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November 20, 2007

This is why electronic image stabilization is not a good choice

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The camera is sitting on a solid surface. The surface is not moving. But watch the background. The camera has electronic image stabilization turned on, and it's getting confused by my bouncing - it thinks that it must be bouncing, so it tries to compensate. Fail.

Posted by at November 20, 2007 1:03 PM | Misc


that's by far your best work, as an actor.

Posted by: Michael at November 25, 2007 9:19 AM

That's hilarious. Somehow I should have thought it to be an obvious yet inevitable consequence, but I didn't. I think there's still hope in improving it, but it would only be for future devices that can integrate electronic gyroscopes, because the example shows relying on the image picture can be bad.

Something that electronic gyroscopes might be able to add to EIS is compensate for roll - something I don't think optical image stabilization can do as easily.

Posted by: JeffDM at December 1, 2007 5:29 PM

Hi, Colin!
I think you're missing the point of image stabilisation. With your setup, you'd usually turn the stabilizer off. The camcorder is fixed, so why use an image stabilizer?
In real life (that is: with your hand shaking) I doubt that the effects you found are relevant.

That said: I'd rather have an optical stabilizer - but for the more obvious reasons (potentially better lowlight performance etc.).

Posted by: Quadruplex at December 14, 2007 8:40 AM

I actually posted the video because I noticed this effect while shooting handheld in the real world. Watching some bikers ride by, the camera would try to pan to follow the bikers, and then snap back to center frame. Very distracting.

Posted by: Colin McFadden at December 14, 2007 10:52 AM

Oh, I see. That does sound critical. I second JeffDM's idea about the gyroscope. However, I'm amazed that any manufacturer can rely on anything else for image stabilizing. My impression is: They (what camcorder is it, anyway? Panasonic?) must have had the idea to save a few cents by using the video processor to do this job.
Good point!

Posted by: Quadruplex at December 14, 2007 11:41 AM

This was a sanyo xacti hd1000. I've got a review coming soon.

Posted by: Colin McFadden at December 14, 2007 11:45 AM

Aha - one of those Wannabe camcorders. Not that I could supply any hard facts - but since electronic image stabilisation has been around in camcorders (And I mean camcorders!) for some years, I'd be truly amazed if Panasonic, Sony and the like could offer nothing better than this.
Again: I, too, would prefer optic stabilizers, if available. But this problem appears to be a specific flaw of said Sanyo model, not electronic stabilizers in general.
For your review of this camcorder: Try to play back or (very daring!) edit the clips with the software player/editing software of your choice :-(

Posted by: Quadruplex at December 14, 2007 12:46 PM

Great. I've got an HD1000, too. I noticed the snapping, too. Very disappointing as I largely take sports shots and the camera I was coming from had superb image stabilization.

Posted by: sonicwind at January 8, 2008 8:22 PM

Did you have face tracking turned on or off?

Posted by: SteveNune at January 14, 2008 10:08 PM

I use face tracking and film breasts, it tracks it perfectly, every bounce and wiggle, none of that background jumping.

Posted by: SteveNune at January 14, 2008 10:11 PM