Most people tend to think of image stabilization as being mainly for telephoto lenses. While it's true that their longer focal lengths tend to magnify the effects of camera shake, image stabilization can provde a very useful assist at wider angle focal lengths as well; anyone who's ever tried to blur the image of a waterfall, while keeping the surrounding landsape tack-sharp knows exactly what I'm talking about.

As you would expect with the one-over-focal-length rule of thumb, shots at 1/30s without IS enabled are consistently sharp, and anything shot slower than that exhibits some level of blurriness. With IE enabled, Rob was able to get sharp images at speeds as slow as 1/2s (around half the time), and almost consistently sharp at 1/4s. This represents around 3 1/2 stops of hand-holding improvement.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

IS systems tend to provide more benefit to less-stable shooters than very steady ones, so most users will see the same or greater amounts of shake reduction as we measured here. You can read more about our IS test methodology here: SLRgear IS Test Methodology, v2.