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If you like to share holiday videos on YouTube, but your camera skills aren’t the best, Google has just introduced a new feature that will help.

YouTube has long had a built-in video editor that can be used to adjust the contrast and brightness in an uploaded video, add transitions between different scenes and even mix in a new soundtrack, but the new Stabilizer feature fixes a common a problem with handheld camera video — camera shake.

Some video cameras have built-in video stabilisation and the more expensive models do it using internal gyroscopes that stabilise the image sensor and minimise the effect of wobbly hands.

YouTube Stabilizer, on the other hand (no pun intended), uses the same approach as cheaper cameras where recorded footage is analysed and then automatically and subtly edited to all but eliminate the effect of camera shake.

The technology works by cropping the video frame and then moving the cropped area around within the full frame to stabilise the video subject. The downside is that the final image is more tightly cropped than the original, but this is largely unnoticeable with slight camera shake.

As a result, stabilising serious camera shake can mean losing quite a bit of the image, so software image stabilisation really works best with clips that have the video subject towards the centre of the frame.

That said, YouTube Stabilizer does offer a slider to control the amount of stabilisation, so it should be possible to strike a good balance for even the most wobbly footage.

These two clips show the effect of YouTube Stabilizer:

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The Stabilizer feature is available in the YouTube Editor — just add a clip to the video timeline, then click the Effects icon.

[YouTube Blog]