Glossary

Built-in optical image stabilization

What is optical image stabilization?

When it comes to digital photos and videos, even the slightest movement may cause blurring; fortunately, image stabilization technologies have been created to counteract this effect. A steadily growing number of consumer-level camera systems, including those of smartphones, integrate this feature, with optical image stabilization (OIS) being the most common solution.

OIS also goes by plenty of brand-proprietary names: Nikon's Vibration Reduction, Sony's Optical SteadyShot, Pentax's Shake Reduction, and Tamron's Vibration Compensation are a few examples. Built into the lens, this tech works by recognizing the camera system's vibrations; upon the detection of movement, the optical path is adjusted accordingly, stabilizing the image and thus correcting blur before it even reaches the camera's sensor.

Nowadays, several high-end smartphones pack electronic image stabilization (EIS) in addition to optical image stabilization, delivering extra-sharp images. However, unlike OIS, EIS is only available for videos, as it operates through the automatic adjustment of video frames (which video professionals have done for years with the use of advanced software).

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