Canon in-lense image stabilizers — for easy photography without blur caused by camera shake


IS is synonymous with high-precision image stabilization

The heart of Canon IS Lenses is the image stabilizer unit. Compact and lightweight, it houses state-of-the-art technology like sensors, actuators and an optical correction system. As part of Canon’s proprietary image stabilizer function, this unit works together with a high-speed microcomputer and two vibration gyros to enable highly reliable and accurate camera shake correction. Technology

How the in-lens image stabilizer works

Camera shake causes lens movement during image exposure, which shifts the angle of incoming light relative to the optical axis and results in blurred images. Canon IS Lenses correct for camera shake by shifting certain optical components in inverse relation to the lens movement. This maintains the position of incoming light rays on the film or capturing element and helps prevent blur caused by camera shake.

Cross section of EF400mm f/4 DO IS USM
Note: Animation is simulated for illustration purposes

New Hybrid IS technology: Designed especially for macro photography

Conventional image stabilization technology is useful for reducing the effects of camera shake in non-macro shooting situations. When shooting handheld close-ups at 1x, however, camera shake makes it difficult to achieve acceptable results even with lenses incorporating conventional image stabilizers. Now, thanks to the Hybrid IS found in the EF100mm f/2.8L Macro IS USM, Canon extends IS technology to the macro realm, making it easy to obtain clear handheld close-ups — a world first* and a definite advantage in environments where use of a tripod is not an option.

* For SLR cameras with interchangeable lenses

Problems associated with camera shake

In order to effectively combat the effects of camera shake in a macro lens, the IS system must be able to compensate for both angle camera shake and shift camera shake — problems that become more apparent as magnification increases. The effects of shift camera shake are rarely noticeable when shooting outside the macro realm, such as in landscape photography. But when shooting extreme close-ups, even the slightest amount of camera shake, either of the angle or shift variety, can adversely affect image quality.

Understanding Hybrid IS

In macro photography, shift camera shake and angle camera shake affect both the image formed on the sensor and the image shown in the viewfinder. This is especially relevant to handheld shooting at 1x, since the inability to properly compose and focus due to a shaky image in the viewfinder makes it extremely difficult to record sharp images.
Conventional image stabilizers of the type found in Canon IS lenses incorporate a vibration gyro (angular velocity sensor) to compensate for angle camera shake. Based on the amount of camera shake detected by the sensor, the IS system calculates the amount of shake on the image plane. Lens elements in the IS are then positioned to compensate for the camera shake. However, this type of image stabilizer can neither detect nor correct shift camera shake common to handheld macro photography.
The Hybrid IS includes an acceleration sensor in addition to the conventional vibration gyro (angular velocity sensor). Based on the amount of camera shake detected by the two sensors, a newly developed algorithm calculates the amount of shake on the image plane. Lens elements in the IS are then positioned to compensate for the two types of camera shake — a first in an interchangeable lens for SLR cameras and an excellent way to solve the problem of camera shake in macro photography.
*Conventional IS

Dynamic IS for superb movie-shooting performance

Representing an improvement over conventional Image Stabilizer (IS), Dynamic IS can be employed when shooting movies at wide-angle focal lengths. This helps reduce camera shake when shooting while walking, which was previously considered difficult to realize.