By site editor Dan Chung:
SteadXP, the hardware and software based video stabilisation solution we previously tested on Newsshooter, is now fully funded on Kickstarter. The system designed for video cameras and GoPro records information about the camera’s motion and uses it to assist dedicated software to create a stabilised image. You can see my earlier tests with a beta of the system here.
Now in the last few days of their campaign the creators have laid out a stretch goal that would enable the construction of a HDMI version, The standard camera top version requires a composite input which can come from a video camera or a convertor box. A HDMI version would be the simplest setup for most DSLR and camcorder users, as the camera output could be fed directly into it without the need for intermediate boxes. Backers who have already opted for the original version will be given the chance to switch to the HDMI version at special reward pricing. If the 450,000 Euro goal is reached a SteadXP HDMI will cost 230 Euro as an early bird offer, 260 Euro as a regular reward and 410 Euro for both the Stead XP and SteadXP HDMI units.
To reassure backers of the system’s usefulness in real world shooting situations, SteadXP’s creators have also posted a series of videos showing different aspects of its use. The first is a typical handheld documentary type situation where a subject is followed with a Panasonic GH4 and 14mm lens (near 35mm equivalent in full-frame). You can see how the system has cropped in around 25% to achieve a stable result:
Next they demonstrate how SteadXP works with longer lenses. They don’t recommend lenses longer than 70mm when shooting handheld. Anything longer won’t yield a usable result. The video below is shot with both 50mm and 70mm focal lengths. It was done on a 5D mkII in 1080P HD and a 18% was needed to create the result you see. In the software there is a horizon lock feature which was enabled along with high smoothing. The result is pretty impressive although you can see the resolution loss that the system introduces. Personally I would use it exclusively with 4K cameras if possible:
Lastly they have shown new black versions of both the regular and GoPro SteadXP boxes. These are much more understated than the original bright blue model that I tested.
For more info and to back the campaign check out the SteadXP website. Please be aware that, like all Kickstarter projects, a fully funded campaign does not guarantee that the product can be successfully made. Having tried the beta unit myself though, I have a lot more confidence in the SteadXP team’s ability to deliver than most other Kickstarters.