Instagram touted its new Cinema video image stabilizer as a breakthrough in video editing.
We had our doubts. Could a simple tap on a button remove the wobbles and waverings of cellphone video? So we put it to the test.
Instagram's Cinema is as simple to apply as one of its 13 new video filters that add color or lighting effects. As you preview the video you have just shot, you can tap an icon to turn stabilization off and on. (Cinema is on by default.) The difference was noticeable, with most of the video's shakiness eliminated. But what about Cinema compared to the stabilizer in professional-grade Adobe Premiere video-editing software, part of Adobe's Creative Cloud, this software can be accessed on its own for $20 a month?
Here, the results were remarkable. Starting with the same shaky Instagram video clip, we made one copy in which we applied Instagram's built-in Cinema effect and another in which we applied Adobe Premiere's stabilizer effect in its default setting. Compared side-by-side, Cinema did a better job than Premiere at removing shakiness. Further, image cropping (a technique used by all stabilizers to remove parts of the image that move in and out of the frames) was not as noticeable in the Cinema clip as in the Premiere clip.
Most surprising was the speed of the processing. Cinema is instantaneous, meaning you can turn it on and off while watching the clip, without any interruption. Premiere took about a minute to process the same 15-second clip.
It should be noted that Premiere's stabilization can be tweaked to obtain better results. However, its default option simply can't compare to Instagram's Cinema — in terms of quality, processing time, cost and convenience.