Solutions to video camera shake

morphix

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Oct 24, 2010
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Hi all,

This is a new topic which has arisen out of my previous post Choosing the perfect bike camera. There seems to be a lot of interest and ideas about ways of minimising or eliminating camera shake when filming bike rides with video cameras.

I thought it might be better if we moved this ongoing discussion here to a dedicated thread. Probably should of done it sooner, but nevermind.
 
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DBCohen

Pedelecer
May 2, 2007
155
0
Manchester
Quoted from the other thread:

Thanks for the link and suggestion.. I was reading on the wikipedia page I mentioned earlier about software stablisation and they have a sample before and after video which looks quite impressive, but it doesn't say what software was used. Certainly worth trying those apps you suggested Windows or Mac users, but I'm a Linux user myself.
Don't know Linux that well, but I guess you won't want commercial software!

Try running VirtualDub for Windows under WINE. There is a plugin for VirtualDub called Deshaker that does the same thing as the filters in iMovie and Adobe Premiere.
 

morphix

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Oct 24, 2010
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Quoted from the other thread:



Don't know Linux that well, but I guess you won't want commercial software!

Try running VirtualDub for Windows under WINE. There is a plugin for VirtualDub called Deshaker that does the same thing as the filters in iMovie and Adobe Premiere.
Awesome thanks for that. I will certainly take a look :)
 

morphix

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 24, 2010
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Worcestershire
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Handlebar experiments

I went out this morning with a makeshift handlebar mounting rig and tried out a variety of different techniques with both my Vado HD and my Toshiba Camileo S10.

Here are some photos of the handlebar set up...

From the front:



From the side:



From behind:



Here's what I did.. I used a "handlebar tidier" and put some foam under it which I thought might help insulate against vibration a bit.. I took a tripod
mount from an old tripod I had and clamped it on.

Then as an after thought, I took a Canon camera case I had which had a belt loop on it, and slid it over the other side of the handlebar tidier, and I put foam around the bar. Inside the camera case I put loads of foam at the bottom and sides so the camera fit in there snugly. On the front of the camera case is a little webbed pocket which was just the right size for my Vado so I tried putting that in there, as it was a very tight fit.

I tried filming on a variety of road surfaces, and in different video modes on the Camileo (60 frames per second, 30 frames per second HD with anti-shake). With the Vado, I switched between HD and HD+ modes for comparison, but there's no anti-shake feature on that camera.

There's quite a lot of footage to go through, so I will have to do it later after work and then report back the results.. I'm not expecting it to provide any good film as the whole mount shook like hell once I started moving. :( Disappointing as it seemed very stable before I set off. Even riding on the uneven road the whole thing was visibly moving up and down and the camera case slipped down, as did the tripod mount..I probably should of tightened the tripod mount up more in hindsight, but the weight of the camera (108g) was enough to tip it.

I also tried filming with the Vado in the chest pocket of my high visibility safety jacket which seemed quite stable, but the pocket was a bit big for the camera so keeping the lens above it proved tricky. Anyway be interesting to see how that came out.

While I was riding I paid a lot more attention to the vibration and movement of the bike and noticed that the handlebar and front of the bike seemed most affected. The main down frame on the bike looked rock steady by comparison so I got to thinking perhaps that could be used for mounting...but with it being so low, it might not provide a useful camera angle...

Expect an update and some test video later on...
 
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kitchenman

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 9, 2010
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Aberaeron, West Wales
I got some cable ties and some velcro straps out of the shed and road to work with this on the front today! ...
DSC00101_RESIZED.jpg
Had a quick look and dont think mine is going to be any better!
Good fun though!
 

morphix

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Oct 24, 2010
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I got some cable ties and some velcro straps out of the shed and road to work with this on the front today! ...
View attachment 1956
Had a quick look and dont think mine is going to be any better!
Good fun though!
Woah that's some set up you got!! :D Be interested to see how it turns out.
 

dmcgoldrick

Esteemed Pedelecer
Aug 17, 2010
446
-1
great stuff guys........good to see the british heath robinson approach is alive and kicking.......

hope to see some footage soon.....

regards
 

morphix

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Oct 24, 2010
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Results of this mornings experiments...

Ok had chance to review the footage shot this morning on my makeshift handlebar mounting rig:

Vado HD:

YouTube - Vado HD filming on handlebar

The Vado video was shot from the pocket on the front of the Canon camera case.

Toshiba Camileo S10:

YouTube - Toshiba Camileo filming on makeshift handlebar mount

The Toshiba video was shot from the actual tripod mount, it was screwed down onto it. Image stabilising was enabled on the camera which helped a bit.

As you can see, not good at all. Probably the worse camera shake ever. The tripod mount is vibrating even on a level but gravely road surface..all the vibration is being transferred straight up the handlebar and is shaking that tripod mount..probably doesn't help that my bike has slick tyres and no suspension.

Here is a short bit of film shot with my Vado HD showing how much the makeshift camera mount moves and vibrates.. the foam didn't make any difference:

YouTube - Makeshift handlebar mount for camera

I did think perhaps using springs around the camera might dampen the vibration and absorb some of the movement, but now I don't think a handlebar mount is ever going to work on my bike....

In the next post I will reveal some new techniques used on a second test ride this evening which proved far more successful...
 
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morphix

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Oct 24, 2010
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Round two.. more filming experiments

Second test with Vado HD, this time in chest pocket of high vis jacket:

YouTube - Filming on ebike with Vado HD in jacket pocket

I actually shot this video this morning, it was my first attempt at filming from the chest pocket. The pocket is too big really for the camera and it slumped forward a bit giving a poor viewing angle so all you really see is the handlebar and the road.. but the result surprised me..the camera shake didn't look too bad so this got me thinking wearing the camera might be the way forward..

My solution to the pocket problem was a safety pin:





I was going through some old stuff earlier and discovered an old shoulder holster I have for a handgun (don't ask). As luck would have it, my Toshiba Camileo S10 fits into it perfectly so I decided to give it a try.. I was a bit hesitant wearing a gun holster outside, but I don't think it looked that conspicuous against my dark top..

Well I couldn't not try it could I?!



I found a long isolated road and put it on.. here is the result:

Toshiba Camileo S10 filming on ebike from shoulder holster

Not too bad at all compared to my other videos. OK it's not perfectly smooth but it's a step in right direction. The only problem is, the viewing angle is a bit low and that combined with my habit of leaning forwards when I ride, doesn't make for very interesting viewing..all you see is the pavement or the road a lot of the time. If the camera were a Flip-type camera and higher up on the shoulder (where police wear their radios) that might be ideal. also I think a second strap around the chest or stomach to secure it flat against the body might improve image stability further.

Anyone inspired to have a go at making one?
 
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DBCohen

Pedelecer
May 2, 2007
155
0
Manchester
On the handlebars, every vibration of the wheel, steering and your weight is transmitted to the camera.

The police body-worn cameras being adopted now mount using a gear harness on the front of the shoulder. You might try improvising something like that - but it will HAVE to be tightly stuck to your jacket, rather than using a sling. I suspect you might have to stitch velcro to a vest, and then stick velcro to the back of the camera.
 

morphix

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Oct 24, 2010
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Frame mounting...

After being deterred from handlebar mounting I started thinking earlier about frame mounting possibilities using my makeshift mounting contraption and here is the result...



This is quite a neat way to mount the camera as not only is it very rigid and steady, but the camera can rotate across 180 degrees so you can view from different angles which is perhaps better illustrated with a quick video:

YouTube - My bicycle frame mount contraption for camera

The only draw back is that with the camera being so low, you can't get an unobscured view facing forwards cuz the front wheel is in the way..saying that it's not too bad, here is a quick snippet of video shot from this mounting point:

YouTube - frame mount view

I didn't bother trying it on the road, but might give it a shot next time, if nothing else, just to see how steady frame mounting is... It's a pity my bike has such a wide down tube else I could of mounted it there up higher.
 

morphix

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Oct 24, 2010
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On the handlebars, every vibration of the wheel, steering and your weight is transmitted to the camera.

The police body-worn cameras being adopted now mount using a gear harness on the front of the shoulder. You might try improvising something like that - but it will HAVE to be tightly stuck to your jacket, rather than using a sling. I suspect you might have to stitch velcro to a vest, and then stick velcro to the back of the camera.
Excellent idea..I didn't think of using velcro..as most cameras are under 100g (my Vado HD is 93g) it might just hold.. I have a roll of velcro I got for something else so will give it a try..i just wish I had pouches for my cameras.
 

kitchenman

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 9, 2010
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Aberaeron, West Wales
Here is a snippit showing the results of my test using my HDR-HC3 mounted with cable and velcro straps! ...

YouTube - CAMCORDER CAMERA SHAKE TEST-01

I will do another test with this if I can improve on the mounting (which shouldn't be difficult!

I've chosen a clip which has the least shake! Regarding the audio I'll comment on that in the other thread :)
 

morphix

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Oct 24, 2010
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Worcestershire
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Here is a snippit showing the results of my test using my HDR-HC3 mounted with cable and velcro straps! ...

YouTube - CAMCORDER CAMERA SHAKE TEST-01

I will do another test with this if I can improve on the mounting (which shouldn't be difficult!

I've chosen a clip which has the least shake! Regarding the audio I'll comment on that in the other thread :)
Was the road surface ok or uneven there? Seems to be picking up a lot of vibration like what I experience mainly on gravel topped roads.
 

morphix

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 24, 2010
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Worcestershire
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Another day, another test

Well as we have another glorious day of sunshine today I will take the bike out again for third test this morning and try to improve on yesterdays findings...

I have a jacket with a higher chest pocket so I will try wearing the Vado in that and then we can get a better idea of camera shake with something other than road in the shot ;-)

I will also try that central frame mount out just to see how steady it is, but the camera angle might be too low for serious use. We shall see shortly..
 

allen-uk

Esteemed Pedelecer
May 1, 2010
909
25
The chest-pocket version sounds good. One of the associated problems of bar-mounting is that you can make it nice and secure, but at some stage you've got to take the bleeder OFF the bike for down-loading and battery-charging.

You can always make a sort of pouch using duct-tape folded over in the middle so you cover the sticky part, then either pin or sew either end onto your jacket/helmet etc.

A.
 

vhfman

Pedelecer
Oct 5, 2008
144
0
Hi morphix I see/hear you have a similar problem that I encountered with Youtube. That of sound and video syncronisation. in the Vado HD filming on handlebar vid, you can hear the car go past and about 8 seconds later the car wizzes past on the road. I wonder what format file you have uploaded?
And like kitchenman mentioned the file sizes in HD are massive which makes uploading to Youtube a looonnnng job. Especial when I was trying this weekend, after 2 hrs I got a message that upload failed due to unknown error!
 

kitchenman

Esteemed Pedelecer
Jul 9, 2010
1,309
7
Aberaeron, West Wales
the file sizes in HD are massive which makes uploading to Youtube a looonnnng job.
The files that are created by my devices tend to be .avi files. If I look at these using windows media player or similar then the quality is excellent as these are the raw data files created by the device. Before uploading to utube I run a program that converts the format to one that is supported by utube. Not sure what Morphix uses but I bought a program along with a few others from a company called Aimersoft. This converts my files to .mp4 files and this is what I upload. For example I just loaded a single .AVI file that was a over a GIG, used a clip edit tool to isolate the part of the video that I wanted and then converted it to a much smaller .mp4 file. i.e 41 mb.

I'll upload them this evening and you can see the results. Oh yes I am now testing a CAR DVR cannon or torch cam. i.e. This:

DSC00113_RESIZED.jpg

:)
 

morphix

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 24, 2010
2,163
119
Worcestershire
www.cyclecharge.org.uk
The files that are created by my devices tend to be .avi files. If I look at these using windows media player or similar then the quality is excellent as these are the raw data files created by the device. Before uploading to utube I run a program that converts the format to one that is supported by utube. Not sure what Morphix uses but I bought a program along with a few others from a company called Aimersoft. This converts my files to .mp4 files and this is what I upload. For example I just loaded a single .AVI file that was a over a GIG, used a clip edit tool to isolate the part of the video that I wanted and then converted it to a much smaller .mp4 file. i.e 41 mb.
My Vado HD records in MP4 format, and my Toshiba Camileo S10 records in QuickTime MOV format... Although I don't have any problems
uploading these straight to YouTube, the 15 minute size limit causes me problems when it comes to cutting up videos... I use a Linux program
called Avidemux which although super-simple for cutting videos up, does tend to cause the problem vhfman pointed out, with the audio out of sync.. Avidemux saves files in AVI format by default, so perhaps its converting my source files badly or something.. I'd love to solve this problem as it's a real pain.


I'll upload them this evening and you can see the results. Oh yes I am now testing a CAR DVR cannon or torch cam. i.e. This:

View attachment 1960

:)
Is that the same camera sold by 7dayshop.com? I had one but it was faulty and wouldn't work at all so sadly I couldn't try it..I did ask for a replacement but they were out of stock but after a month I see they are selling them again... I've seen some good stable footage out of this cam on YouTube so be interested to see how well it copes on your bike! I might order another one if it's any good.. small cameras have an advantage I think in that they don't shake about as much and you have more flexibility of course where you can mount it. I'm expecting a replacement MD80 (the other mini-DVR cam sold by 7dayshop) tomorrow, so we can compare notes shortly ;-)
 
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morphix

Esteemed Pedelecer
Oct 24, 2010
2,163
119
Worcestershire
www.cyclecharge.org.uk
Hi morphix I see/hear you have a similar problem that I encountered with Youtube. That of sound and video syncronisation. in the Vado HD filming on handlebar vid, you can hear the car go past and about 8 seconds later the car wizzes past on the road. I wonder what format file you have uploaded?
Hi vhfman, my source files are MOV or MP4 but if I have a file larger than 15 minutes I cut out the sections I want using Avidemux (Linux app) and then save them as the default AVI. I think that is where the problem occurs with the sound being out of sync..I should try saving in same source file format maybe as I think Avidemux supports the full range of output file formats.

And like kitchenman mentioned the file sizes in HD are massive which makes uploading to Youtube a looonnnng job. Especial when I was trying this weekend, after 2 hrs I got a message that upload failed due to unknown error!
Ah yes that's a real drag when that happens.. I'm finding YouTube is getting slower and slower lately for uploads.. I tend to do my larger ones at night and just leave it going and go to bed.. It really slows the connection down else and you can't do much else can you while you're uploading.

I understand they have a java interface now which lets you do resumes on failed uploads..here's the link:

http://upload.youtube.com/my_videos_upload?restrict=java

Another problem I've been experiencing with YouTube lately is long delays and browser freezing when clicking on links. I don't know if it's just a problem with my computer or YouTube running some scripts or marketing applets etc, but it's very frustrating.
 

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