Why digital image stabilization is better than you think – until this happens

DIS jello effect
(Image credit: Rod Lawton)

Digital image stabilization was treated with scorn back in the days when it was built into point and shoot cameras too cheap for the real thing. Digitally sharpening a still image that's blurry is never going to work out well.

But digital image stabilization in video is very different, a lot smarter and has a solid technical basis. With digital image stabilization for video, the camera is not trying to sharpen blurry detail – it's checking each frame in the sequence and shifting them minutely (or bigly, with really shaky footage) so that they line up. All those frame-by-frame jitters even out surprisingly well.

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Rod Lawton

Rod is an independent photography journalist and editor, and a long-standing Digital Camera World contributor, having previously worked as DCW's Group Reviews editor. Before that he has been technique editor on N-Photo, Head of Testing for the photography division and Camera Channel editor on TechRadar, as well as contributing to many other publications. He has been writing about photography technique, photo editing and digital cameras since they first appeared, and before that began his career writing about film photography. He has used and reviewed practically every interchangeable lens camera launched in the past 20 years, from entry-level DSLRs to medium format cameras, together with lenses, tripods, gimbals, light meters, camera bags and more. Rod has his own camera gear blog at fotovolo.com but also writes about photo-editing applications and techniques at lifeafterphotoshop.com