SteadXP: Advanced metadata-based video stablisation for any camera

Written by Simon Wyndham

SteadXP / RedShark NewsSteadXP video stabilisation system

Here we introduce SteadXP, a potentially revolutionary camera stabilisation system that records metadata during shooting to accurately steady your video in post. And the best part: it can be used on any camera!

As any good camera man or woman will tell you, one of the keys to good video is a steady shot, be it supported by a tripod or by a device that can smooth out camera shake and wobble, such as a Steadicam.

For a good number of years now, even going right back to the days of Hi-8, manufacturers have often incorporated in camera stabilisation into some product lines. These systems have become better and better, culminating in Sony's excellent optical/digital stabilisation combo in some of its consumer cameras.

Incorporating stabilisation into a lens does make things more pricey. Ask anyone who has had to decide whether to get the IS or non-IS version of Canon's legendary 70-200 f/2.8 lens!

Cameras such as the GoPro and other action cameras do not have any form of stabilisation. Only Sony's line of action cameras contains some form of digital stabilisation. If you own a GoPro, the only way to stabilise the shot is to use hardware at the time of shooting, or attempt to stabilise in post, something that is a bit of a hit-or-miss affair.

Better stabilisation...through metadata?

Now though, an interesting new development comes courtesy of entrepreneur Emmanuel Pampuri, who was approached by the inventor of a new stablisation system to help him launch it onto the market. Imagine if you could clip a box onto the back of your camera and record stabilisation data with any of your devices? Well, this is exactly what the system that Emmanuel is promoting has done.

Called the SteadXP, this device clamps onto the back of cameras like the GoPro and records stabilisation metadata by using gyros, accelerometers, and GPS. This metadata is then synced up with the video using the SteadXP software, which then stabilises your footage.

Better stabilisation...through algorithms?

It would be easy to think that the software performs a simple reframing of your shots. However, this could not be further from the truth. Using complex algorithms, the software calculates the creation of frames using data from previous and following frames. In effect, you are gaining entirely new frames with minimal loss of resolution and even the elimination of blur due to camera shake, similar to the experimental Microsoft-based hyperlapse software RedShark featured not so very long ago.

The SteadXP project is currently still in development and will soon be opening up for crowdfunding. However, to whet your appetite and to show just how effective this device is, check out the promotional video below and visit SteadXP website at http://steadxp.com/!

Tags: Production

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