Testing the RICOH PENTAX K-3 HD Video Image Stabilization (AKA Shake Reduction, SR)

Went for a walk with the new K-3 this weekend to test out some of its video capabilities, specifically to see if digital image stabilization (SR) was useful on a monopod. Here are some sample shots:

Some observations:

  1. Digital SR works, sometimes. It's much better than turning it off when using a monopod.
  2. Digital SR can be tripped up and produce video with lots of rolling shutter/jello style artifacts.
  3. Digital SR can also be tripped up when foreground subject is moving a certain way. The last shot shows the Digital SR trying to hold things still while the foreground branch is moving, causing the background to move. This is one situation where the SR: OFF shot looks better.
  4. Even with SR image stabilization off, the camera made enough noise to be picked up by the internal mic. Not an obscene amount, but definitely noticeable in quiet settings.
  5. K-3 is capable of producing some nice video under certain circumstances. These closeup shots show nice color and detail.
  6. Initial impressions is that the codec is fragile, or to put it more precisely the codec can run out of bandwidth on complex subjects and/or movement and begin to degrade. Don't hang your hat on this point though, as there's more testing to do.

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