Tips for clear pictures in shaky times
THERE’S NO LONGER any excuse for blurry, out-of-focus photos from a digital camera, because a
very practical feature is showing up in most brands
and price ranges. Called image stabilization (IS), it’s
also known as anti-shake, vibration reduction or
shake reduction, and this technology does exactly
what its name suggests: It compensates for the shaky
hands of the person taking the photo.
The idea of IS is neither new nor unique to digital cameras. It proved to be a successful feature in
camcorders. Overly shaky video has been known to
induce motion sickness for some viewers.
For still photos, there are several techniques
used to stabilize the image. The most effective methods are referred to as optical IS. These employ additional hardware in the lens or camera body to
compensate for shake, and produce effective
results. Digital IS is less effective than optical.
Depending on the brand of your digital
camera, you’ll likely find a menu entry for
turning the IS feature on or off. Consult the
camera manual for specific instructions.
Many photographers leave IS turned
on all the time because it enhances all the
types of shooting they do. You will definitely appreciate the benefits of IS if you:
• Shoot handheld still photos of people,
animals or landscapes.
• Use a high zoom factor: The greater
the zoom factor, the more the slightest
shake is exaggerated.
• Use a slow shutter speed: The slower
the shutter speed, the greater the chance
that motion will throw off the focus.
• Shoot in low light when flash is not allowed or
not desired (weddings, concerts, night scenes).
• Shoot extreme close-ups in the macro mode.
Switch off IS to prevent overcompensation
when you shoot action such as sports events or
when you use a tripod or monopod to steady the
It’s easy to demonstrate the value of
image stabilization. These two shots
were taken seconds apart with a
handheld camera in the fading light
of late evening. The only difference
in settings was that image
stabilization was turned off
for photo A and on for photo B.
IF YOU’RE like me, capturing summer trips with a
camera is one of the most
important parts of the getaway experience. Costco is
excited to offer a full range
of digital cameras to help
make this happen. Two hot
models arriving this month
are the Nikon D40X and
the Canon A640 with the
The Nikon is outstanding for several reasons,
beginning with its size. It’s
a full-featured digital SLR
camera, loaded with programmable modes. But it’s
slightly smaller than previous Nikons, which makes it
easier to handle.
If you’ve been hesitant
to consider a digital SLR
because of its size and
complexity, the D40X is the
perfect answer. Costco is
offering this model bundled with two lenses, a
bag, battery and charger
and lens caps.
The Canon A640 is a
that Costco is bundling
with a photo printer. The
camera packs plenty of
punch, with 10 megapixels
of memory and the latest
Canon features to make
capturing photos a snap.
And printing 4 x 6 photos
is as easy as plugging in a
cable and pushing a button.
Check out these two
cameras and their accessories at your local Costco,
along with our complete
line of cameras.
and accessories are