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Canon announces Hybrid Image Stabilizer
by Andy Stanton -  7/23/2009

In a July 22, 2009, press release, Canon U.S.A. announced the development of its Hybrid Image Stabilizer (IS), the first optical image stabilization technology that compensates for both angle camera shake and shift camera shake. Canon will feature this technology in its interchangeable single lens reflex (SLR) camera lenses planned for release at the end of 2009.

Camera shake occurs when a camera moves while its shutter is open and its image sensor is exposed to light. Several different preventative methods and corrective procedures have been introduced to compensate for errors caused by camera shake. In 1995, Canon introduced the world's first interchangeable SLR camera lens to feature optical image stabilization, a mechanism that compensates for optical camera shake, which is currently found in 21 Canon SLR lenses.

Canon's previous implementation of optical image stabilization works by using a floating lens element that is moved perpendicular to the optical axis of the lens using electromagnets. Vibration is detected using two angular velocity sensors, one to detect horizontal movement and the other to detect vertical movement.

Canon Hybrid Image Stabilizer

Canon's newly developed Hybrid IS technology not only includes an angular velocity sensor that compensates for angle camera shake, as in its previous optical image stabilization lenses, but also includes an acceleration sensor that compensates for shift camera shake. Shift-based shaking occurs when a camera moves parallel to the imaging scene, which is more pronounced in macro photography and other close-range shooting.

Hybrid IS also employs a newly developed algorithm that synthesizes information from the two sensors to make optimal adjustments, thereby dramatically enhancing the effects of image stabilization during shooting, including macro shooting, which had proven difficult for conventional image stabilization technologies.

Canon is actively engaged in ongoing research and development of interchangeable SLR camera lenses incorporating Hybrid IS technology, and is aiming for the early commercialization and inclusion of the lenses in a wide range of products.

Further information about Canon's new Hybrid IS technology is found at Canon's website.