A quick down-and-dirty, before-and-after test of the video stabilization in the new iMovie ‘09. All video was shot with a Flip Mino HD , which given its tight field of view, can be especially prone to image shake. It should be noted that the first few clips I tried were not able to be stabilized at all. While they were shaky (I was riding on the back of a moving snowmobile), they didn’t appear, to my eye, to be any more shaky than the safari clips that were used by Apple in the original demo. I’m not going to pass judgement on this until I have the chance to test a wider range of clips.
I didn’t do any adjustments to the default stabilization settings that iMovie uses. You can choose to increase the amount applied, but the more you increase, the more the frame gets cropped. The nice thing is that when setting the stabilization level, iMovie gives you a slider and real-time viewer where you can see the amount of crop that will be applied as the amount of stabilization increases.
Click here to see in HD.
The end result seems to add a certain “weight” to the video, in that it has the feel of being shot with a heavier camera that wouldn’t shake so much in your hand, versus the superlight Mino. It’s not going to eliminate all shakes, but it can certainly minimize them in the right situations.
I haven’t had time to dig under the hood yet, but my first impressions of iMovie ‘09 overall are that this is an excellent upgrade. It appears to be the most intuitive iMovie yet. I’ve spent a fair amount of time in iMovie HD, and less so in iMovie ‘08, and I was able to jump in and use the new features in a matter of minutes. In my short test, everything seemed to function exactly how I expected it would.