What is the difference between optical and digital image stabilization?

Most of the new flagship phones are very similar in terms of hardware, and that's why companies focus a lot on software and cameras to differentiate their phones. they do. In the meantime, some companies use optical stabilizer, digital stabilizer, sensor stabilizer, and internal gimbal-based stabilizer system for the phone camera, each of which has differences in terms of manufacturing cost and the facilities they offer. In this article, we briefly and usefully discuss the differences between the two main types of stabilizers, i.e. optical and digital stabilizers.

BingMag.com What is the difference between optical and digital image stabilization?

Most of the new flagship phones are very similar in terms of hardware, and that's why companies focus a lot on software and cameras to differentiate their phones. they do. In the meantime, some companies use optical stabilizer, digital stabilizer, sensor stabilizer, and internal gimbal-based stabilizer system for the phone camera, each of which has differences in terms of manufacturing cost and the facilities they offer. In this article, we briefly and usefully discuss the differences between the two main types of stabilizers, i.e. optical and digital stabilizers.

Why does the phone camera need a stabilizer?

When the camera shutter opens to capture a photo, even a slight hand shake can result in a blurry photo. When you are shooting in a bright environment, you usually don't face such a problem. But in low-light environments, the camera shutter must remain open for a longer time, and as a result, the sensor becomes more sensitive to vibration. Although you can use a tripod in some cases, it is naturally not possible to use a tripod in all situations. In such cases, the importance of the anti-vibration system increases.

In this field, different technologies are used, which naturally do not all have the same ability. Optical stabilizer systems use hardware components for this purpose, but software systems try to reduce hand vibration by using different algorithms. In recent years, software systems related to hand shake reduction have been significantly improved, but still do not reach the level of hardware examples.

Optical Vibrator

BingMag.com What is the difference between optical and digital image stabilization?

Cameras based on optical image stabilization use a gyroscope and small motors to move the lens or sensor. The lens of the desired camera is installed so that it can move along the axes. Inexpensive stabilizers only move the lens in two axes, right and left or up and down. But most flagships have a main camera based on 4-axis image stabilization.

Thanks to these systems, if your hand shakes and moves to the right during photography, the image stabilization system will move the camera slightly to the left. Optical stabilizer is a full hardware solution and does not use software for this purpose. But on the other hand, the videos that are stabilized using the digital stabilizer look somewhat artificial and a state known as jelly effect is created.

In the field of optical stabilizer, companies also use some more advanced technologies. they do. For example, the iPhone 12 Pro Max and all iPhone 13 models use a vibration stabilizer based on changing the position of the sensor, which, in order to achieve a better result, this sensor moves the sensor itself instead of changing the lens. Conventional optical image stabilization can move the lens up to 1,000 times per second, but the sensor repositioning system can move the sensor 5,000 times per second. Although the sensor-based system provides better performance, this performance improvement is not so revolutionary and surprising.

Digital Vibrator

BingMag.com What is the difference between optical and digital image stabilization?

In this system, the phone camera tries to simulate the effect of optical stabilization without using a hardware solution. To do this, the phone uses an accelerometer to align each frame with the previous frame.

In this method, the camera zooms in on images and then moves the frame slightly if it detects hand shake. It reduces the effect of hand tremors. Considering that in this technology we are dealing with zoom and frame change, in the end the videos based on this method will probably be of lower quality. Digital stabilizer is mostly used for video recording, and most low-end phones also use this feature. But in the end, as we said, it doesn't have much to say.

Optical vibrator against digital; Costs and features

BingMag.com What is the difference between optical and digital image stabilization?

Digital stabilization system to no parts It does not require any special hardware and therefore using this method does not cost the manufacturer. That's why most low-end and mid-range phones use this method. Considering that this method is entirely software, its quality depends on the power of the chipset of the phone in question and the optimality of the algorithms.

On the other hand, fortunately, more and more phones are benefiting from the optical stabilization system. Of course, the hardware parts related to this system increase the cost of making phones, and that's why some companies don't go under the burden of using this feature to increase profits. Telephoto cameras also use optical stabilization they do. In the meantime, we should mention the Vivo company, which has used a gimbal-based stabilizer for some of its flagships. This system is considered much more complicated and expensive than other conventional systems, but instead it appears more effective.

These days, many flagship phones use hybrid vibration stabilization, which simply means combining hardware and software methods for It is to reduce camera shake.

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