Recently I was trying to make some short videos of things and I wanted to walk around while filming, to get shots of all the sides. Trying to keep the camera steady while doing that was difficult so I decided to build a camera stabilizer! There are a lot of instructional videos of homemade steadicam camera stabilizers and the simple ones are nothing more than a counterweight that adds mass and keeps the camera stable while moving around. The tricks (if you can call them that) to building one is you have to have some way to hold the camera and stabilizer that decouples your hand and body movements from the camera. The other challenging thing to making one is balancing the camera with the weight so that the camera is at the right angle for your shot.
The easiest and most obvious way to decouple your movements from the camera is to have a gimbal of some sort that lets the camera move all around relative to your hand. I decided rather than building a gimbal I'd use a small universal joint that is used in the drive shaft of radio controlled cars. Other people have built camera stabilizers using these and got good results. I decided to use one because I had a few laying around the garage!
|My homemade Camera Stabilizer and the parts I used to make it|
The counterweight has to be adjustable so that when changing from one camera to another one of different weight or center of gravity you can level it out. Also if you want to angle the camera down or up you have to do that by adjusting the weight. Most camera stabilizers require you to add little weights and/or move them around on some kind of arm. I decided to get around that hassle by using a flexible gooseneck mount with the weight mounted to the bottom end. These goosnecks are used to position microphones and car accessories. This allows me to adjust the weight position and camera angle by just bending the gooseneck. Here are the details of how I went about building this, along with a video! Watch the video!!