Camera Lens Essential IV [Sony]

Passion Project Day 8

Camera Lens Essential IV

Today let’s talk about the lens technology of Sony lens family. As I mention in the previous post, although different camera manufacturers have their own lists of technologies with different naming systems, those technologies all fall into a few universal categories: image stabilization, focusing, and optic manufacturing.

Sony’s camera is well-known for its video-recording capability and the three technologies I list below can perfectly explain why.

5-Axis Image Stabilization

The technology is both used on lens and camera body. The mechanism is to vibrate certain optics in lens and image sensor on camera to compensate the movement of our hands. The reason why Sony’s image stabilization is so powerful is that the imaging sensor can be vibrated to compensate movement in 5 directions (horizontal & vertical shake, roll, yaw & pitch). Conventional cameras usually do not feature image sensor stabilization or only feature in 2 directions (horizontal & vertical).

5-Axis Image Stabilization

Therefore, the 5-axis image stabilization allows photographers to capture sports or night photos and video with greater clarity.


Usually, the faster the shutter speed is, the less effect the movement of our hands might create, so the number of shutter speed is used to measure the capability of Image Stabilization.


Sony’s 5-axis image stabilization (on α7 II, α7 RII, α7 SII, α6500) has an equivalent 4.5-step faster shutter speed, a standard only for telephoto lenses. However, Sony makes it possible for all lenses because the technology is built in the camera body.

Sony α7 RIII

The newly announced Sony α7 RIII features an image stabilization with 5.5-step faster shutter speed.

FHB (Focus Hold Button)


Sony’s lens is the very first lens featuring focus hold button. The function of FHB is the same as half-clicking the shutter but it adds an extra button to help photographer capture fast moving objects more easily.

Sony 100-400mm f/4.5-5.6 GM (with FHB on the side)


Circular Aperture

Because the shape of the mechanism of an aperture is round it can create a much smoother blurry effect (the blurry background is round and smooth in shape) than conventional aperture mechanism.

[1] Conventional Aperture [2] Circular Aperture

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