Learn how the technology behind image stabilization actually works
Most new camcorders have some sort of image stabilization, either electronic or optical. Image stabilization, as its name implies, helps to stabilize the image and reduce shaky video. While all of us find this a useful tool, most video producers don't understand how it works. Right beneath your nose, or at least right in front of it, there's a small miracle going on. Read on and you'll learn just how this miraculous technology works.
While MTV and The Blair Witch Project have made jerky shots popular, for the most part you'll want to avoid them. After all, shaky shots tend to make videos look amateurish. But some shaky shots are hard to avoid. No matter how steady you hold your camera, you still might get some vibration into the camera body, which can add unwanted movement to your image.
Like a Rock
Imagine that you are shooting some footage of your family on vacation. The kids are having fun playing and you want to get some shots of them without being too obtrusive with the camcorder. So you're forced to zoom in a bit to get more intimate with the moment. The only trouble is that the slightest movement of your camera is magnified proportionally with the act of zooming in on the image you're trying to capture.
This is where an image stabilization system comes to the rescue. Armed with either an optical/mechanical system or a digital/electronic system, your camcorder smoothes out those jerky movements so you end up with smooth video of your loved ones.
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