Should You Turn Off Image Stabilization When Using a Tripod?

In the world of photography, all professionals and apprentices want to have the best results when taking a shot to have any photograph. For this reason, many tend to use image stabilization to avoid that …

Should You Turn Off Image Stabilization When Using a Tripod?

Should You Turn Off Image Stabilization When Using a Tripod?

In the world of photography, all professionals and apprentices want to have the best results when taking a shot to have any photograph. For this reason, many tend to use image stabilization to avoid that any captured space is not found with blurry elements that can harm the work.

However, when using a tripod, some problems may encounter with activating this function. It is impossible to use it, but it could be a bit detrimental when the tripod is moved a little to have better angles, which would cause movement in the images.

Image stabilization allows the vibration from the hands to be reduced when taking a photograph. That is helpful when using slow shutter speeds or when long focus lenses require more precision than for closer images. If you use the tripod frequently, you can find out what is the most convenient for you when taking a photograph.

Should You Turn Off Image Stabilization When Using a Tripod?

When you are shooting freehand photos, there is something widely recognized in photography called the reverse focal rule. This rule holds that, when shooting handheld photos, you have to choose a shutter speed equal to or greater than the inverse of the focal length used when shooting.

All this is to avoid hand vibrations when taking any shot. Many people, in these cases, prefer the use of the tripod so that the movements are eliminated, but this can be counterproductive because vibration is still generated when pressing the button to take the picture.

Using the sensor’s crop factor with APS-C cameras is more convenient while equivalently increasing the minimum shutter speed. Then, it is understood that image stabilization systems seek to reduce said minimum shutter speed to have between 3 to 5 stops of stabilization, allowing to take the one that is considered most convenient.

That is why the advantages provided by these functionalities are considered many; however, when using the tripod, the risks are more recurrent. The deactivation must be given when using the tripod because with the stabilization activated. It always tries to compensate for any shake found and effects when taking pictures and videos.

Even when the photography team is not taking shots, the system always seeks to check the existing movements. Several stand out within the image stabilization systems, presenting different functionalities when taking photographs in different cameras.

These can be the following:

1. Optical Stabilization Systems

It is a stabilization that happens to be placed on the lens to be photographed. If the lens has a stabilizer, it has inside a floating lens with electronic control that has to be moved in a different direction than the minimum and involuntary movement that the camera has at the time of the shooting.

Those that carry out the detection of the movement are gyro sensors in microseconds to transmit it to the microcomputer that controls the movement. All operation depends on the lens, stabilization, generated movement, and distance from the object to be photographed.

This type of stabilizer corrects the action of the light that goes to the sensor with the operation of different crystals. It is present in cameras of different brands, almost always in more resistant and innovative ones.

2. Mechanical Stabilization Systems

It is a stabilization given within the camera and differs from optical stabilization because the sensor is the one that happens to generate the displacement. Gyro sensors detect vibrations and transmit the information to the microprocessor that controls the sensor to control and compensate for shocks.

All the information is given in the camera’s body and thus corrected in movement internally with up to 5 internal stabilization axes. X and Y-axis movement can compensate for along with tilt axis and roll axis rotation compensation within seconds.

3. Digital Stabilization Systems

These are electronic systems that are usually used when making videos with professional or digital cameras. The most common variations that exist are cropping and increasing ISO sensitivity. Still, technology has allowed more advanced options for face detection to be found to be a reference for stabilizing environments.

These stabilizations are more advanced than those mentioned above. Still, they generate better results when taking photos or videos, avoiding any error when an image is to be captured.

When Should You Shut off Stabilization On the Camera?

In addition to doing it using a tripod, it is advisable to deactivate the camera’s stabilization when photographing figures that are in motion. That is because it is a function that only makes it possible to capture sharp and still images in any known environment.

Image stabilization fulfils the function of correcting any movement, but only that which comes from the photographer and is involuntary. With this, it is understood that the stabilizer system does not make it possible to provide control over the object or subject that is in the environment to be photographed. It cannot paralyse it in any way.

When some moving subjects are found, they will all be blurred in the image taken if the stabilizer is activated. Sometimes when using the tripod with the stabilizer on, images can appear pixelated, even on the most professional cameras on the market.

The most appropriate recommendation in these cases is to reduce the exposure time if you want to freeze the movement. In this way, it is possible to work with different speeds when photographing and find the most appropriate to generate various photographs, choosing the best of those that have been captured.

It would be best to always look for faster shutter speeds, as this avoids less subject movement in the environment in question. When shutter speeds are lowered with image stabilization, the subject may be shaky in the image, which is least desired due to work done.

So when taking pictures of moving items, it is more effective to increase the shutter speed greatly.


Although image stabilization is a great help when capturing environments manually, it is advisable to avoid using a tripod. Similarly, in the case of capturing moving elements, it is always better to do everything manually so that better photographic and aesthetic results are obtained in any environment.

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