press the joystick to the left or right to rotate the camera. Additionally, while in “inception mode,” the smart wheel can be utilized to adjust the auto-rotation that occurs. By rotating the smart wheel you can change the rotation speed. To get into inception mode you want to press the right side quickly three times on the smart wheel. On the other hand, if you press the right side of the smart wheel quickly three times, it will go back to normal mode.


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