by Carl Weese

Readers have been asking for word on my new camera's Shake Reduction function, so here it is:

It works.

But how well it works, how many steps of shutter speed it buys you compared to your unassisted hands—that is turning out to be a difficult thing to determine. Between my own tests (which come out slightly different each time I repeat them) and tests of other shake systems I've looked up online, I am forming the conclusion that this feature may be impossible to evaluate objectively because it is in fact user-dependent. Specifically, I think that if hand-holding slow shutter speeds has always been a problem for you, this feature is going to make your day, or even your year. But if you were already really, *really* good at this form of photographic sharpshooting, you'll see a much more limited benefit. A benefit to be sure, certainly a full stop, which is nothing to sneeze at.

Above, a picture taken at Hidden Valley in very dim light at 1/6th second, handheld.
Below, a center crop from the same file.

So stay tuned; I'll report more when I have a better handle on this. In the meantime, I'd like to hear from anyone out there who is working with an anti-shake system. How many stops do you think your anti-shake system is buying you, under what conditions?

Posted by CARL WEESE


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