I probably saw the same video samples you saw too. The way I use the camcorder is I have it on one hand and walk around enjoying the moment. Im not trying hard to keep it steady, but trying. My current camera is the HX9V and my previous camcorder is HDR-CX350V. Both have active steady shot and was pretty good, I just had problems with "duck waddle" and other what seems to be sharp moves. Granted, Im not trying super hard to keep it steady, im just walking around normal, the Balanced Optical Steady Shot DOES improve a little, but the "waddle" and sharp moves are still there. I just dont think its worth haveing to spending a minimum of $1300 for the lowest end model to get the optical steady shot model.