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Mercalli Easy Video Stabilizer – Simple Stability

Posted in Computers,reviews,video by Joe Colburn on the March 26th, 2012

Did you know that you could fix shaky video with simple software? I didn’t, but I hadn’t thought of it much, either. On the occasions that I wound up with video that shook all over the place, I just brushed it off. Looking back, I could have hunted down some video stabilization software and now that I know about Mercalli Easy Video Stabilizer for Windows, I see shaky video in a whole new way.

What is it and how does it work?

Video stabilization software takes a video file as input, analyzes it for motion imperfections, and does its best to output a video with those imperfections corrected as much as possible. In the case of Mercalli Easy Video Stabilizer, this entry-level solution makes stabilizing video as easy as drag-and-drop, wait, save. Mercalli also makes filters, effects, transitions, and software for more professional needs, but this is the solution for quick video correction at a low price.

How well did it perform?

For my tests, I dragged a kitten video into Mercalli Easy, watched it do its thing for a bit, and saved the results to my computer. My 15 second video took about 5 minutes to correct and save and my tests were performed on a 2.2GHz Pentium Dual-Core with 3GB of ram, which is somewhere between the minimum and recommended requirements. In my initial testing, I found some artifacts on the corrected video, but a quick email to support led me to some additional video codecs that eliminated those flaws from the subsequent test videos. The side effect of the video stabilization is the slight motion blur that appears as the video is moved around to off-set your shaky hand. This is, however, minimal and I’m not sure hoe much I would have noticed it if I was casually using the software for home videos. Regardless, it’s still a step up from the video I began with. Below is a short video showing my original video, the processing, and the final result.

The biggest feature here may be the ease of use. I don’t need to know all the technical details about what it’s doing any more than I need to know how my printer gets the ink onto the paper in the right shapes. With Mercalli Easy, the interface is simple and inviting, with a process to match, hiding most of the technical prowess under the hood. The $14.95 price tag and easy interface make it a great fit for occasional projects or general home use.

Conclusions

If you’re just throwing video on Facebook or sharing via email, don’t worry about shaky video. When you move up to more valued output, that’s when you want to look to software like this for stabilization whenever needed. For me, it’s anything I care enough about to take the time to edit. For about 15 bucks, it definitely beats a lot of video editor pricing, and did I mention the simplicity? Definitely a good buy for any frequent video editing, but for professional projects, don’t be afraid to spend a little more.

This is a sponsored review. As always, all opinions are honest.

About the author

Joe Colburn Joe Colburn is a software engineer specializing in PHP and a technology enthusiast. Always eager to dive into new and exciting things, Joe writes about anything technology related news and products that he thinks you will also be excited about. Find Joe Colburn on Google+ or by any of the links below.

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