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Optical image stabilisation on phones

Is optical image stabilisation on phones just for shaky hands? Is it beneficial in any other way? Even for people with relatively steady hands?

Most Useful Answer JanSt  May. 7, 2014 at 16:17

Yes, it is... And whatever you think: your hands are not steady enough.
Have you ever watched a phone-cam video where somebody pans across the scenery and the image seems to wobble in a nauseating manner? That is reduced, also - at least when OIS is done right. A disadvantage is that it can add a tiny bit to shutter lag. The Lumia 1020 is a good bad example. It takes great photos, but the delay between hitting the button and the shutter actually getting its a*s into gear is, at times, frustrating. Most of the delay is due to the huge image being saved etc... but the OIS does add to that. It's not that bad on the HTC One, but is doesn't save a 5MP and 38MP photo evry time you hit the button. And the photos aren't as good as what the Lumia delivers.

If you take a lot of action snapshots (drunk friends, or children, dogs, cats etc - not drunk ones),
something simple and fast like the iPhone 5c/5S or a HTC One can be your better choice.
You can snap away unthinkingly and sort it out later. The Lumias require more 'planning' and perfect timing.

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JanSt / MOD  May. 7, 2014 at 16:17

Yes, it is... And whatever you think: your hands are not steady enough.
Have you ever watched a phone-cam video where somebody pans across the scenery and the image seems to wobble in a nauseating manner? That is reduced, also - at least when OIS is done right. A disadvantage is that it can add a tiny bit to shutter lag. The Lumia 1020 is a good bad example. It takes great photos, but the delay between hitting the button and the shutter actually getting its a*s into gear is, at times, frustrating. Most of the delay is due to the huge image being saved etc... but the OIS does add to that. It's not that bad on the HTC One, but is doesn't save a 5MP and 38MP photo evry time you hit the button. And the photos aren't as good as what the Lumia delivers.

If you take a lot of action snapshots (drunk friends, or children, dogs, cats etc - not drunk ones),
something simple and fast like the iPhone 5c/5S or a HTC One can be your better choice.
You can snap away unthinkingly and sort it out later. The Lumias require more 'planning' and perfect timing.

CTPAHHIK  May. 7, 2014 at 17:28

I think Lumia's lag is not due to OIS, but rather to bad implementation. OIS only helps (at least on low end cameras = phone) in low light conditions. Pictures taken without flash in the dark will be greatly improved with OIS. Any lag introduced by IOS will be nothing compared to time it takes for camera to autofocus. Bright day autofocus is instant, in the dark it can take a few seconds. In full auto cameras tend to re-focus for each shot taken, making it impossible taking multiple shots.

JanSt / MOD  May. 7, 2014 at 20:08

Yes, apparently Nokia/MS work on software improvements to get rid of the lag.
Of course it's a combination of factors,, and OIS indeed isn't not a main culprit in the lag issue.
RAM seems to be a biggie, too, and processor optimisation.
The quad-core 1520 is much faster than the Lumia 1020. But then again, the 1520 doesn't have the massive 41MP lens... so a real comparison is difficult.
I disagree somewhat re OIS and "only in low light" relevant. Nah... Low light is where it is most obvious, but it is important and effective in better light, also. Just zoom into a photo to see the difference.

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