For years, camera manufacturers - and more recently, smartphone makers - focused primarily on improving the quality of video they capture via higher resolution, better color reproduction and higher frame rates. Here lately, they've been turning their attention to another aspect of recording that's gone overlooked for far too long: stabilization.
The problem, if you can call it that, is that many cameras - even ones with excellent image quality - don't have a built-in image stabilization system.
A company by the name of SteadXP has come up with a creative method to add 3-axis stabilization to virtually any camera without the need for mechanical stabilization like gimbals or shoulder rigs.
Its solution, also called SteadXP, uses both hardware and software to eliminate the jitters that can ruin an otherwise great video. A hardware dongle with built-in accelerometer and gyroscope connects directly to your camera and records all of its movements.
Then, upload the video and file from SteadXP to the company's software which will give you different treatments / styles to choose from. Its algorithm automatically builds a new virtual camera trajectory that's free of geometrical distortions, vibrations and even rolling shutter deformations.
As someone that's used image stabilization first-hand for many years on DSLRs and micro four-thirds platforms, I can attest to its benefits as it relates to capturing still images and videos. If SteadXP truly works at seamlessly as we're led to believe (and I have no reason to believe otherwise), this could be a seriously powerful tool for amateur videographers.
There are two hardware versions being offered on Kickstarter. SteadXP@ is designed specifically for GoPro cameras while SteadXP+ works with most DSLR and mirrorless cameras so long as they have an accessible flash mount, a stereo microphone input and a clean video output.
SteadXP is seeking funding on Kickstarter. Having already surpassed its $167,715 goal with 26 days remaining, the project has been given the green light. Because the early bird specials have already been spoken for, you'll need to plunk down €140 (around $157) for a SteadXP@ or €230 ($257) for a SteadXP+.
The company said it expects to ship its first batch to backers in March 2016.