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Video stutter on pan and/or zoom

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Ken Cordes
Video stutter on pan and/or zoom
on Mar 11, 2013 at 1:14:50 am

I have a problem that I just can't solve and I have done absolutely every imaginable way to trouble shoot the problem.

My problem is that the video will snag or stutter on a pan or a zoom/pan. I never see the problem with a stationary shot regardless of the action in the frame.

This problem occurs in all frame rates and sizes. Although does seem more prevalent at 1080

I have a sony xdcam exr1. When monitoring playback from the camera via the HDMI out it looks fine. When I view playback in the on camera monitor it looks fine.

When I ingest via the sony browser on to my mid 2010 Mac Pro 8 core the problem occurs. Even before it gets to final cut. The stutter points are never in the exact same place. The last project I shot I used the EX1r and an EX3. Footage from both cameras stutter randomly.

I ingested the footage from both cameras from the EX1R -- The owner of the EX3 says he has never experienced the problem. So I thought it might for some reason by a.) the cable, b) the reader or c) the USB port. I bought an SXS card reader and accounted for all these variable. No luck.

So it would seem to be that it is the computer. The computer has a radeon 5770 and 32 gigs of ram and the drive is a esata that is very fast. I also tried it on all other internal hard drives. no luck.

Next I removed all the memory and put in 24 gigs of brand new memory from apple & I replaced the video card with a new radeon 5780. No luck.

Next a got a brand new hard drive installed OS 10.8.2. So it was just like a brand new computer. All I installed was the sony browser and apple quicktime pro codecs. No Luck

Also I tried to ingest directly through the sony FCPX import plug in for all scenarios above. NO luck

Next, I broke out my mid 2010 mac pro quad core. Nothing attached to it, put in the radeon 5770 grphx card and 16 gigs of new ram. Brand new hard drive with a virgin install of OSX 10.8.2
Still no luck but did seem a little better.

Next I got another new hard drive and formatted that with a virgin install of 10.7 lion
downloaded codecs and browser software. Better still but still the problem existed.

After a day with apple care and a day + with Sony I still have no resolution. I shared footage with the SOny folks and they saw the problem but stumped on a solution.

Also through all of these I tried new test footage a variety of times in a number of formats.

So my next thought is well maybe the xdcam ex codec just doesn't work well with mac. I have shot a national spot with a big xdcam camera that recoded in the xdcam HD format recorded on the optical disc that worked well even on my smaller computers.

So I bought a brand new PMW-200 that records in that codec/format.

Better but still stuttered just in a slightly different way. GRRR! Bt I have made progress.
Ok a brand new camera the latest sony software in virtually brand new mac pros - does not work.
So today in a last ditch effort I bought a brand new fully loaded macbook pro w retina w the flash drive.

did the codec and browser install thing--- Just as stuttery as the original config.

I am no talking about shutter blur it is a stutter in the playback of the video.. The HDMI out of the cameras looks fine.

Happens on all comuters and all cameras.. No one else seems to have complained about this in the last couple years on various forums. I am not nuts.

I also tried to import using tlv a pav tube and convert the files to pro res on ingest. leaving any xdcam codec out of the mix.

Also this stutter of snag carries all the way through the fcp or fcpx edit and output as an h264.
edited footage available at

Any ideas??? Please help if you can.

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Rory Thersby
Re: Video stutter on pan and/or zoom
on Oct 1, 2015 at 4:47:13 pm

Hi there,
I know it's a long time since you posted this problem, but did you ever solve it? I'm having an identical problem with an EX1R and EX3. A more powerful Mac has lessened the issue but hasn't rectified it.
I am tearing my hair out....!

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Norton Rodriguez
Re: Video stutter on pan and/or zoom
on May 25, 2016 at 4:05:13 pm

The Video Stutter or jumpy video in pans are actually an easy fix (digitally speaking), specially once you understand the concept between Digital Video Playback versus Film Projector playback.

The problem is not on the camera we use or the frame rate we shot the video at, what matters is having the correct 'Timeline frame rate', that's the key! Once you have the correct Timeline frame rate... every Camera Raw video rate will fall into place and you should have a smooth playback. The correct frame rate for most any Digital Timeline should always be set @ 30 fps or 29.79 fps since most Video monitors, Computer monitors and editing software systems are created to playback smooth video @ 30p or 29.79p as their basic frame rate.

So this means, that video editors should always set their 'Video Editing Timeline' at 30p or 29.79p regardless at what frame rate the camera shot the video at. I know there has been a lot of confusion on the subject, and I will explain the theory behind it...

If you are editing Digitally video in a computer (on a Digital monitor or computer monitor), it's would be a mistake to shoot Video at 24p and then try to match your Video Timeline frame rate also @ 24p, this is a mistake because monitors or playback systems are all created to playback Digital Video @ 30fps. The confusion comes from the way we used to shoot film and then project it, in that case, we had to match 24p in the camera to the 24p in the projector. But today, since we've gone mostly Digital... unless you are editing film on an old movieola film editor, and then playing and projecting 35mm film on a silver screen, then... you would have no other choice than to playback @ 24fps.. But that's not the case any more with Digital Video... Thank God.

A Digital Video Timeline should always be set at 30fps. Unless you are experimenting or doing some other weird effect or you are doing a Creative thing... or even if you do plan to go back to 35 Motion Picture, there are ways to go from 30fps to 24fps with special, plugins or digital converters, etc. But, if you want to always have smooth video playback on your Digital Editing System... start using a 30fps timeline instead and you will see... silky smooth video 99% of the time... no matter the frame rate you shot it at.

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Greg Pasztor
Re: Video stutter on pan and/or zoom
on Jun 28, 2016 at 4:35:13 am

My EX1R gave me fits with this problem until I turned off the image stabilization. It seems the camera tries to "defeat" tripod shots when the stabilization is on...

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virgil lewis
Re: Video stutter on pan and/or zoom
on Jul 3, 2016 at 6:42:40 am

do you have steady shot off? it can cause symptoms, also check your shutter speed.

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