Super SteadyShot (Sensor-shift Image Stabilization)

The DSLR-A700 features Sony's 'Super SteadyShot' sensor-shift image stabilization system (a development of the 'Anti-Shake' system we first saw on the Konica Minolta 7D). This system works by moving the sensor in the opposite direction to the sensed shake movement of the camera.

The stabilization test

This test is designed to produce a determination of the relative improvement you should expect using the SteadyShot system compared to with it switched off. Twenty hand-held shots are taken of a static scene at reasonable shutter speed (1/80 sec in this case), ten without stabilization, ten with. The shutter speed is then decreased by a stop and twenty more shots taken, this is repeated down to 1/10 sec. The test chart was approximately 1.2 m away from the camera.

The resulting eighty images were then inspected and given a blur score from zero to three where zero represented a very blurred image and three a sharp image with no noticeable blur (see crop examples below). Obviously the amount of blur which is acceptable will depend on your personal taste and the final image size (for instance a '2: Soft' will still look fine as a 4x6 print or in a web gallery). Example crops from these four blur scores can be seen below.

0: Very blurred 1: Blurred
2: Soft 3: Sharp

Hand-held, no stabilization (75 mm equiv. FOV)

The results here show that at 1/80 sec all of our shots were sharp, but this dropped to just six at 1/40 sec and after that only a few 'acceptable but soft'.

Hand-held, with Super SteadyShot (75 mm equiv. FOV)

With 'Super SteadyShot' switched on you can see an immediate improvement. At 1/40 sec we had a total of seven sharp images, at 1/20 sec an impressive four sharp images and six other 'acceptable but soft' and even two sharp images at 1/10 sec. Overall a good performance.