7 May 2009

IS Modes

I wrote about Image Stabiliser lenses with movies just the other week as well as shutter speed choices to avoid camera shake, so I thought I'd follow it up with some advice on the Image Stabiliser modes found on Canon lenses.

Most of the IS lenses in the Canon range feature two IS modes, cunningly named Mode 1 and Mode 2. These two modes cause the IS system to work differently so you can choose the mode depending on what sort of shot you're taking. The question is, when do you use each setting?

Mode 1 - General shooting. This is the mode you will have the camera set to most of the time. The IS mechanism will try and remove camera shake in both the horizontal and vertical direction, to give a sharp image.

Mode 2 - Panning. If you are shooting moving subjects, then one technique you might choose to use is a slow shutter speed and panning with the subject. If you get it right, this creates and image with a sharp subject and blurred background. It's a very effective technique and is used widely in motorsport photography especially. If you decide to have a go at panning, then you should set the IS Mode to 2. This locks the IS mechanism in one direction so say you are panning from left to right, the IS mechanism will not try to compensate for the horizontal motion, instead concentrating only on any vertical fluctuations.


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