Need help finding the best image stabilization - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 10 Old 02-14-2011, 04:59 AM - Thread Starter
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Hi, I would like to buy a camcorder with the best image stabilization possible. Also HD is a requirement. Was looking into Sony CX 550 and Panasonic TM 700. I was looking at some videos on youtube. I must say both deliver a pretty unshaken image but the sony seems to also compensate for some small rotating movements of the camera. This observation might be subjective and i figured it out by simply not seeing that small rotate efect in sony vindeos which is pretty obvious in the panasonic movies. That might also be a setting .. I don't know because I don't own a camcorder. Was also looking at a camera panasonic gh2 but the videos seem pretty shaky (might it be that it does not have such good image stabilization or was something made wrong on the user side ?). The budget is around 1000-1500 usd.
Thx.
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post #2 of 10 Old 02-14-2011, 05:46 PM
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Welcome to AVS. Your looking at the right cams for best/superior stabilization. What your seeing in the Sony is called "3-Way Shake-Canceling", and you have a good eye. They both have very good OIS, but the Sony's is a little better imo.

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post #3 of 10 Old 02-14-2011, 05:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tingham View Post

Welcome to AVS. Your looking at the right cams for best/superior stabilization. What your seeing in the Sony is called "3-Way Shake-Canceling", and you have a good eye. They both have very good OIS, but the Sony's is a little better imo.

THe new panasonic line up will offer a very similar feature right?
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post #4 of 10 Old 02-14-2011, 06:08 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by workinghard View Post

THe new panasonic line up will offer a very similar feature right?

I don't know. Panasonic has some kind if new stabilization in it's new cams that are coming out in April (Hybrid w/active mode), but I don't recall seeing them state that it has electronic roll stability like the Sony's. I know the Sony's have the Active mode, along with roll stability.

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post #5 of 10 Old 02-15-2011, 05:33 AM
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All I know is I can practically run holding my camera as still as I can holding my cx550 and you can barely tell watching the video, can't get any better than that. You do need to be zoomed out all the way though for it to work the best.
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post #6 of 10 Old 02-15-2011, 06:36 AM
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None of which really matters on a tripod. Just saying...

My FH1 has pretty horrid stabilization. Depending on usage. But even on a tripod, if you've got your hand on the tilt arm, the shakes and stuff can translate across that and affect your image quality. Even the boom boom of the club can translate through the floor to the camcorder. Granted that my tripod is probably lighter than the camcorder. Which is pretty light. On a monopod with a spider brace to it, I can move about and not get too hideous in the process. The shakes can be anything, age, nerves, nervous wreck after driving through stressful conditions for hourS to get to the shoot location, fatigue, .... It doesn't take much to challenge even the best of internally stabilized camcorders.

IMO a good stabilization rig, even DIY wise can be a better bang for your buck than that $500 extra in internal camcorder stabilization. But mainly because you can't take that with you to your next camcorder. As I look at possibly making one of these type of rigs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZtlSVgG1h8

1:40 into it is the version of interest. Functionally about the same as I currently have / use. Without the bulk of what I currently have. And some option to accessorize / pimp out, your camcorder. At a minimum, having a straight rail to use as a sort of gun sight to see what you're pointed at while fully zoomed in is a sanity saver. Versus having to fully zoom out, figure out which blade of grass is host to your lady bug friend and zooming in without loosing her. While still having the mobility to follow her when she flies away. For those of us without view finders or who increasingly find our camcorders further and further from us, but still need to see the LCD.
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post #7 of 10 Old 02-15-2011, 05:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Shadow_7 View Post

None of which really matters on a tripod. Just saying...

My FH1 has pretty horrid stabilization. Depending on usage. But even on a tripod, if you've got your hand on the tilt arm, the shakes and stuff can translate across that and affect your image quality. Even the boom boom of the club can translate through the floor to the camcorder. Granted that my tripod is probably lighter than the camcorder. Which is pretty light. On a monopod with a spider brace to it, I can move about and not get too hideous in the process. The shakes can be anything, age, nerves, nervous wreck after driving through stressful conditions for hourS to get to the shoot location, fatigue, .... It doesn't take much to challenge even the best of internally stabilized camcorders.

IMO a good stabilization rig, even DIY wise can be a better bang for your buck than that $500 extra in internal camcorder stabilization. But mainly because you can't take that with you to your next camcorder. As I look at possibly making one of these type of rigs.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qZtlSVgG1h8

1:40 into it is the version of interest. Functionally about the same as I currently have / use. Without the bulk of what I currently have. And some option to accessorize / pimp out, your camcorder. At a minimum, having a straight rail to use as a sort of gun sight to see what you're pointed at while fully zoomed in is a sanity saver. Versus having to fully zoom out, figure out which blade of grass is host to your lady bug friend and zooming in without loosing her. While still having the mobility to follow her when she flies away. For those of us without view finders or who increasingly find our camcorders further and further from us, but still need to see the LCD.


That is a great idea, I have all kinds of trouble using just the Camcorder itself as a grip. This looks like something I could really use. It's also good for lifting the mic with the dead kitten out of the wide angle frame, plus you can break it down for traveling.
I've seen a lot of steadicam mounts but this is the frst one I've seen that looks really practical and is cheap and easy to make. Most of the ones I've seen aren't all that good.
Thanks for the link!
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post #8 of 10 Old 02-16-2011, 01:17 AM - Thread Starter
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Thx for the info ... the stabilization rig is really an interesting ideea. Was looking around on the net and found this hxxp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W8c6C20bqM&NR=1&feature=fvwp . It will create a counterweight under the point where you hold the camera which will opose to any sudden movement that you apply on the camera. However this stabilizer will definitely limit your access to camera buttons while you are recording and if you try to access some controls it might be visible in the image because the camera seems to be kinda floating. About the camera I am thinking of waiting for the new cx 700 and tm 900. There might be an improvement there and it should be out in march.
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post #9 of 10 Old 02-16-2011, 05:05 AM
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Stabilization is more than just what's inside the camcorder. Ever see some helicopter footage of these cheap consumer cams? Even the ones with good stabilization. Or the more common use of strapping them to race cars and other vehicles. Jello never looked so jello-eee.

A little bit of rigging can go a long way. Although a good lens can help. Help your camera out whenever possible. It can give quite miraculous results that way in terms of bitrates, compression, and even auto focus. Purely handheld with just a person and a camcorder is like the worst case scenario for a lot of camcorders. Even a good one.
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post #10 of 10 Old 02-16-2011, 05:38 AM
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http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0W8c6C20bqM&NR

Those are of the steadicam variety. The Merlin is supposed to be the better of the bunch. Pros and Cons. Can be quite expensive for the amount of use you'll actually get out of them. Can be difficult to balance just right, if you ever can. DSLRs that have an uncentered mass are especially troublesome. Or if you put a lens on your camcorder. Or swap between a big after market battery and the smaller one that came with the camcorder. But it does maintain an orientation to the horizontal plane without having to gauge it by what you see on the LCD. With some disability if you need to be looking up or down while maintaining that plane. Or move fast.

The one I posted earlier will run you < $20. Assuming that you have access to a hardware store and some tools to do the work. Some people favor the pistol grip camcorders because they basically give you most of what you'd get out of that particular steadicam. At least in terms of comfort factor. You can accomplish similar results by flying a tripod from it's carry handle. Or other cheaper and lighter rigs like a spider brace. There's still a bit of skill and practice involved to get the most out of any of them.

http://spiderbrace.com/

The spider brace 2 with the combo bar is what I currently have. I ace bandage the combo bar to a monopod. With the camcorder actually on the monopod. I tried it the other way and the horizontal plane does not maintain since the bandage can shift, but the weight of the monopod rules the roost. Not quite a running rig, but you can move about freely without the limitations of a tripod. And for certain venues, like stadium bench seating a lot more neighbor friendly. Plus you can fly it like a flag pole to get a different perspective and the shoulder arm of the spider brace gives you a clue to what it's actually pointed at, since it gets hard to see a 3" LCD from a yard or more away. Still not ideal and strong winds can push you around and the rig too. Less so if you have a brick wall to lean on and other tricks. But still difficult in extreme conditions. As would be pretty much any of the rigs. As it's not just weight balancing, but also wind profile. For those of us who live in windy areas.
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