What is the difference between the Normal and Active VR modes?

Normal mode
This mode on VR lenses reduces camera shake. The lens will automatically detect if you pan the camera horizontally and only vibration in the vertical axis is reduced.

Active mode
This mode should be used when taking images from a moving vehicle or vessel. The frequency of camera shake experienced during handheld shooting is different from that encountered when trying to shoot from a moving vehicle or vessel. The VR active function is designed to be able to compensate for severe vibrations encountered when you're in a car, boat, on a train or airplane, and even aboard a helicopter. The active mode does not automatically distinguish panning from camera shake unlike normal mode. If you wish to pan it is recommended you use normal mode.

Recommended conditions for using Normal or Active modes
Shooting conditions
Handheld shooting where the footing and posture are stable=r
Handheld shooting in unstable conditionsr=
Shooting on monopod *1=r
Shooting on tripod *2 *3xx
Shooting from a moving vehiclex=
rusable but problems may occur
xNot recommended

*1 Nikon recommends turning it on when using a monopod or when using a tripod on which the panhead is not locked.
*2 AF-S VR 200-400, AF-S VR 200 and AF-S VR 300 only, VR can be turned on. The lens can automatically detect when it is mounted on a tripod and reduce camera shake accordingly.
*3 AF-S VR 400, AF-S VR 500 and AF-S VR 600 only, the lens should be set to tripod mode when mounted on a tripod. VR operation will occur at a reduced amount.

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