Is It Stabilized?
Q) I just bought a lens that has built-in vibration reduction. Recently, I was at a friend's house, and they had a little compact camera that they said also had some sort of vibration reduction. Is it the same as what I have in my camera?
Santa Fe, New Mexico
A) Your lens and your friend's camera could indeed use a similar technology. Vibration reduction is just one term that refers to technology used to compensate for inadvertent camera motion. Other terms that different manufacturers use include image stabilization or shake reduction. The basic concept is to measure how much the camera is moving and then move either an element in the lens or the image sensor to cancel out the camera movement.
You might have noticed that I said it "could" be similar technology. This is because there are a few compact cameras out there that are said to have image-stabilization capability, but in fact don't employ any mechanism to counteract movement like that used in your lens. Instead, this feature simply boosts the ISO speed setting, allowing the camera to use a faster shutter speed. This isn't true image stabilization in the way the term is commonly used.