Tips wanted on keeping the camera steady

Discussion in 'Amateur Video Production' started by Brian, Nov 19, 2009.

  1. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Does anyone have any tips, advice, or suggested equipment for keeping
    a hand held video camera steady when zooming in on the action?
    I know the best way is to use a propod or a monopod but there are
    times when I find yourself holding the camera in my hands and trying
    to get a steady shot.

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Nov 19, 2009
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  2. Brian

    Sjeef Guest

    An old trick.
    Use a nylon line, with a loop onder your foot, and the camera.

    Gerard Schaefers

    Culinaire Top50
    Sjeef, Nov 20, 2009
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  3. This is a useful (and compact) solution. One I use is to restrict
    myself to wide-angle (with a .66X WA lens converter added)
    to "normal" views (the reduced image angular motion resulting
    from my shakes produces smoother video). I also use a brace
    I came up with after many tries (it is described and shown at - Of course the
    camcorder stabilizer is also turned on...
    David Ruether, Nov 20, 2009
  4. One technique is to simply leave the monopod attached (and collapsed)
    and use it as a "counterweight" to help stabilize the low weight and small
    mass of most consumer camcorders. Of course this isn't a technique
    that is suitable for shots lasting several minutes. In that case, simply
    the monopod, etc.
    Richard Crowley, Nov 20, 2009
  5. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Good idea Richard, but this would limit the camera from tilting
    upwards and down when recording a scene. However most of the time I'm
    recording stright ahead.
    Brian, Nov 20, 2009
  6. Brian

    J. Clarke Guest

    If you google "DIY Steadicam" you'll find several options that can be put
    together at low cost, or if you're well off you can just get a Steadicam.
    J. Clarke, Nov 20, 2009
  7. "Brian" wrote...
    My monopod has a tilt-only head on it. It is also quite useful
    for setting to wide-angle, tilting down and then holding up in
    the air (at full extension) to get a nice high-angle cover shot.
    Richard Crowley, Nov 20, 2009
  8. Brian

    Peabody Guest

    J. Clarke says...
    I've built one of those DIY versions. This one:

    except I used somewhat shorter pipe segments.

    These things are not all that convenient, but they do help
    smooth things out. Basically they just increase the mass
    and inertia of the camera so it moves more slowly and
    resists being affected by shakes and jiggles. Not as good
    as a real steadicam with springs and gyros and such, but I
    would say moderately helpful.

    But they do get heavy after a while.
    Peabody, Nov 21, 2009
  9. Brian

    Brian Guest

    Thanks 'Stormch' and others for your tips on keeping a video camera
    steady. One thing I try to do is to keep an object the same distance
    from the left or right of the screen when recording to try and keep
    the camera steady. Recently I came across someone who had made a
    wooden camera attachment that sits on your shoulder to help steady the
    camera (like a small plank of wood).

    Regards Brian
    Brian, Nov 29, 2009
  10. Several posters have suggested DIY steadycams. Several years ago I
    purchased two Steadicam JR's and modified them to operate most any
    Sony and some Canon camcorders, (with LANC ports), using modified Sony
    LANC pistol grip controllers, in place of the plain handle which came
    with the Steadicam JR.

    Since the LANC controller handle was isolated from the camcorder by
    the gimbal joint between the handle and the Steadicam camcorder
    platform, (except for the soft LANC control wire), the camcorder could
    be play/paused, zoomed in/out, without touching the camcorder itself,
    this provided a relatively smooth zoom whether zooming the camcorder
    or moving toward the target, or both at the same time.

    It worked very well with my VX1000, TRV900, and my PC 120BT. More
    recently, I purchased a Canon HV20, only to discover that it did NOT
    have a Lanc port. This was very disapointing, as I believe that Sony
    bought the rights to use LANC from Canon (the original patent holder).

    I even tried to get Sony to start manufacturing the Pistol Grip LANC
    controller again, but they wouldn't even email a response ;-(



    I also was disappointed that the HV20 did not have a Lanc port - it
    is really needed for smooth recording start/stop even without the
    camera being on a steadycam device. Too bad you didn't post this
    sooner - I recently almost gave away what you are looking for since
    it had been around here unused for several years...;-(
    David Ruether, Dec 6, 2009
  11. Brian

    J. Clarke Guest

    FWIW, there's a workaround of sorts at, and a
    different version
    (the first one uses a lightpipe on the infrared remote, the second extends
    the remote's emitter on copper wires).

    If you google "HV20 LANC" you'll find several other variations on these
    J. Clarke, Dec 6, 2009
  12. THANKS!
    David Ruether, Dec 6, 2009
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