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How do image stabilization features work?
Many camcorders include an image stabilization feature to help compensate for a shakey shooting hand. Better cameras use an optical stabilizer while less expensive cameras use the CCD to accomplish the task.

An optical stabilizer uses a floating lense element that absorbs some of the bumps and shakes during shooting. Because this is done optically, the quality is much better than with other method.

Some cameras use a portion of the CCD to absorb shakes. When in stabilization mode, only the center portion of the CCD is used. The edges provide a buffer zone for the image to shift around in order to record stable video. The downside of this method is it lowers image quality. This is because less of the CCD is being used to record the image.

If youre shopping for a camcorder and think you'll often be shooting hand-held, look for a model with an optical stabilizer. This will help preserve quality while reducing shaky video.

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