Should you disable Image Stabilization when using a tripod?

If your camera is mounted on a tripod, should you disable the camera’s image stabilization? These findings may surprise you.

It may seem rather archaic and quaint considering how much camera technology has evolved in recent times, but I used to be proud of how much I can still hold a camera. One method I always use is to inhale slowly and deeply, then exhale slowly and deeply, then press the shutter button to pause the breath after exhaling. I also have all the positions where I will place my knees and elbows to ensure that I have multiple points of contact with a surface, be it the ground or a wall. But now with the development of image stabilization (in your camera or lens), those techniques have become unnecessary. That said, if you’re using a tripod, should you really use image stabilization?

And that brings us to this amazing video by Robin Wong in which he tackles that problem. He points out that it’s always been assumed that the best practice is to turn off image stabilization when using a tripod, but now he’s not so sure. To find out, he takes you on a night out in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia and does some long exposure photography with image stabilization and then repeats the process with image stabilization off. I have to be honest that sometimes I forgot to turn off the image stabilization on Canon EOS R5, but never really noticed any discernible difference. What do you think the results will be with Robin Wong’s tests? What is your previous experience? Let me know your thoughts below.

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