Canon IS (Image Stabilization) - Chemistruck Photography

Canon IS (Image Stabilization)

Canon IS (Image Stabilization)

Canon Optical Image Stabilizer technology helps reduce camera shake that often occurs in low-light situations. Camera shake typically occurs at shutter speeds less than 1/the focal length you’re shooting at, which results in image blur. Canon’s Image Stabilization lenses use gyroscopes to identify vibrations, which is then used to digitally manipulate the image and produce a clearer, sharper image. Basically, the image sensor is acting like a video camera, and by knowing the direction of the camera shake and the point in time that it occurred, the processor can digitally shift the image to line up where the camera thinks the image should be.

Image Stabilization Mode 1

Many of Canon’s EF and EF-S lenses contain Image Stabilization technology built directly into the lens. This is important because in-camera stabilization technology cannot accommodate the degree of correction required for long telephoto lenses. Canon identifies four main benefits from using their Image Stabilization technology:

  • Reduces motion blur by counteracting camera shake during handheld photography
  • With Optical Image Stabilizer in the lens, Canon can equip each Optical Image Stabilizer lens with the stabilizer it needs
  • Found on some telephoto lenses, Optical Image Stabilizer Mode 2 is especially effective when doing panned shots
  • With Canon Optical Image Stabilizer, the effects of the stabilization can be seen in the viewfinder—the image is steadier, making composition more accurate

Image Stabilization Mode 2

Image Stabilization Mode 2 allows you to use IS while panning to focus on a moving object. This effect gives you a clear image of your moving subject while generating an exciting, panned background.


EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USMEF 70-300mm f/4-5.6L IS USM
EF 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6L IS USMEF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USM
EF 300mm f/4L IS USMEF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
EF 500mm f/4L IS II USMEF 500mm f/4L IS USM
EF 600mm f/4L IS II USMEF 600mm f/4L IS USM

Image Stabilization Mode 3

Mode 3 was designed for sports photography and improves on Mode 2 by functioning only when the shutter release is fully pressed.


EF 300mm f/2.8L IS II USMEF 400mm f/2.8L IS II USM
EF 500mm f/4L IS II USMEF 600mm f/4L IS II USM
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