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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    9

    Shaky hands....which cameras have optical stabilization

    I currently have the Olympus stylus 400. but I also have extremely shaky hands. so I get about 35-40% good photos and the rest are blurred. This is frustrating for me. So I am in search of a camera that has optical image stabilization. Thus far I have only found the Panasonice Lumix line. Are there any others? I am looking for more of a point and shoot but am willing to take a look at anything.

    Thanks.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    274
    The Canon IS line (S1 and S2) has it, as does the Konica-Minolta A line (A200, for example) and the Sony H1, to name a few.

    But please note that image stabilization is not a miracle. It can enable you to use a slightly lower shutter speed handheld without blur than what you could before. So, for example, if you could take non-blurry shots at 1/200 before, with IS you might be able to take them at 1/60 or so, but not much slower. The best bet is still a tripod.

    By the way, if you go to the "reviews and info" section of this site and run a search on cameras checking off "image stabilization" as a feature, you'll get a list of those cameras that have it.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Philadelphia
    Posts
    140
    I have a slight hand tremor, and I was looking at image stabilization. But I ended up deciding that I didn't need it, most shots at 1/320 usually come out pretty good. For slower shutter speeds I have a monopod but I'm eyeing up a Feisol tripod.
    "The real world begins right outside our doors --the world of nature, with remarkable beauty and diversity for all of us to discover." Kenn Kaufman

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Oct 2004
    Posts
    2,124
    I'd measure the shake effect on the camera, is it more of a "light shake" or is it extreme jerks (extreme being say, the camera moves versus appear to be midly vibrating within a 1/2 cm gap) Any severe hand shake the IS system won't help and in fact might not be able to compensate for at all.

    Tim

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    9
    I have a condition called essential tremors which causes a very mild high frequency hand tremor. You would never notice it if I didnt point it out. But it is reflected in some slightly blurry but ruined shots. Alot of the time I will have my fiance (who has rock solid hands) take a photo for me, but that takes away from the fun. And I am not about to lug a tripod around with me wherever I go. I think the new panasonic lumix fx8 would be great but it is not sold in the US. Thanks.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr 2005
    Posts
    274
    My grandmother had an essential tremor, and it's hard to say without knowing how mild or severe yours is (hers was severe and eventually she died from complications from surgeries to correct it but that's a whole other story). But IS would probably help a little - however I suggest still using a tripod. It might also help you to set your camera to a faster shutter speed by default. At 1/1000 of a second you're unlikely to get much blur.

    IS, according to most people, can get you about 3 stops on shutter speed slower handheld than you could've done without it. So if you can take a non-blurry shot at 1/500 of a second, then IS might get you to 1/125. It doesn't mean you can take 1" exposures handheld and expect them to come out clear, though.

  7. #7
    GabrielM Guest

    Shaky Hands -- try Nikon's Vibration Reduction (VR)

    Nikon's Coolpix 8800 (Sept '04) has a 10x (35mm-350mm equivalent) "VR" zoom -- Vibration Reduction. This is designed so that for "normal" shake at 10x zoom, it can be stopped down by 3 stops to get the same definition as with no VR.

    My CP8800 is still in the post, so I can't vouch for it personally. But its VR feature -- especially for long zoom -- was the main reason I chose it from the very small range of camera with 8 megapixel CCD, and a range of outputs: RAW, TIFF, JPEG. Also has a host of features. It's described on another photography forum as the "Rolls Royce of point'n'shoots".

    All the reviews I've read say it's an excellent camera, with only one real drawback -- the AF tends to hunt in very low light conditions. But for low light otherwise, VR produces a better result than usual . (AND the camera also has (optional) compensation for underexposed areas within an image.) So it depends what you want to use it for.

    If you are in the UK, it's currently selling for 495 + 1.95 shipping from 7DayShop.com, or 439 plus 1.95 shipping factory Refurbished (90 days warranty).

    Even though it's a long zoom, you can add further Nikon lenses: 1.7x Teleconverter (takes it up to 600mm equivalent) and 0.8x Wide Angle (takes it down to 24mm). But they're expensive. I don't know if other, cheaper TC and WA add-on lenses work as well.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jun 2005
    Location
    Cork, Ireland
    Posts
    28
    tj22,

    I've recently purchased the Panasonic FZ20 as I can have a very unsteady hand. Thankfully mine is not down to any medical condition but rather, a fondness for double espressos. As already mentioned, be aware that "image stabilizers" will only help within a certain range of settings. I was a bit dissapointed when I took my first few experimental shots and discovered that they were no better than if OIS was turned off. Hardly surpising though, as I was shooting at around full zoom (10 - 12x) with the shutter speed in the region of 1/25 sec (and all this about an hour after my shot of caffeine ) I think jessie (above) has explained it fairly well. As I've become accustomed to it's limitations, now I can see it's advantages. Just dont expect it to replace a tripod.
    If you don't want to, or are unable to carry around a full tripod, why not consider buying one of the "table top" tripods. They're small enough and light enough to carry in your pocket and are not bothering anybody around you when you set up. Obviously you'll have to find a resting place but at least you'll have a sharp image and who knows, it may even force you to use a more unusual angle.
    Hope I've been of some help.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    9

    Bump

    I wanted to bump this thread up to get an update on IS cameras. I have been looking at a few lines mainly the lumix and the dimage. I really need/want the IS but I also would like good image quality in a pretty compact body (something I can pocket pretty easy, not a SLR).

    Thanks.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul 2005
    Posts
    9
    Bump ^^^^^^

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