Optical Image Stabilization (OIS)

Optical image stabilization (OIS) is a camera component that compensates in real-time for shaking and vibrating while taking photos or videos. OIS is common in digital cameras and camcorders, but is nearly ubiquitous in smartphone devices. Regardless of the device at hand, OIS apparatuses make it easier for photographers and videographers to accomplish the following:

  • Capture photos in low lighting, a scenario that is usually susceptible to distortion because of the slow shutter speed and wide aperture requirements
  • Record video without needing an external gyroscope to stabilize the camera while the videographer is moving

OIS vs. EIS

One alternative to OIS is electronic image stabilization (EIS), which attempts to accomplish the same movement compensation without specialized hardware. Instead, EIS is accomplished using electronic image processing functions and sensors. EIS is more common in videography than photography because the primary benefit it offers is a smoother video output. Whereas an OIS mechanism can slow down the camera’s ability to capture each frame, EIS uses cropping around a designated focal point to stabilize the video. This also means that EIS typically reduces the video resolution, but the difference in video quality is mostly indistinguishable in smaller cameras.

Examples of OIS

OIS technology has been instituted by a range of camera manufacturers, and each has a unique name for their respective hardware component. Some examples of these names include:

  • Sony SteadyShot
  • Nikon Vibration Reduction (VR)
  • Pentax Shake Reduction
  • Canon Image Stabilizer
  • Olympus In Body Image Stabilization (IBIS)

 

Vangie Beal
Vangie Beal is a freelance business and technology writer covering Internet technologies and online business since the late '90s.

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