The best video stabilisation I've ever used

I know that some people won't believe me but the above video clips were shot 100% hand held. Absolutely, unequivocally, hand on heart. No tripod was used nor a steadicam, nor a gimbal or any aid whatsoever. What I used is below. 

  • Canon 5Ds Body
  • Canon EF 24mm F/2.8 IS USM Lens
  • Carry Speed VF-4 LCD Viewfinder / Video Loupe
  • Footage was edited in iMovie
  • 100% Software stabilisation added in iMovie

Now it helps not to have too many cups of coffee when doing this! What I did was wedge the loupe against my face, tuck my elbows into my stomach and breathe slowly and shallowly. The lens IS in the 24mm lens does most of the work. And I have no hesitation in stating this is the best lens IS I've ever used (and it's the same on all Canon stabilised lenses including the 10 year old 24-105mm f/4) and also the best IS i've ever used, including the much feted 5-axis stabilisation on Olympus and Canon cameras. As you can see from the second clip with the flags and the bending flagpole this was a windy day and also pretty cold. 

The final touches were added in iMovie (a terrific and much underrated video editing app. that now edits and outputs 4k) using the software image stabilisation function. See below.

This software stabilisation does lose part of the frame in order to achieve it's goal, but I compensate for that by where I stand. These are examples of the video clips I'm shooting and uploading to stock libraries and they are usually shot with the camera very still. Moving the camera or walking about does occasionally produce some odd effects ( a strange 'wobble') but for simple clips like these, this is astonishingly good and reinforces my belief that good lens IS beats good IBIS every time.

The reason for this is that IS can be fine tuned to fit the specific lens. Yes IBIS systems can be set to a certain focal length, but with lens IS it is the actual lens that is stabilised. For example there are many types of 35mm lenses of different sizes, design,weights and lengths and just setting an IBIS system to 35mm, will always be a compromise. The new Olympus 300mm f/4 has ridiculously good IS, but it has optical stabilisation in the lens as well as the IBIS in Olympus bodies and Olympus have just released a firmware update to sync the lens IS with the body IS on Olympus cameras. Panasonic now do the same. So, m4/3 sees the way forward from a combination of both, but I would suggest all companies would benefit from taking a Canon IS lens apart to see how they do it, because for me it's just superb and as indicated the best video stabilisation system I've ever used.