How to Use an Image Stabilizer Lens on a Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D - dummies

How to Use an Image Stabilizer Lens on a Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D

By Julie Adair King, Robert Correll

The 18–55mm lens sold with the Canon EOS Rebel T3/1100D camera offers image stabilization. On Canon lenses, this feature is indicated by the initials IS in the lens name.

Image stabilization attempts to compensate for small amounts of camera shake that are common when photographers handhold their cameras and use a slow shutter speed, a lens with a long focal length, or both. Camera shake is a problem because it can result in blurry images, even when your focus is dead-on. Although image stabilization can’t work miracles, it does enable most people to capture sharper handheld shots in many situations that they otherwise couldn’t.

When you use a tripod, image stabilization can have detrimental effects because the system may try to adjust for movement that isn’t actually occurring. Although this problem shouldn’t be an issue with most Canon IS lenses, if you do see blurry images while using a tripod, try setting the Stabilizer switch (shown in the following figure) to Off. You also can save battery power by turning off image stabilization when you use a tripod. If you use a monopod, leave image stabilization turned on so that it can help compensate for any accidental movement of the monopod.


If you use a non-Canon lens, the image stabilization feature may go by another name: anti-shake, vibration compensation, and so on. In some cases, the manufacturers may recommend that you leave the system turned on or select a special setting when you use a tripod, so be sure to check the lens manual for information.

Whatever type of lens you use, image stabilization isn’t meant to eliminate the blur that can occur when your subject moves during the exposure. That problem is related to shutter speed.