$14 (Poor Man's) Steady-Cam

Mar 21, 2005
Kearney, NE
I would imagine that most videocam users make use of a tripod (or in car attachment) but for those of you who handhold, this might be a cheap way to improve the quality of your handheld shots:
Make a $14 Poor Man's Steady-Cam.

Just thought I'd pass that along.

Darren Addy
Kearney, NE
I've seen this in action and wasn't really impressed. I mean, it's ok, but you get what you pay for. IMHO the ones with the gimbal handle work out much better and seem to be more stable. I own a Glidecam 2000 and it certainly helps when walking or moving. The best way when you are videoing a news event though is to use a tripod. Work on panning skills. Try to let the action come to you. These are things I've recently learned as I just started with video a couple of years ago.
Yep, that about all it is.

Any camera "stabilizer" that is hand help like that is basically the same thing. Some are a bit fancier but provide essentially the same function. They all work on the same principle. The weight "stabilizes" the camera shake you get from the small light weight cameras. The better one will have a gymbal mounted handle to allow free rotation and the weights are spread out more allowing more stabile shots while walking, etc.

The really good stuff (Steadicam, Glidecam, Vreezecam) will actually dampen your motion through a series of weights and pulleys. Remember the original Rocky" movie? When he's running up the steps in Philly? These were shot with a Steadicam operator running along side him. However, these "nice" camera stabilizers are about $5000 to $10,000 for good used equipment or $12,000 to $15,000 for new.

It's cheaper to use a monopod with rod attached to the bottom and may 5 to 10 pounds of weight. Your arms WILL get tired. I tried to shoot a wedding like this once. I started trying to figure out an easier way.