Since the dawn of HD Video DSLR's there's been some random and weird stabilizers being made by so many different companies. One thing is for sure, they are out to capitalize and mark up equipment from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Not to say they aren't functional. In fact many of these new DSLR cages and Fig Rig style stabilizers work well for these small cameras. You know me though, there's gotta be a way to make something cheaper, just as functional, and still look damn good.
Well i've been looking at a couple of different designs, and thought about what I needed from each one of the stabilizers above. First, I wanted a handle. Handles are a great way to get some really low shots. Secondly, my hands needed to be spaced apart. It's proven that spacing your hands further from the camera can really help stabilize your footage, even helps when walking. Third, I needed something to mount extra gear like a DSLR Cage. Finally, stay away from PVC. PVC is great, but doesn't give it that professional look or feel. After careful consideration and a trip to Home Depot, here's the latest DIY Camera Stabilizer from Cheesycam.com.
My goal was to merge a couple of different products and functionality into a very very Cheap DIY DSLR Stabilizer with Cage function. Another goal was to step up my game and make it look a bit more techy and something not so 'DIY'. I think I did well this time around for approximately $30.00. Actually it can come down much cheaper if I could find a shorter rail and cheaper handlebar grips. Unfortunately I wasn't shopping for a deal, I had this idea stuck in my head that needed to get out. It's a bit of a rush job, but I really wanted to share it with the community. I'll go back and refine it later with some hot shoe adapters and a quick release plate.
I have a ton of photos, and a parts list i'll put together later if anyone is interested. The video should explain more about what you need and how I put it together. The hardest part was cutting this rail. I have more information about this rail in my photo gallery, I was able to take a picture of the Price tag / Description from my iPhone. After cutting the rail, I was able to purchase everything for straight bolt on without any further modifications needed.
Here's a real basic parts list:
Enjoy the DIY video on how I made it (below).
Update: Really good questions coming in, i'll try to answer a few.
Reader: Have you thought about off setting the camera so that with the lens it's balanced front to back?
CheeseyCam: Yes, this is where the quick release plate comes in. I decided on the Monfrotto 357 (found here) to give me that lateral as well as something to quickly move from the DIY cage to my 701HDV Fluid head. I wanted the camera more forward originally so that it is actually balanced with the handle (above). For shots that require using the Handle, it's much more balanced being slightly forward. Hopefully the Monfrotto 357 will help by sliding the camera either foward or back depending on what shot is being taken.
Reader: If you were to use electrical conduit for you end pieces it might make your rig lighter.
Cheesycam: Yes, I wanted to get something as close to 'off the shelf' as possible. I may try Conduit on the sides, but the top Handle I feel will work better if it remained as a Steel pipe. Conduit normally comes in super long lengths and requires additional cutting. It is lighter, and cheaper, just a little more time consuming though with the cutting. For information on the HotShoe mounts I plan on using, check out this article http://cheesycam.com/?p=723
Ok well it's getting late, i'm tired and i'll get to showing it off more later. Leave some comments, ask some questions, and please don't forget to share, twitter, facebook, digg, etc. (use the icons below).