Stabilizing the camera in a smartphone: what is it for and how it works

Smartphones

Modern smartphones have high-quality built-in cameras and allow you to take great photos and videos. Many have heard of such a concept as 'stabilization', but not everyone knows its purpose.

Stabilizing the camera in a smartphone: what is it for and how it works

What stabilization is used for

This option compensates for the negative impact on the smartphone during shooting. That is, it helps to make a clearer and more beautiful frame in moments of shaking, poor lighting, and so on. It is sometimes called the 'invisible tripod'.

Optical stabilization

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It is a hardware-based method for solving image quality problems. To use its capabilities, a special movable mechanism is installed in the smartphone's camera, which moves not the image across the matrix, but the entire matrix. To correct the image, sensors are used that detect oblique displacement and deviation. The information obtained is used to shift the entire module as needed, as well as the image sensor and lens.

This function is of high quality in long exposure and low light conditions. However, it affects the aperture ratio, compensates for only slight shaking and is more expensive.

Digital or electronic stabilization

Stabilizing the camera in a smartphone: what is it for and how it works

Digital is an image processing technology that improves image quality by reducing blurring of details and fully or partially compensating for movement in the frame. The method of work is algorithms that include software processing of the signal coming from the camera sensor.

With electronic stabilization, the required matrix shift is being calculated, and some information is lost along the matrix edges.

Among the disadvantages: 40% of the pixels are allocated for processing and do not participate in the formation of the image, which degrades the quality. However, the main advantage is the low cost.

Mechanical with a movable die

Stabilizing the camera in a smartphone: what is it for and how it works

Here the die is fixed on a movable platform. Compared to optical, it does not change the light transmission, besides, this type is more reliable and cheaper, but it is not suitable for macro photography.

What kind of stabilization is better

First of all, it all depends on the shooting conditions. Each type is good in its own way, and in order to make the right choice, many parameters must be taken into account.

If photos and videos will be filmed at night or on the go, optical is better. Digital shows itself worse when shooting video. Under standard conditions, a mobile phone with mechanical or digital stabilization will suffice.

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