Image Stabilization CIPA Rating
The CIPA (Camera & Imaging Products Association) rating for image stabilization is a standard that measures the effectiveness of a camera's stabilization feature. It is expressed in 'stops,' which are used to describe the camera's ability to prevent motion blur during handheld shooting. Each stop of stabilization means you can use a shutter speed that is twice as long as you could without stabilization.
The CIPA standard was established to give photographers a consistent way to compare stabilization capabilities across different cameras and lenses. Introduced in the mid-2000s, it has become a crucial benchmark for photographers when assessing equipment.
For example, a stabilization rating of 4.5 stops means that you can shoot with a shutter speed 22.6 times slower than without stabilization. So, instead of needing a shutter speed of 1/500th of a second to avoid blur, you could potentially use a shutter speed as slow as about 1/20th of a second. A rating of 6 stops would allow you to go even slower, down to about 1/8th of a second.
Keep in mind that these figures are based on ideal conditions and the steadiness of the photographer's hand. Various factors, including lens focal length and subject motion, can affect the actual performance of the image stabilization.