Entries in SteadyLens (3)

SteadyLens becomes Luma - Goes Free and Adds New Features

We liked the video stabilisation app SteadyLens a lot when it was released, if you haven't heard of it check out our review and the video demo we made below (comparing it to iMovie 11's stabilisation feature).


Updated Features & Pricing

SteadyLens developers midnox have just released a new, updated, version of the app and changed its name to Luma.

The name change reflects the new features which go beyond just (very good) video stabilisation. The big feature is the price - Luma is now free (dropping the $2.99 / £1.99 in-app upgrade), but we also like the live filters and manual controls.

The price drop alone means we recommend you grab the app now and try it out, but here are the rest of the new features that make it one of our highly recommended iPad (and iPhone/iPod Touch) video apps:

- Real time filters
- Pinch to zoom
- Portrait recording
- Stabilized viewfinder
- Lock exposure, focus and white balance

iPhone and iPod touch features:
- Medium quality recording mode

iPad features:
- Full 720p recording

Luma from midnox on Vimeo.

The Latter: A superb short film shot entirely on an iPad 2

Regular readers will remember one of our original posts where we expressed our belief that the iPad 'is a superb computer for consuming content, but we think its most natural vocation is for creating art.' Since then we have had the pleasure of watching in awe as iPad owners across the globe hammer that statement home.

The Latter, a short film shot on an iPad 2 and enhanced using various iPad apps, is a first class example of what can be accomplished given an iPad, a handful of inexpensive apps and a large helping of pure creative talent.

We are hoping to speak to Micah Moss, the creative chap behind The Latter, in due course. Head back here soon for more information on how this beautiful short film was created.

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