Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 G SAL-70200G

Lens Reviews / Sony Lenses i Lab tested

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.

We tested the A55 with the Sony 70-200mm f/2.8 lens on it, to give a good basis of comparison with the other systems we've looked at recently. At 70mm, the stabilization system gives maybe two and a half stops of improvement:

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

At 200mm, it's not quite as efficient, offering perhaps a stop to stop-and-a-half of stabilization. Not nearly up to the performance of the best lens-based systems, but a very worthwhile improvement; when combined with the A55's unique multi-shot image-stacking capability, it's a great solution for low-light handheld photography.

Mouse over this chart to show results with IS activated.

Image Stabilization 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 than we measured here. You can read more about our IS test methodology here: SLRgear IS Test Methodology, v2.