Sony A100 Digital Camera Anti-Shake Test

We test the anti-shake facility of the A100.
It is actually harder than you might think to test anti-shake technology in a digital camera. If you want to do so across a wide range of shutter speeds you have to get the light just right so you have the range you want. Since I shoot mainly in natural light this meant trying at many times until I got the lighting right. The other issue with testing is that sometimes you shake more than others, so you can get an abnormally bad test one time, a great test another and something inbetween much of the time.

Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test

So what we are shoing below is one test, but one that is pretty representative of many tests we did. For this particular test we were shooting a close subject at a focal length of 28mm, which is the equivalent of 42mm in 35mm terms. We shot from 1/60 second to 1/4 second both with and without the anti-shake technology turned on. The resulting images are 100% crops from roughly the center of the image. In the pairings below, the one with anti-shake off comes first, then the one with it turned on. These are RAW, unsharpened, unadjusted images.

1/60sec
Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
Off

Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
On

1/30 sec
Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
Off

Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
On

1/15 sec
Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
Off

Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
On

1/8 sec
Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
Off

Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
On

1/4 sec

Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
Off

Sony A100 digital camera anti-shake test
On

What I found in testing is thatthe anti-shake technology gave me a much higher chance of getting a sharp image at 2-stops, and sometimes 3-stops, lower shutter speeds than I could get without it. However, when shooting down at or near the edge of handholdable shutter speeds, much experience with the camera showed that you still need to do two key things:

  1. Take multiple shots, as we are increasing the probability of a good shot, not the certainty
  2. Continue to follow good camera holding practice.

So this is a great technology and it means you have it on every lens. It does not mean you can handhold at amazingly low shutter speeds and get sharp images all the time, but it does massively improve the likelihood of a sharp image 2 to 3 stops lower than normal. Great technology.

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