Review: Defishr removes fish-eye distortion from video
At a Glance
Is your video giving you the evil eye? The evil fish-eye? Well, Prodad's Defishr has you covered. A companion to Prodad's Mercalli V2 and Mercalli Easy video stabilization software, Defishr renders your fish-eyed video into the flat-horizon variety without a whole lot of work on your part. Defishr costs $99, and has a free demo.
I tried correcting three fish-eyed videos from different cameras with Defishr, and it worked very well on all of them. The interface is simple, and lets you preview the either the original video, the de-fished video, or both side-by-side. If the video has stabilization problems, Prodad recommends that you take care of those after using Defishr. That said, I took care of it up front with decent results. Jitter and other artifacts are more noticeable in de-fished video.
While Defishr comes with 14 profiles, including one generic, to handle a number of cameras, you can also create your own by recording the provided calibration grid, then feeding the video to the program. There's an embedded link to an instructional video in the separate calibration module.
Defishr does have some rough spots, all interface-related. It's apparently not bright enough to discontinue the looping playback when you want to export a file. The program sat there, failing to export until I cancelled said export, stopped playback manually, and restarted the export process. The inability to paste in the product serial number rather than type it in is a nuisance, but at least it's just a one-time nuisance. Also, without the third-party codecs Defishr wants to add to your system during installation, Defishr wouldn't open MP4 files, even though I have Xvid installed to handle that particular codec(and the reason I initially skipped installing the others).
Minor annoyances aside, Defishr's core functionality is top-notch and the program is easy to use. You don't even have to take my word for it. The demo's preview function will let you see for yourself if it fixes your fish-eye problems. Video produced in demo mode is limited to five minutes and is watermarked.
Note: The Download button on the Product Information page takes you to the vendor's site, where you can download the latest version of the software.