Demo of in-camera 3D Image Stabilization

3D Image stabilization.

When using two cameras, we normally turn video image stabilization off to avoid having the individual cameras do their “own thing” with stabilization. However, I shot a test clip using “dynamic” image stabilization on both of my Canon Vixia HF M301 video cameras and the results were quite good.

Just don’t do any rapid or jerky camera movements or things really well go haywire. But for basic handheld shots or this walking shot, it works okay!

I just set up a new Youtube channel at and am thinking about putting most of my 3D stuff there.

3D Video image stabilization

When shooting 3D video using two cameras, we turn off all in camera stabilization features. This makes hand held video look shaky, unfortunately, as all the little hand movements remain in the original clips. Consequently, we have to shoot most 3D on a tripod.

I just did a test, though, using my Canon Vixia HF M301 video cameras. I use two of them to shoot stereoscopic 3D. The HF M301 has three stabilization options: off, standard and dynamic. For my tests, I shot a scene using standard stabilization and another scene using dynamic. Then I paired the left and right tracks in Magix Movie Edit, output to a WMV 3D anaglyph file and watched the test video.

For general hand held shots without rapid camera movements, the in camera stabilization tracked well between both cameras. However, rapid camera movements caused different stabilization effects in each camera and the 3D goes bonkers as one goes left and the other goes right!

Bottom line: for simple handheld shots without a lot of movement, the in camera stabilization works okay and eliminates the handheld jerkiness.

Ideally, it would be nice if we could stabilize the 3D images after editing but there is not an easy way to do that.

Most video editing software today has image stabilization capabilities. Image stabilization analyzes the video for jerky movements and then corrects by shifting the video around to minimize the jerky movements. Since this tends to leave black bars at the top, bottom or sides, the video is also enlarged slightly to fill in the black bars left by shifting the video.

When it comes to 3D video, there does not seem to be a great solution. Sony Movie Edit Platinum 11 disables the stabilization feature on paired 3D clips. Magix Movie Edit Pro MX Plus can stabilize individual clips before pairing – but there is not a good way to match the stabilization between the left and right tracks. You can stabilize one, copy the effects track and paste it to the 2nd track, but this has not produced the expected result of matching stabilization.

I suppose we could created our 3D track, output to a video file, import that file as a single clip that may as well be 2D as far as the editor is concerned, and then apply stabilization. Not sure I want to go through two more transcodes though!

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Some 3D photos (red/cyan glasses needed for viewing)

I shoot 3D video and this is a still frame from a 3D video I shot last night at the Arlington Fly-In and Airshow. You’ll need red/cyan glasses to view this in 3D.

This is called – surprise – a “hot air balloon glow” when the burners illuminate the balloons at night. The balloons remained tethered for this night time event.

Video taken with dual Lumix GH-2 DSLR cameras at ISO 2500, 1/30th of a second, aperture setting controlled by camera (likely full open). Video streams combined in Magix Movie Edit Pro into 3D anaglyph format and output to jpeg still format in red/cyan anaglyph (false colors). Obviously, looks better before the jpeg compression 🙂

The dual Lumix GH-2 cameras have an interaxial lens spacing of 5 1/2 inches. This tends to slightly over emphasize the depth effect, however the GH-2s do better in very low light than my alternative set up, dual Canon consumer HF M301 camcorders.


This 3D image was taken from HD video shot on dual Canon Vixia HF M301 cameras with 2 3/4″ interaxial lens spacing. I think I prefer the results I get with the closer lens spacing.

Guide to 3D and Drones