Some people want to stick with big brand names - nothing with wrong with that. So if you're looking for my suggestion in this area, one of my favorite Stabilizer + Vests combinations still to this day is the hybrid Steadicam Merlin Vest + Glidecam HD4000 Stabilizer.

Obviously the Glidecam Stabilizer can be used without a Vest, when you just need to fly hand held. If you need the extra support for long hours of Steadicam work, you can mount the Glidecam to the Steadicam Merlin Vest (with an adapter).

find-price-button Glidecam HD4000 Video Camera Stabilizer

The ISO ARM on the Merlin Vest can be dialed to fly both lightweight cameras as well as medium weight camera systems. This is a true 'Steadicam' branded vest, and build quality on the ISO Arm is top notch. Typically this vest runs $1600 dollars (some retailers still list this price), but recently it's been discounted for just $995 $849 (found here).

Steadicam Merlin Vest Kit
find-price-button Steadicam MERLIN-ARMVESTPK Upgrade Kit for Merlin $995

Now i'm not a fan of the Velcro straps on the actual vest part. So the only other thing I highly suggest getting is the Buckle Upgrade Kit (found here). This little kit will get rid of those nasty velcro straps that are both noisy and will eventually wear out. You can find that kit below (click here).

steadicam vest upgrade buckle velcro
find-price-button Steadicam Merlin Vest Buckle Upgrade Kit

So if you're working with the Glidecam HD4000 (or similar post) Stabilizer, to mate the two you can either DIY an adapter (as seen here), or you can pick up a ready made post from Berkey designed specifically for this Hybrid setup. Here's a link to the adapter required to allow the Glidecam Stabilizers to work with this Steadicam Merlin Vest.

Steadicam Merlin Glidecam Mod PostSteadicam Glidecam Post
find-price-button Berkey Glidecam Post Adapter to Steadicam Merlin Vest


Earlier this year, I showed off a Wieldy Stabilizer Vest system that finally met my needs to fly a lightweight camera setup. The vest was able to fly both my simple Canon 5D Mark III as well as my BlackMagic Design Cinema Camera. If you're interested, you can see that original video and article (found here).


I've been pretty happy with the system, and definitely worth the price for it's performance. Recently they've released a Wieldy Video Stabilizer Vest System version II. The vest has been completely redesigned along with the video stabilizer. (Their early version looks similar to a Glidecam HD4000). The new design of the stabilizer looks much more original, but still uses an adjustable gimbal that slides over a Carbon Fiber post.

Wieldy Vest Stabilizer Kit Video SystemWieldy_StabilizerII_dualArm_vest system

The Dual Arm has also been revamped now with a total of 4 smaller springs as opposed to the older version with 2 large springs. The Dual Arm quick release connection has also been upgraded and appears to have further adjustments at the base of the arm (similar to very high end vests). No real reviews on this product yet, just one random video on the product page. You can find the Wieldy Version II Stabilizer Vest Kits via ebay (click here).

find-price-button Wieldy II Stabilizer Vest System

Wieldy II Stabilizer Vest Currently Available on eBay


Seeing how we are able to achieve very high quality video on many of the new compact point and shoot systems today, Glidecam has recently released a mini version of video camera stabilizers. The Sony RX100 point and shoot which produces high quality video and only weighs under 9 ounces. Even a Sony NEX6 with Pancake lens should come in around 12 ounces. The new iGlide line of stabilizers are designed to fly cameras weighing up to 14 ounces.

The Glidecam iGlide Handheld Stabilizer for 14 oz Cameras (Black) is a very lightweight stabilizer for use with GoPro and other small cameras weighing up to 14 ounces. A camera mounting plate with 1/4" mounting threads is integrated for attaching a camera. You can also use the stabilizer with an iPhone via an optional iGlide Adapter.

The new iGlide stabilizers are available in standard Black or more colorful options for under $150 dollars via B&H (click here).
Glidecam iGlide StabilizerGlidecam Stabilizer iGlideGlidecamiGlide Stabilizer Glidecam
find-price-button Glidecam iGlide Video Camera Stabilizers


I purchased a Skyler MiniCam about a year ago. At the time I was looking for a very small stabilizer that was easy to travel with, offered a quick release system, fine tuning knobs, and can fly at least the Canon 5D Mark III camera. I personally felt the price was very good for the build quality, convenience, and features it had to offer, but at approx $500 dollars it wasn't something everyone wanted to dive into. Now we are seeing more affordable versions available, and here is one overview of the XCAM 2013 FL vs the original Skyler MiniCam Mini hand held stabilizer.

The XCAM no doubt shares the same design as the original Skyler MiniCam, and the 2013 XCAM version now offers a folding leg design. For the XCAM, this means you don't have to remove the legs when it's time to pack up. The XCAM is also half the price of the Skyler MiniCam for those who were looking to get into a similar stabilizer.

XCAM Tripod Legs Skyler MiniCam Leg

The tripod style legs from these two stabilizers are not just for design aesthetics, it also allows you to confidently set your stabilizer down without fear of tipping over. Not something you can do with a Merlin, and you may not be as confident doing this with a Glidecam. The spread legs also give clearance for a center mount, used to thread a monopod underneath when you want to be stationary and not have to carry the weight.

Both are excellent stabilizers, with only minor differences shape of counterweights) between the two. (i.e. folding legs, colored qr plate). The new XCam 2013 Mini video Stabilizer is offered at just $238 via eBay (click here)

XCam Mini StabilizerXcam stabilizer
find-price-button XCam 2013 FL Mini Hand Held Video Stabilizer

The original Skyler Minicam stabilizer is available for $450 dollars (found here on eBay)

Skyler Minicam
find-price-button Skyler MiniCam Video Camera Stabilizer


Laing P-03 DSLR Stabilizer. [Thanks Nitsan] This small vide camera stabilizer features a gimbal that can be repositioned on the telescoping post and fine tuning knobs at the top stage for simple balancing typically not found on other entry level systems. Priced at just over $200 dollars and found (here).

p-03 stabilizerLaing Stabilizer Carbon

laing stabilizerlaing p03 stabilizer
find-price-button Laing P-03 Video Camera Stabilizer


Lensse is a company that makes very simple and affordable Video camera stabilizers that support iPhones all the way up to heavy DSLR bodies. These stabilizers balance your camera over a ball socket gimbal, attempting to prevent the transfer of shaky hands into the camera while walking, and also keeping your camera level with the horizon. You can see the complete line of stabilizers they offer (here).

Recently Lensse has just announced a new Stabilizer version called the UniqueX. It shares many of the same features at their other line of stabilizers, but the highlight of this new stabilizer is the adjustable Gimbal which can be relocated to the center of balance. Just another way of fine tuning the balance of your setup. Specs state it will support cameras up to 3 lbs and retails for about $100 bucks. Check it out via Amazon (Click Here).

Lensse UniqueX Video Camera Stabilizer
find-price-button Lensse UniqueX Video Camera Stabilizer


Here's a recent video showing how to set up and balance the budget Single Arm Vest system with Carbon Stabilizer. I actually have this vest (not the stabilizer) and I feel it's pretty good quality, but I had trouble getting a lightweight setup on the single arm vest to work smoothly and get rid of that slight Pogo effect. In this video they have a fairly heavy Matte Box to add another few pounds of weight to the basic camera.

There's no sample footage from the system, but it's a pretty good instructional 'How to Setup and Balance a Steadicam' video that applies to most stabilizers on the market. This particular one shown in the video can be found for under $600 bucks complete via eBay (Click Here)

find-price-button Single Arm Video Camera Stabilizer Vest


I have used and abused my Steadicam Merlin Vest over the years, and although the ISO Arm has lasted me this long, the actual worn vest has slowly been degrading. I love the Steadicam Merlin Vest, and highly recommend the performance it gives, but even at $1500 dollars for the vest only (seen here) this is considered the low end of Steadicam's Stabilizer Vests. There are other more professional Steadicam vests, but obviously much more expensive. While I continued patch-work on my Steadicam system, I took the time to test a few other vests on the market.

Steadicam Merlin Vest Plastic Chest PlateSteadicam Wieldy Stabilizer Vest Konova Budget-3
Plastic Chest Plate Cracked on my Steadicam Merlin Vest

Build quality on the few aftermarket Stabilizer Vests i've tried over the years were good, in fact many of the worn vests I thought to be more comfortable and better designed than the Steadicam Merlin Vest. The only problem was that each ISO arm on the vests seemed to require a decent amount of weight to work smoothly. The springs were basically 'too strong' to fly your basic Glidecam HD4000 and DSLR Camera. In order to work properly the stabilizer should float in the air and the ISO arm should be very flexible and responsive to movement.

Steadicam Wieldy Stabilizer Vest Konova Budget-8
Current Stabilizer Vest Collection

My most recent Video Camera Stabilizer Vest arrived, and i'm finally happy to find something that performs extremely smooth under a lightweight stabilizer such as the new Carbon Fiber Wieldy.

find-price-button Wieldy Arm & Vest with Carbon Fiber Stabilizer

For this new vest that i've purchased, the dual arms can be dialed down to fly an average DSLR lightweight setup, or dialed to support a heavier payload. The ISO arm is responsive, reduces movement that would normally transfer to the stabilizer, and allows the stabilizer to just float. I'm not a fan of a few aesthetic pieces such as the bright blue locking knobs and metal chest plate, but overall the build quality on the vest is good, lightweight, and comfortable.

The length can be quickly adjusted with a simple pull-pin, something the Steadicam Merlin vest does not offer. The Dual ISO arm can be repositioned on the left/right side, or removed completely very very easily. To attempt this with the Steadicam Vest requires more time and more effort. The buckles allow you to get in and out without having to lose your personal fitting.

Steadicam Wieldy Stabilizer Vest Konova Budget-6Steadicam Wieldy Stabilizer Vest Konova Budget-5
Metal Plate, Quick Adjustment, Quick Release Arm, Reverse Mount

I purchased this Dual ISO Arm Stabilizer Vest with the brand logo Wieldy, but has since undergone various name changes. The common one found (at time of writing) is under the brand 'CAME' (terrible name). If you're planning to use this vest under a Glidecam or Flycam, the post diameter is just a bit small. You would need to find a way to increase the diameter a bit for a snug fit with the Glidecam or Flycam handle.

Steadicam Wieldy Stabilizer Vest Konova Budget-9Steadicam Wieldy Stabilizer Vest Konova Budget-10
Wieldy Handle Diameter vs. Glidecam Handle Diameter

Sample flight with BlackMagic Cinema Camera

At about $600-$700 dollars this vest is still not considered 'cheap or affordable', but in terms of the performance versus a $1500 dollar Steadicam Merlin Vest (seen here), it's a highly recommended alternative that i'm very pleased with. This dual arm vest is also found bundled with a Wieldy DV Pro Carbon Fiber stabilizer, which is a great combination for DSLR Video. You can find this Dual Arm Vest + Stabilizer via eBay (click here)

Wieldy Vest Dual Arm Stabilizer Steadicam Vest
find-price-button Video Camera Steadycam Dual Arm Stabilizer Load Vest

The vest is very helpful for longer video shots, but is not required. You can always purchase the vest at a later time and just start with the Wieldy Carbon Fiber hand held stabilizer. I have additional information and sample video footage shot with a Wieldy (found here). So if you are just looking for the Hand Held stabilizer, that can be found via eBay (Click Here).

Wieldy Iron Triangle DV Pro StabilizerWieldy Stabilizer Cheesycam
find-price-button Wieldy DV Pro Iron Triangle Stabilizer

Wieldy Stabilizers Currently Available on eBay


A few others have already received their Wieldy stabilizers and have also posted up little video reviews like YouTube member Nitsan Simantov and YouTube member Chrisbottrellphoto. I received my version quite a while ago, but am only getting to posting something now. Here's a closer look at what these new Wieldy Carbon Fiber Video Camera Stabilizers have to offer.

I compare it side by side against the more expensive Glidecam HD4000 which runs for about $569 (seen here), while this new Carbon Fiber Wieldy can be found for just $250 US (found here). In the video (above) I even show how similar the counterweights are, that they can be exchanged with one another. [Update: I noticed prices have gone up since my purchase]

Screen Shot 2012-11-27 at 11.15.41 PMWieldy stabilizer carbon fiber
find-price-button Wieldy DV Pro Iron Triangle Stabilizer

Besides the affordable price, the new Wieldy has several features the Glidecam HD series stabilizer don't provide such as an adjustable Gimbal, non-rotating sled, and carbon fiber post. Other popular features found on the more expensive Glidecam HD like fine-tuning knobs (trim), adjustable sled weights, and quick release stage has been designed into this Wieldy almost exactly. Overall a great product for the price, and it performs well. Additional information, photos, and other video examples of the Carbon Wieldy Stabilizer in use can be seen following the link to the product page via eBay (Click Here).

Wieldy Iron Triangle DV Pro StabilizerWieldy Stabilizer Cheesycam
find-price-button Wieldy DV Pro Iron Triangle Stabilizer

You can also find the Wieldy bundled with a dual arm stabilizer from another seller. It's being rebranded under the name 'CAME' (terrible name). A few listings from this seller show the dual arm vest bundled with this same Wieldy Carbon Fiber stabilizer (Click Here).

Wieldy Carbon Dual Arm VestWieldy
find-price-button Dual Arm Support Vest with Carbon Stabilizer

For reference you can find various Glidecam HD Series Stabilizers for sale via B&H (Click Here).
Glidecam HD Stabilizer
find-price-button Glidecam HD1000, HD2000, HD4000 Video Stabilizers