DIY Retractable Compact Camera Holster Hand Held Stabilizer

When i'm traveling, i'm always carrying some type of compact camera with me. Whether this be a GoPro, a Sony RX100, Fuji X100s, or my latest favorite the Panasonic Lumix LX100.

The one thing I'm not a fan of is trying to find a pocket to place them, or having to wear camera straps. I decided that a camera holster would be ideal, but wanted to make sure I never left my camera behind on a table. So here's a little DIY idea I had, and managed to work with a local machine shop to get it made.

The camera actually 'docks' into a special belt hoster, but for safety (in case you miss your dock) there's an attaching rope. The rope works with a retractable coil that has enough force to prevent the Panasonic Lumix LX100 from hitting the ground (which is far heavier than a Sony RX100 or Gopro). If that's not enough, the rope is made from heavy duty Kevlar that is incredibly durable from wear and tear. Don't believe me? Check out this video (here).

With the strong pull-force of the coil it actually makes hand-held shooting more stable as it appears to add more weight or mass to the camera. Using a string to stabilize a camera is not a new concept, but what those other products lacked was a way to actually dock and hang the camera safely. This prototype unit has an integrated dock that locks the camera from falling as you walk or run.

The retractable cord is not just all show, it's functional as well as it helps guide the camera dock back into the cartridge. Without this you would have to turn your head to line up the camera dock. The pull-force literally pulls the camera towards the dock and with practice you can reattach your camera while blindfolded.

It's faster than any Rapid Strap, more compact, and will not swing around as you bend over. Of course right now it's only designed for small cameras, but that makes it perfect for my travels. It's not an actual product, but if there's interest from the community i'm sure something will come out of it. What do you guys think about something like this? Leave a comment below.

18 thoughts on “DIY Retractable Compact Camera Holster Hand Held Stabilizer

  1. Hi Emm, Two quick questions.
    1. Any update on this cool little device?
    2. How do you deal with the Quick Release blocking the battery/sd slot? Do you have any suggestions? Thank you! 🙂

  2. Ryan

    I use one of these products on the link below for my gopro when it's suction-cupped to something. I also use one for my walkie talkies when I'm hiking. I like tethering expensive things when I am out and about since I can be absent-minded.

    Keybak also has a reel with a Kevlar cord. You can get them on amazon for $15.

    But I'm all for Emm to get something out there. We all know it will be good and useful. The price point is the key.

  3. Keith

    Would love something like that with a "holster" (neoprene/cordura/leather)attached underneath to shove your camera into for a bit more protection and less camera jostling (might require a couple sizes)

  4. Ignacio Carrere

    I think it's a very good idea. But instead of a ring I would put something more fixed and adjustable so that the camera did not move so much and we could place it as we wanted

  5. Dean Barkley

    As well as adjustable tension on the cord, it would be good to be able to lock off cord past shooting position to reduce camera holding fatigue if stabiliser mode not needed.

  6. I want! kinda stupid to post this in here though. Would be good if the tension of the spring is adjustable. This is prior art so patenting is not possible anymore. Make it, make it quick, and make it cheap and this should not be a problem though...

  7. Hi Emm,
    I've been thinking of DIY'ing a plate beneath my OM-D M1 to attach to a belt, holster style, but I like your solution better! Having the retractable kevlar cord gives that extra security and stability. Nice! Do you need a Beta tester? : )

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