Camera Vibration

Posted by Evolve February 02, 2015

Photography Solutions: Dealing with Camera Vibration

These days in order to be competitive in the field of artistic, every day, or journalistic photography, you really have to go where no man has gone before. You need to be able to shoot pictures in a variety situations and from a wide variety of angles, so this means that you can’t worry about things like camera vibration messing up your final shots. Luckily, there are many different ways to solve the problem of a vibrating camera, and there are hundreds of new technological advancements coming out for cameras and photographers every day.

Some cameras will automatically cancel out some minor vibrations, and cameras don’t have to be held nearly as still as they once did when shutter speed was incredibly slow. However, this doesn’t always drown out all vibrations. What if you’re doing a shoot on a racetrack or jet airplane where the noises are so loud that you can literally feel them vibrating in your chest? Or what if you’re shooting from a moving vehicle, which is how many photographers are getting their best and most interesting shots?

In that case, you need a better solution for camera vibration: Sorbothane. This material is a visco-elastic material, which means that it has properties of both a liquid and a solid. You don’t have to be a physicist to understand what this can do for your photography, so just hang in there for the explanation.

Basically, a vibration is a transference of energy, and vibration can occur because of a number of factors, including things like friction and noise. When energy from a vibration reaches your camera, it makes your camera move back and forth. Besides ruining your shot, extended exposure to vibration can actually make your camera wear down faster, since it can cause the delicate parts inside your camera to rub against one another or even to work themselves loose.

So, how does Sorbothane fix this energy problem? Basically, the visco – or liquid-like – properties of the substance make it absorb energy like water does. If you put a vibrating toothbrush in water, you won’t hear the noise from the toothbrush anymore because the water will be absorbing all that energy. The elastic – or solid-like – properties of Sorbothane actually store energy. When you pull on a piece of elastic, it is actually storing all that energy, which it will use to bounce back when you release it. Sorbothane is similar, but it absorbs vibration energy only to release it later as heat energy, so instead of vibration, your camera will only have to deal with tiny amounts of heat that are released gradually.

In order to use Sorbothane, photographers normally mount their cameras to Sorbothane-padded tripods or mounts. As vibrations hit the mount for the camera, the Sorbothane absorbs some of the energy and transfers some of it to heat, so your camera doesn’t actually move around as much. This will save your shots in even the worst of conditions, and it will also protect your camera from the wear and tear vibration can cause.

Interested in learning more about Sorbothane's solutions? Download our Standard Products Guide today.