Image Stabilization for Photography | Do You Really Need It?

Image Stabilization for Photography | Do You Really Need It?

January 27, 2020 11 By Kailee Schamberger


Don’t buy a stabilized lens until you watch
this! If you are a photographer you need to understand
what I’m saying here in this video because this could save you money, a lot of money
actually! Many people think that a stabilized shot is
equal with a sharp subject in the frame. This is true, but only in specific cases. For example, if you want to shoot a subject
that’s far away from you and you use for example a 100 or 250mm telephoto lens you
will encounter 2 variables. Number 1: The shakiness of your hands
Number 2: The subject’s movement Let’s say you want to photograph people,
animals or cars which are constantly moving. In this case, the stabilized lens will only
help you to avoid the shakiness of your hands. That’s it! Your body, together with the stabilization
from your lens will act almost like a tripod and nothing more. Due to the fact that the subject that you
want to photograph is moving in your frame, you will need to raise your shutter speed
to be able to capture the subject and have it sharp in the photo. A stabilized lens or even a stabilized sensor
in your camera is helping you to maintain the image on the sensor more stable and get
rid of the shakiness, but not of the subject’s motion blur. Even if you shoot for example at 50mm and
you want to capture a person that is walking or running in front of you, you will need
to raise the shutter speed in order to capture him or her without any motion blur and freeze
the shot to obtain a sharp photo. Of course.. If the motion blur is intentional and you
want to have a final photo that gives the feeling of movement and motion, that’s perfectly
fine, it’s actually a type of photography. Now.. if money isn’t a problem for you and
you want to invest in a stabilized lens, because you’ll never know what you will photograph,
that’s great, go for it, but keep in mind that not always, a stabilized lens equals
sharper photos. You need to adjust the shutter speed. Also, let’s dig deeper when speaking about
the shutter speed, just bear with me because I give you some important tips. Let’s say you shoot landscapes, objects,
portrait sessions or you take a photo of your dog while he’s staying still or sleeping. Do you need a stabilised lens? Well, it could help you a lot. Because if you shoot at 50mm for example with
stabilization, you can get away with a shutter speed of 1/20th of a second for example, or
even lower than that. And why is this important? Well… it will help you to keep your ISO at
lower values and this means less noise on your images, which is a great thing especially
if you shoot in the evenings, in a dark room or if you want to upload your photos to stock
agencies. What if you want to shoot the same subject
with a non-stabilized lens? In this case, you will need to shoot at a
higher shutter speed. How high? Well, it depends if you have a full frame
camera or a crop sensor camera. I told you, I’m gonna dig deep today. Let’s say you have a full frame camera. This means that if you mount a 50mm lens on
the camera, you will shoot at 50mm. In this case, when taking photos hand held
it’s absolutely crucial to have a minimum shutter speed at least at 1/50th of a second. But if you want to make sure that the subject
you’re shooting will be sharp in the photo, I recommend you to shoot at a shutter speed which is double
of your zoom value. So 50mm multiplied by 2 equals a shutter speed
of 1/100th of a second, if you’re shooting non-moving subjects. This setting will make your shot stable in
your hands. The situation is different however when you’re
shooting with a crop sensor camera. I use Canon, so if you have a crop camera,
like the Canon 80d for example, you’ll have a 1.6x crop. What this means is that when you put a 50mm
lens on it you’ll have to multiply it by 1.6, which gives you an 80mm lens. In this case, when shooting stationary subjects,
your minimum shutter speed should be at least 1/80th of a second, but I recommend that you
multiply it by 2 and you’ll end up with a 1/160th of a second shutter speed. So, when taking photos of non moving subjects
having a lens with IS (image stabilization), will help you very much. If you don’t have the money for it, put
your camera on a tripod and you can use slower shutter speeds, lower ISO values… so higher
quality photos, technically speaking. Now if you shoot sports for example, I personally
don’t feel like you should invest in a stabilized wide angle or telephoto lens. Why? Because people or objects move very fast while
doing sports, and in order to have sharp photos you’ll need to crank up the shutter speed
anyway to 1/800, 1/1000th of a second or even more in certain situations. So with a shutter speed that high, your photos
will be sharp enough, that’s my oppinion. You don’t need IS. There are many varibles that you need to analize
before buying a stabilized lens because for example a non stabilized 70-250mm Canon lens
f2.8 costs $1250, and the stabilized version, 3rd generation f2.8 with image stabilization
costs $1900, so a difference of $650. Again, if you have the money, go with the
IS version, because it’s worth it, you’ll never know what projects will you have, if
you need to shoot action, portraits and so on. But please keep in mind what I have told you
today. If you will show interest to this video, next
time I could talk about why is important to have a stabilized lens if you are shooting
videos. I dropped some links with the lens that I
usually use with my Canon cameras, you can check them out and by the way, this video
was not sponsored by Canon in any way, however, I’m a Canon user for more than 10 years
now and I think every single camera brand has it’s pros and cons. If you enjoyed my explanation, hit the like
on this video and comment with your thoughts on this subject. And of course, subscribe and click the bell
if you don’t wanna miss anything. I’m Criss, catch you in the next one!