An option steadies the scene for night-vision imaging.
Night-vision technology, such as low-light and thermal-imaging cameras, seems to be climbing quickly up the list of must-have boating gadgets. But keeping a camera lined up on a particular target by remote control can be difficult.
To address that problem, established night-vision specialist OceanView has recently added an option called SteadyView to its Apollo range of dual-sensor (thermal and low-light) cameras. As the name suggests, SteadyView is a form of stabilization that is designed to remove the effects of unwanted camera movement.
Unlike most other image stabilizers that either move the camera itself or use mirrors or prisms within the camera lens to achieve the same effect, SteadyView works by analyzing the image and then digitally reprocessing it. It requires no motion sensors, won’t wear out the camera’s pan and tilt motors, and can be retrofitted to existing cameras in less than an hour.
Compared with gyro-stabilized systems, at $2,995 SteadyView is a (relatively) inexpensive add-on, but it does have its limitations—the main one being that no amount of digital tweaking can create an image of something if the camera has moved so much that the subject is no longer in the shot. So high-speed turns or violent pitching and rolling are not its forte. But for smaller, relatively quick movements, it actually works rather better than the gyro alternative.
This article originally appeared in the May 2012 issue of Power & Motoryacht magazine.