CNET GLOSSARY: Terms for the techie
image stabilization (optical, electronic)
A mechanism used in analog and digital video cameras to reduce or eliminate the effects of camera shake. Optical, or hardware, image stabilization produces the best results, and consists of either a gyro mechanism that detects small movements of the lens and compensates for them or, for digital camcorders, a liquid- or gel-based prism mounted in front of the lens that bends the light so that the image falls on a fixed point on the CCD. Electronic, or software, image stabilization is less expensive but is available on digital camcorders only and is considered to be less effective. This method takes the full image, pans and scans to blunt movement, and crops the outer portion of the frame to reduce the sense of motion. Both optical and electronic image stabilization can be found on some high-end still cameras as well.
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