Skip to main content

Hyperlapse's secret best feature: fixing your shaky hands

Hyperlapse's secret best feature: fixing your shaky hands

Share this story

Hyperlapse, Instagram's standalone video app that debuted this past August, is touted for its ability to make dead simple time lapses. But if you really want to enjoy the best feature of Hyperlapse, don't speed up the footage. The result is some of the smoothest video we've seen from a phone — the kind of stuff that could otherwise take thousands of dollars in professional equipment to achieve comparable results. Student art films will never be the same again.

Instagram calls its technology Cinema Stabilization, and outlined the overall idea in a blog post. Whereas a tool like Adobe's warp stabilization has to calculate the shake using only pixels in the footage, Hyperlapse has the benefit of gyroscope data — basically, it knows how badly your hands were shaking the whole time, and uses that information to keep the frame as still as possible. The footage is shot in 1080p but outputs in 720p, with the extra footage used as a "buffer," sacrificed in the name of stabilization. (There is a hidden menu for changing the output resolution.)

Hyperlapse car GIF

The end result is especially impressive considering what we have to otherwise do to get that smooth a picture on our much pricier video cameras: no tracks, jibs, cranes, or crazy vets required. And the best part is that it's assuredly just the most streamlined, mainstream example of what's to come for smartphone video — which, let's be honest, it's mostly how people take video these days.

Also, it turns out the selfie shot can be quite overdramatic while running.

Update: Bonus footage! Listen to The Verge video crew — Tom Connors, John Lagomarsino, Ryan Manning, and Jimmy Shelton — talk about Hyperlapse over an 11-minute compilation of footage. Also some smooth jazz:

Video by Ryan Manning and Tom Connors