Tag Archives: Camera Stabilizer

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3 Three Axis Brushless Gimbal Camera Stabilizer Motor Controller
Greg writes in and shares this newly listed item [thanks Greg]. It's yet another three axis brushless motor gimbal camera stabilizer. I know there's been a few comments about other systems online, and some I think are already up and running. I myself haven't had the time to spend on these types of systems, but the specs on this product state that the gimbal has already been micro adjusted, the system is ready-to-run, supports decent sized cameras like the 5D / D800, and comes complete with the brushless gimbal controllers (BGC) for just under $700 bucks.


brushless camera stabilizer gimbal kitbrushless gimbal ready to runcheap brushless gimbal stabilizer for video camera
sku_100083_5sku_100083_13sku_100083_3find-price-button 3 Axis Brushless Gimbal Camera Stabilizer

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steady-dragon-stabilizer

There's a million different little stabilizers on the market, but about a month ago (maybe a bit longer), the Steady Dragon brand upgraded the Gimbal to a universal joint. This type of gimbal provides the maximum amount of range compared to the little Ball-and-Socket type like found in the Hague MMC. The Steady Dragon seems to have all the right parts with front and rear counterweights, side to side weights, and adjustment of the camera forward and back.

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With the optional camera plate, you can also add side to side from the top stage. A Tripod mount is also available so you can dock your camera. There's ways to create your own stabilizer with U-Joint from a Traxxas RC, but If you're not the DIY type, this little stabilizer looks like a good start for small cameras and under a hundred bucks. The Steady Dragon states it's rated to balance cameras just around 3 lbs and you can find some demo videos following the link (click here).

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find-price-button Steady Dragon Video Camera Stabilizer Streadicam

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This new adjustable shoulder camera stabilizer, is a simple design. A pad that wraps over the shoulder combined with a long chest plate supports the weight of your camera. An adjustable / rotatable stage with support handle positions the camera. Simple but effective, especially for super small video cameras.

Screen shot 2011-09-11 at 10.50.17 AM

Now the unusual feature is what looks like a compass (if i'm correct). If you require a compass to navigate to what you need to shoot, I don't think you should be allowed to handle a camera. Now if it were an electronic touch screen GPS navigator, that might be a different story. I wonder what would happen if you hacked two of these together (one on each shoulder). Fairly new, but you can find the shoulder support stabilizer on eBay (click here)

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find-price-button Video Camera Shoulder Support Stabilizer w/ Compass?

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Here's a closer look at the inline version of the 'EVENT' DSLR rig from Express35. There is so many good things about this rig, but overall you'll find the price is the best part. Express35 stabilizers are made in the USA, and it's quality rivals many of the top local DSLR Stabilizer brands, and yet pricing competes with the cheapest of over seas rigs.

event-dslr-rig-express35

This particular EVENT rig is designed for EVF or LCD Monitor use by keeping the camera in line over the shoulder. You can also use this setup with cameras that have Flip out LCD screens. The contoured shoulder pad wraps behind the shoulder (doesn't sit on top), and the counterweight that sits low balances the rig out even more. With the dual rods on the counterweight, you can offset this if you feel you need to shift it over more to one side. I prefer to have the weight adjusted to sit lower. You can also just shoot without the counterweight, and still have plenty points of contact for stabilizing your camera.

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Normally you'll see adjustable handles with some rigs, but those could have a tendency to reposition (slip) under weight. The Express35 XL HD handle is one solid piece which really adds to the whole stability of the rig. The 13" length and 4" offset design of the front handle makes it extremely comfortable to operate with less strain in your arm. There's a few optional pieces I suggest to really get this rig going. The optional top handle makes it easier for me to lift the rig on/off my shoulder or to hold the rig in a position for low shots. The optional tripod mount obviously makes it easier for you to get into tripod mode for some fluid panning (or just docking the rig). The 90 degree accessory rod clamp with stub makes it easy to attach or detach a 1/4-20 accessory. In this case i'm using a friction arm with Zacuto EVF with the rod clamp.

XL-HD-handle

The only other item I'm looking to add is a second handle. It's not necessary to have a second handle for stabilization when shooting video on this rig, but the second handle will allow me to place the rig on the floor without falling over. If you decide to look into Express35 gear, make sure you put in a good word about this Cheesycam blog. To find out the exact pieces that come with the EVENT, and optional accessories, check out Express35.com.

DSLR Rig Event Express35
find-price-button Express35.com EVENT Video camera Shoulder Rig
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Pistol Grip Vintage Camera
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Mock DSLR Vintage Grip

Slap on a Pistol Grip handle to your DSLR and you've got the feel of a Vintage shooter. These little handles are especially effective when combined with an LCD View Finder for another solid point of contact. Anyone thinking what i'm thinking? Yeah I think they are just begging to be DIY'd and Modified with a built in remote button to start / stop video, or even just a plain shutter release for Photography. Any takers? If so, here's an article to give you a head start http://cheesycam.com/diy-remote-video-trigger-for-canon-dslrs/

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find-price-button BARSKA Accu Grip Camera Handle

The Barska Camera handle was probably the most popular pistol grip stabilizer, but Opteka's got their own now. If it wasn't for the recent price drop of the Barska, they would be going head to head on price. Opteka's new Pistol Grip handle is just a few dollars higher now, but it does come with a QR feature to quickly remove the handle from the camera body. Barska's Pistol grip has a solid alignment pin that needs DIY extraction before it can be used on a DSLR, and that for Barska could be the 'deal breaker'. Either way, these are excellent cheap little stabilizer additions for run-and-gun shooters....

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find-price-button Opteka Pistol Grip Camera Stabilizer

[Update] Apparently there is a handle with a Trigger [Thanks Casper], but the price is pretty steep. They've listed them as compatible with Canon, Sony, Nikon, and Panasonic cameras, but I can't imagine the Video mode being triggered through a hard wire. Canon's can only start / stop video through infrared. The cable is probably there for the shutter release, for other camera models maybe it can actually start video mode.... Found below.

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find-price-button Video Trigger Hand Grip for Canon, Nikon, Panasonic, Sony

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double-l-bracket-stacked

After posting about the possible Double L bracket stabilizer idea, Dave Taylor over at DaveTaylorMP.com shares a few images of his Double L Bracket setup with what looks like a Canon 550D / T2i. He's using the Video Camera Light Bracket - by alzodigital.com which has two cold shoe mounts. He mentions that he also added the Trek Tech T Pod Table-Top Tactical Tripod With Magmount Star to his configuration for a simple Shooter rig with an extra handle. His inspiration for this came from TheC47.com video below. Check it out, looks pretty cool if you can't afford the RedRock Micro theEvent Rig.

I'm still looking to mount two L brackets but with an Aluminum flat bar in between to make the handles more level, and a QR adapter dead center. Maybe i'll change that center AL bar into a 'T' bar so that I can support both a QR adapter and room for the T-Pod configuration. Thanks for sharing Dave!

Update: Reader Chuckarama just sent in this Flat bracket that looks like it will do the job in between the L brackets. Should be able to mount a QR plate and still be Tripod mountable. Great job Chuckarama! Let me know how that comes out when you're done.

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camcorder-camera-stabilizerhague-mini
click images to find prices

Shown (left) is the IndieHardware Stabilizer and (right) is the Hague MMC - Mini Motion Cam Stabilizer. As you might know, i've showcased the Hague MMC a few times and the most popular video of mine is the T2i Demo on the Hague MMC. Well I do mention that it's just about at it's limits with the stock kit lens 18-55mm and wouldn't be able to balance anything more. I've seen the IndieHardware Stabilizer many many times, but obviously both designs look similar, so I put it off as just another replica. Looking more carefully at the information within the auctions on eBay for the Indiehardware stabilizer, details claim it's beefier and can carry much more weight. So of course an actual smack down review between the two was necessary.

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After receiving the item today, the first thing I noticed was it was indeed beefy. It looks to be a 1/4" thick aluminum with a very clean bend. The handle doesn't have the range of a Steadicam Merlin, but it does attach via a retaining clip (unlike Hague), so it appears there's no way this handle is coming apart. A big problem with the Hague handle if you pull it hard enough it just pops right off. Another big difference is the double weight stack (seen in my images above). Wow, this thing looks like it's going to balance double the weight compared to the Hague MMC. The price also lists for similar if not 'Cheaper' than the Hague MMC and for us USA guys, the IndieHardware ships from the United States so it's less shipping costs and faster to receive. So far IndieHardware doesn't just marginally beat out the Hague, it should be in a class of it's own 'above' the Hague MMC.

I'm not a fan of the raw polished aluminum (i'd rather black) but I guess something has to differentiate this from a Hague. Also an anodized coating or powder coating of black can run up product costs quickly. I can always put a coating of flat black myself and still save a ton of dollars rather than stepping into a Steadicam Merlin (approx 6 times the price). I'll get some video footage up soon with a couple of different cameras, and let you all know how that goes. You can find the IndieHardware DSLR Camera Stabilizer and prices through this link here. 

camcorder-camera-stabilizer
click images to find prices

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This rod may not show up in searching under DSLR stabilizers, that's because it's been around for quite a while. The Tiffen Steady Stick (somtimes found under Davis & Sanford Steady Stick) works similar to the Body Support Rods underneath Shoulder Support rigs, except you don't need to buy the entire rig. This type of stabilizer will give you a nice support contact via belt clip, to support the weight of your DSLR camera, so you can concentrate more of your focus and composition. It also can pack up to travel size to fit in your luggage, and won't even break the bank. Check out the Tiffen Steady Stick prices on eBay..

So why am I posting this information now if it's been around for a while and many people already know about this item? Well, i've had my eye on the thing for quite a while also, and prices normally averaged $99 dollars. Right now you can grab them at just $59.95 + Free Shipping [via Amazon]

Or if you're a B&H Photo Video customer, you can grab the Davis & Sanford Steady Stick over at bhphotovideo.com for the same price [+ shipping charges]

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click image

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I posted about this Hague Mini Motion Camera Stabilizer earlier in my blogs, but I just thought I'd share with everyone what a Canon T2i looks like when balanced on the Hague. Now that high quality HD Video cameras are smaller, the Hague MMC is one good option. This stabilizer will only fly the weight of a Canon T2i with 18-55mm kit lens and nothing more. You can find the Hague MMC on eBay (click here)

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find-price-button Mini Camera Stabilizer

One stabilizer that pretty much resembles the Hague MMC but which is a bit cheaper is the MidX (found here).
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find-price-button MidX Camera Stabilizer

Other Small Video DSLR Camera Stabilizers
If you're planning on Flying something a bit heavier, the next best option would be the Flycam Nano. You can see how well this stabilizer flies in this video (click here). This is what I feel the best bang for the buck. It can easily fly a Canon 5D Mark II or Canon 7D with a Tokina 11-16mm lens. You can find the Flycam Nano online (click here).

dslr video camera stabilizer
find-price-button The Flycam Nano

One feature that the Flycam Nano lacks is what are called 'fine tuning knobs'. These knobs are available in some stabilizers for you to quickly and easily get your camera in balance. You simply turn the small knobs and the camera will shift slightly left / right, or shift slightly forward and back. If you need to be quick about getting a camera ready to fly, the Glidecam HD series are the best bet. For small cameras similar to what the Flycam Nano can fly, you'll want to look into the Glidecam HD1000 stabilizer. You can find one of my demo videos (click here). The Glidecam HD1000 is the smallest of Glidecam stabilizers under the HD2000 and HD4000 which can all be found online (click here).

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find-price-button Glidecam Stabilizers

If you're looking to beef up your Camera by adding a battery grip, LED light, or Microphones and need something to carry more weight, the next step up (price wise) would be the Glidecam HD2000-HD4000 stabilizers. You can find the different Glidecam HD models available here. They are all basically the same design, just different sizes to support different weight cameras. You can probably get away with the smallest one, but if you plan on adding something like an LED video light (like this one) , you might want to get the larger Glidecam HD2000 or HD4000. I personally own several different stabilizers, but here's a BTS video with the HD4000 (click here).

In your search for Glidecam stabilizers, you might run into the Pro versions. These will also work great and the difference in the Pro series of Glidecam stabilizers is mainly the lack of 'Fine Tuning Knobs'. They will balance fairly heavy loads and if you don't require the fine tune knobs you can find many of these used for cheap prices (click here). Getting back to the Glidecam HD series of stabilizers, you can find more information about how much weight each stabilizer can carry, along with prices following the links below.

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find-price-button Glidecam HD 1000 Smallest Glidecam HD DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

Glidecam-HD2000
find-price-button Glidecam HD 2000 Medium Sized Glidecam HD DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

Glidecam-HD4000
find-price-button Glidecam HD-4000 Largest Glidecam HD DSLR Video Camera Stabilizer

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