How to pan with your camera

Panning your camera to follow moving subjects produces a blurred background, making the action look more dynamic. Taken on a Canon EOS 90D with a Canon EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM lens at 135mm, 1/30 sec, f/8 and ISO100.

When working with slower shutter speeds to create motion blur, camera shake is an ever-present danger, especially with telephoto lenses, resulting in the main subject being blurred as well. Image stabilisation can be a big help. Some Canon IS “Image Stabiliser” lenses have automatic panning detection, which applies correction only in the vertical plane when you’re panning horizontally. 
Other Canon IS lenses have switchable dual-mode image stabilisers, where mode 1 is for static shots and mode 2 is for panning. A few lenses, such as the Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM and EF 70-200mm f/4L IS II USM, even have a third switchable stabilisation mode, which only applies stabilisation during actual exposures. This can make it easier to track erratically moving objects in the viewfinder. 

Canon’s EOS R5 and R6 cameras also feature IBIS (in-body Image Stabilisation). This can work in tandem with the image stabilisers of optically stabilised lenses, for even greater steadying performance.
Read our Panning Tips for our action shots guide for more.

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