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SteadyLens. Smooth out your iPad 2 video footage in realtime

The iPad 2 includes an HD video camera that is capable of capturing quality footage given enough light and consideration to the limitations of its tiny lens and sensor combination. Though the weight of the iPad 2 helps to eliminate some camera shake, the footage, especially when filming on the move, is not ideal. Camera shake is present as is frame warping caused by the rolling shutter.

The first realtime solution

SteadyLens is camera app that removes 85% of camera shake and all frame warping. Though it can correct frame warping in any situation it will only eliminate camera shake in daylight or a brightly lit room.

It our tests SteadyLens did exactly as the developers claimed and improved the quality of certain types of footage no end. As our sample video shows SteadyLens is especially adept at removing excessive movement from footage shot when walking. As with any stabilisation algorithm some of the frame is lost due to cropping - SteadyLens footage is reduced to 1024 pixels wide as opposed to the native 1280 pixels. It's not a massive issue, but it means that you would not want to shoot all your footage with SteadyLens, just the kind of footage that is likely to need stabilising.

The developer has promised plenty of optimisations and general improvements in the near future. We are not sure if it's even possible, but we would love to see the option to post process existing footage. Also, having the option to move the record button to a more natural location would be very handy.

How does it compare to iMovie's own stabilisation feature?

A MacBook Pro with two 3GHz cores took over 5 minutes to stabilise the same footage and the results are extremely poor when compared to what is possible in realtime using SteadyLens. Whatever magic the developers are putting into SteadyLens we certainly hope that Apple can find some of it (or license it!) for a future iPad 2 software update. In the meantime you have absolutely nothing to lose by giving SteadyLens a go. It's a universal app so it will run on an iPhone or iPod touch, but it produces significantly better results when running on the iPad 2.

App Store Link: SteadyLens

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Reader Comments (1)

That video says it all. As a geocacher, I take video on the go ALOT. Now, I don't always take video in ideal conditions (daylight and brightly lit conditions) but when I do, this would be great. We do like to show off our extreme caching skills and this would be fun to use.

April 29, 2011 | Unregistered CommenteriPad Cases

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