Stabilization of video cameras

These days, you don't need more than a cameraphone or point and shoot digicam to be a filmmaker. Videos on Youtube, facebook and Vimeo don't need to be shot with professional cameras. But even with a simple camera, you'll need some pro gear for advanced shots. The smaller your camera, the more you'll need this gear. So, I've found some videos and links describing low cost gear you can make yourself. These are versions of gear used professionally, and in here you'll also find how to use it.

Before we get going, we need to address one thing: Rolling shutter. It's also called the "jello effect". It's something that started with CMOS chips. If you have a (say mini-DV) camera with 3 CCD chips, you're home free. CMOS chips record images in such a way, if you move the camera too much, or the subject moves too much, straight lines will get bent. If you have image stabilization on, you could get really bad results from this. Better turn stabilization off if you're recording something that moves a lot. With a cell phone/blogger camera, avoid panning shots. Remember that ALL cameras with CMOS chips have this problem, and the less frames per second, the worse it is. In light of this, stabilization becomes even more important...


Use whatever you have:

I happened to have a mini tripod (this one), and a tiny video camera. I figured it should be possible to use it. Yes, I extended two legs, for holding, and adjusted the head accordingly. Should be much more stable than my bare hands. Even if you have a mini tripod without extendable legs, it should be more stable than holding the camera, as long as the head secures the camera. If you have a full size tripod, check the video further below on converting it to a steadycam.

Stabilize against or on your shoulder:

Stabilization of Point and Shoot camera with a gorillapod:

Steadicam inspired:

Works well with upright cameras like Blackberry or Flip:

Convert your regular tripod to a steadycam (works for regular videocameras):

Simplest steadycam ever - will probably work well on a DSLR:

Fitted with regular videocamera:

Steadycam for videocamera:

With or without that particular steadycam:

Fig Rig inspired:

A traditional style fig-rig made of PVC (means it's much lighter than the original 300$ Manfrotto). He attaches a typical blogger camera to this one:

The best fig-rig inspired contraption I've seen (PVC). Would work well for regular videocams. I'm thinking an LCD that can swivel would be a good thing with
this one, although I've seen it used with an iphone as well :

Here's one inspired by the former, but reconfigured, with shoulder bar and chest support.

Here's a dirt cheap fig-fig inspired contraption for cameraphones. It's a Wii controller holder. You can get it from Dollartree or on ebay.
Here's a simpler version of this hack, might be too flimsy:
Here's another version:

Holders/tripods for cameraphones:

Iphone Hot Shoe Holder:

Cell phone tripod and or tripod holder:


Car mounts:

Sponge 2:

Last Updated (Saturday, 23 July 2011 14:17)