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Strange stutter when panning during HD video recording

edited May 2012 Posted in » Canon T3i Forum
I bought my Canon T3i a few weeks ago at Costco (killer deal for a two lens kit) and I've been shooting constantly. Love the images I can capture with this device. Quite an upgrade from my old Canon S3IS.

Today I decided to delve into HD video. When set to 1080p at 24fps (even in 30fps) I get a weird stutter when I pan. It happens while filming, when playing back the recordings on the LCD screen and in the recorded video file on my computer.

I've tried everything from setting exposure to manual, setting the frame rate to 60 and turning the audio recording off all together. I get the stutter when panning either fast or slow. When I set the video to 720p with 60fps, the panning on screen and in recorded video are butter smooth with no signs of stutter.

Is this the limitation of this camera's usable HD video capabilities? How can I correct the pan stutter in 1080p usage? Any info would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!


  • Howdy @autobotguy - My experience is tied directly to digital photography, which means I'm still very green when it comes to HD video recording. Just wanted to preface that before giving you my best guess.

    Generally speaking, the stutter (choppy) issue can become more pronounced when...

    1. Image stabilization is turned 'On'
    2. Panning without a tripod
    3. Using a fast shutter speed
    4. Low frame rate

    Answers 1, 2 and 4 are self explanatory. As for answer 3, in order to get slower shutter speeds in bright light, you'll need to equip your lens with a neutral density (ND) filter. This effectively reduces the amount of light entering through your lens, which will allow you to use a slower shutter speed.

    Hope that all makes sense and happy filming!
  • srjsrj
    edited October 2012
    I have the same problem with my T3i. It's fine in 720 60fps and studders in full HD. You can see it right in the LCD monitor; 720 is smooth as can be.

    Thanks for your help.
  • edited November 2012
    Hi guys, one thing you might check is the speed of your SD card. Anything slower than six may have a negative effect. For best results try a speed 10 high quality card.
  • srjsrj
    edited November 2012
    I Talked to Canon and they are now aware of the problem. As of right now there will be no fix on the problem.
  • edited January 2013
    Gentlemen, if you are coming from the world of camcorders to digital still photography DSLR cameras, then when you pan with speed, you may see that jello effect with objects in the foreground or you may see what others call judder. It is a matter of rethinking what is in your hand.
  • edited October 2013
    I had the same problem. When I panned without using a tripod there was a bad stutter, almost like slow motion.
  • edited November 2013
    I have found that using Magic Lantern (at your own risk of course) you can have better video on 1080 with much less stutter.
    I used VBR compression method with Qscale "-8".
    I tried fps override and the camera was able to record up to 37 fps. I had some perfect frames (no stutter) and then 2-3 frames remaining at approximately the same time on screen (haven't tested to see the video on my computer so it may play perfect there).
    Hope that helps all of you who have problems with 1080p video!
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