Gimbal (optical) vs Software (Digital) Image Stabilization

Gimbal vs Software Image Stabilization?

Many ask if using software image stabilization is similar to using a real gimbal stabilizer. In this article, we are going to examine the two options and see which ones are the best one. Shooting a steady and stabilized image is the key to succeeding in videography, still very few get this correct.

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Last update on 2020-03-24 / Contains Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Using a gimbal to stabilize video

Shooting with a gimbal will definitely help you stabilize your image. Gimbals help in capturing an amazing image. Using a gimbal, however, is not as easy as it looks like! You can also use  gopro wearable gimbal accessories for better image stabilization.

What you need to have in mind

Gimbal Benefits

  • Gimbals offer a great free motion
  • Gimbals are great for Stabilizing Image without quality loss
  • They use a 3-axis system which helps sustain the camera in a stable position
  • Gimbals are easy to learn to use
  • Great Portability

Gimbal cons

  • Gimbals still have limitations
  • You need to learn to use a gimbal before achieving its full potential
  • Gimbals are pricey

Using Software Image Stabilization

Still, digital image stabilization is something that many use. Also, some cameras come in with preinstalled video stabilization options (GoPro Hero 5 and GoPro hero 6). However, professional videographers are not fans of software stabilization. The reason is that when you use a software or a digital method to stabilize your video, you end up loosing on the quality. Therefore, if you are serious about video creation then you will definitely need to avoid using digital image stabilization.

Digital Software Image Stabilization Pros

  • An inexpensive method of stabilizing video
  • Great for beginners
  • You can use almost any video editing software to do this (Adobe Premiere, Final Cuts etc.)
  • Camera built-in stabilizers offer even better outcome than software without too much hit on the quality

Digital Software Image Stabilization Cons

  • Using Digital stabilization is considered as an amateur thing by many
  • When comparing optical and digital stabilization, optical always wins
  • You end up losing quality when you are stabilizing using software

These are the main differences between each method. When comparing Optical VS Digital stabilization, optical stabilization always wins. The reasons are obvious. However, if you are a beginner that you just bought your camera and you do not plan on creating public professional content, then we are pretty sure that software stabilization should be more than enough for you!

Bellow, you can see a video by Ruen Dineros comparing No Stabilization VS Software Stabilization VS Gimbal Stabilization:

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