Video: Hardware stabilisation samples on Nokia 808 PureView with stabiliser accessory (vs software/no stabilisation, Simulation of PureView 1+2 mix)

| September 11, 2012 | 31 Replies

Image stabilisation. It’s a hot topic what with the Nokia Lumia 920 providing floating lens technology, which sadly does work very well but has been tainted yet again by incompetent marketing/PR peeps at Nokia. But this is not what I’m going to talk about in this post.

I’ve actually been meaning to write this post for about 2 years now since owning the N8 and the accessory I’m demoing. Nokia phones like the N8 and 808 PureView have great quality that looks professional when mounted on tripods. But the moment you move, it’s immediately noticeable as a small recording device. This was actually the whole reason I asked NokiaConnects for a Nokia 808 PureView as I had a project lined up to film with a stabiliser (MTV cribs style video of our new student house. Any tips welcome for that).

In the following videos you will see:

  • Nokia 808 PureView recording with no software stabilisation.
  • Nokia 808 PureView recording with software stabilisation
  • Nokia 808 PureView with no software stabilisation but with hardware stabilisation (generic steadicam of sorts).
You might also hear the stereo rich recording of the streets.

I haven’t edited them together because my video editor would ruin their quality (I’m still not sure what settings Sony Vegas would play nice with).

These videos were shot quickly on the weekend as my housemates and I were picking up some items from the shops. This was with no preparation. The stabiler could have been calibrated better but it’s enough to blow away the digital stabilisation. Note that I may be exacerbating  shakes slightly because of my bad back. Definitely when running.

The first video below was holding the Nokia 808 PureView with just my hand and walking along the pavement.


The second video continues that path but with software stabilisation on. I find 808 videos look better without it.

The final samples are with the stabiliser. You can see there is quite a remarkable difference. The first time I set it up with the N8, I was amazed at how (when properly calibrated) it looks extremely professional. The quality was always there, but the stabilisation had let it down. Imagine how much better this could be in the hands of someone who knew how to take beautiful videos.

The stabiliser negates your movement, keeping the camera position still. This means that I can run with the 808 and it’s still smooth.

This type of stabilisation isn’t useful for still images. The camera would just wobble about everywhere as you touch it. It’s also buiky and not something that the majority would find useful to carry about everywhere. For those who want to record a video for a bigger project, then yes, that would be worth it. For every day use, it would of course be preferable to have in house optical image stabilisation. Forgetting that girl on the bike, we have seen actual proof of this in action and it does work very well. Perhaps not to the same level as a full on bulky stabiliser.

Run test, subject still with me running to the subject.

Another run test, with subjects running. Proceeded with filming the walk to Sainsburys. The run would have been better if I wore a belt so could hold the stabiliser steady with both hands.

Anyway that’s it for now.


Category: Accessories, Nokia, Symbian, Video

About the Author ()

Hey, thanks for reading my post. My name is Jay and I'm a medical student at the University of Manchester. When I can, I blog here at and tweet now and again @jaymontano. We also have a twitter and facebook accounts @mynokiablog and Check out the tips, guides and rules for commenting >>click<< Contact us at tips(@) or email me directly on jay[at]
  • stylinred

    steady cam eh looks like a must get piece of equipment!

  • Benji

    But, how mush is a steady cam ?

    • Dave

      Browsing around, devices like that are anything from £65.

      The official steadicam smoothee for iPhones and other mobiles are expensive – £140 and up. The catch is that they won’t work with the 808 or N8 (due to design).

    • Abcs

      Google for Cross BB Tripod. Cheap and nice looking small tripod. Selling for MYR40 in Malaysia. How well it works, will test when I get it. A 808 who has bought it says it fits the 808 fine.

    • Abcs

      Google for Cross BB Tripod. Cheap and nice looking small tripod. Selling for MYR40 in Malaysia. How well it works, will test when I get it. A 808 owner has bought it says it fits the 808 fine.

    • It depends. You can make your own for about £10. This one was about £90 + 20 for the stand/additional weights i think.

      The professional Steadicam is about £600? [Merlin]

      Pretty much anything in between that.

      • l33tuc

        Jay, any chance you could post a link to the actual stabiliser you used to create these videos?


  • No photos of the stabilizer itself?

  • Franklin

    Holy… the difference is just mind blowing! Even without the jog test, simply walking is enough to see the huge gap in quality. So I guess this is what PureView phase 1+2 would look like. Doesn’t that mean those with an 808 could already attain something that Nokia hasn’t completed 😛 Though already very impressive, by any chance we could see a combination of both the software + hardware stabilization?

    • stylinred

      well a steadicam is rather large and would look awkward if you were to walk around with one just as an everyday user 😉

  • Peter

    I found that even using the tripod and holding two of the three legs provides a decent level of stabilisation to the camera. It gives some sense of conter balance and provides for a bigger device with your hands spread so more stable. It is a very cheap semi stabiliser and can fit in the pocket.


    • Same. I used to use my Gorillapod and Nokia DT-22 for that purpose 🙂

      But if I’m gonna be carrying an additional piece of equipment, this stabiliser is a better choice for moving and filming.

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  • incognito

    Software stabilization seems really badly implemented. With the sensor of the 808 they could’ve done it much, much better. I guess the `stabilization` is done with postprocessing, they should’ve used the accelerometer data to smooth it out before the capture phase. Maybe they will in some next update.

    If there is software access to the awesomeness of the 808PV DSPs, even I might give it a shot if get my hands on one of those.

  • jake20
  • Mapantz

    This needs to be updated at some point. According to the Belle FP2 changelog, video stabilisation was improved.

  • I’ve just recognised the area you were walking on. I live about 5 minute walk from Sainsburrys lol

    Anyway, this looks good, but I’m not quite sure that the 920 will have that sort of stabilisation.. Maybe something similar, but not quite as good. But who knows.

  • jake20

    Jav, which stabilizer are you using?

  • jake20

    Jay, which stabilizer are you using?

  • jake20

    here is another tripod mount I am trying.. its not a true stabilizer, but its really cheap, and light.. and may help with steadying video a little bit.

  • scott

    hi, would you describe the steadycam you used please ? did you build it ? buy it ?… how can I make/buy one ? it is a necessity for me as I don’t like my trembling images… thank you in advance ;o)

  • Esbro

    I use a Steadicam Smoothie with an iphone 3GS mount and the results with my N8 are terrific. It does however require a modification, you need to drill a hole in front of the lense space … carefully! For the 808, I plan to get tripod sized bolt and make a small tripod adapter to fit on the smoothie, and then attach the new Nokia tripod holder to this.

    Yes, carrying around a small steadicam is a bit of a pain, but in many cases worth it once you see the results when putting together family videos etc. Add a cool soundtrack and all of a sudden the whole thing takes on even more life!

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