a cheap steadycam?
Steadycams (or camera stabilizers) are attachments used
to capture smooth looking video even when the camera and
camera operator are in motion. The camera operator may walk
(or even jog), move through tight hallways and doorways,
and even climb up and down stairs without shaking the camera.
Unfortunately, professional steadycams cost around $1500.
Even the cheap 3rd party ones cost $600+. Not exactly a
bargain considering many of us use cameras in that price
range. So, I decided to make my own version. It turns out,
it only costs $14. Not too bad. And I'll show you how to
build your own right here (or you can buy a ready-to-use
steadycam from me
here. Whether you
are an aspiring filmmaker, a videographer, the family documentarian,
or just want more utility out of your video camera, you'll
appreciate a steadycam.
If you know what you are doing, you can probably build one
of these in about 20 minutes. It might take you an hour
if you have to read this web page while you do it and aren't
very good with tools . This steadycam design works with
anything that has a tripod mount and should be fine with
cameras that weigh less than 5 pounds. For heavier cameras,
I would recommend building a large sled for better support
and easier mounting or considering adding a professional
tripod head . If you make it out of steel or iron as I recommend,
you will have to worry more about the solidity of your camera
than the solidity of the steadycam. But before we begin,
I should warn you that improper or irresponsible use of
a steadycam can quickly result in damage to your equipment
and/or injury to yourself and others.
main tools you'll need to get your hands on are a drill
and a stationary vise. It's possible to do it without
the vise, but it's far more difficult and potentially
dangerous. You can buy a vise for about $15 from Home
Depot or Lowes and it's well worth the money if you are
going to do any future projects. It's meant to be table
mounted, but I just bolted it to a big board that I can
stand on while I use it. Mounting it is important. I tried
doing this once without mounting it (didn't have spare
board at the time) . It was a p-a-i-n.
You'll need drill and a 1/4" drill bit that
can go into galvanized steel. So, cheap wood bits will
probably not survive this project. This happens to be
a very nice drill in this picture, but any power drill
You also need a wrench, screwdriver (type depends
on the bolts you get), and a hammer. I had
a little combo thingy I got from the dollar store. It
actually works pretty well because the wrench part is
a little bit clawed, so it grips pipes really nicely.