One Banana

What’s Canon has to do with bananas? Actually a lot, and not just Canon but also Nikon, Pentax, Sony….

Many of the current zoom lenses have some kind of image stabilization. Each manufacturer has their own name:

  • Canon: IS: Image Stabilization / lenses
  • Nikon: VR: Vibration Reduction / lenses
  • Sony: IS: Image Stabilization / body
  • Pentax: SR: Shake Reduction / body
  • Olympus: IS: Image Stabilization / body
  • Sigma: OS: Optical Stabilization / lenses

The problem is that the stabilization is not instant. It takes time to engage, then time to analyze the shake/movement and then time to counter the shake/movement. Usually it takes:

One Banana

Actually it’s not a physical banana, but saying the words: One Banana.


Some of the higher end newer professional lenses from Canon and Nikon take 2 bananas. The IS engages and provides a level within one banana, but if it stays engaged for 2 bananas, you can often get the full 4 stop as advertised.

IBIS: In Body Image Stabilization

Almost all mirrorless cameras now use IBIS. IBIS is usually slightly faster because of the weight and size of the sensor is smaller and lighter than the optical element in the lens. But to get the full benefit from the IBIS, it still takes 2 seconds, aka 2 bananas.