So you took a video of an important event. It’s a really important milestone. You look at the video and a few seconds in you see everything as a blurry shaky mess. Most new cameras nowadays have built in image stabilization. However, in some cases, that’s not enough. You need just a little bit extra. The best solution is to get a stabilized camera mount.
Years before, this was the bailiwick of large movie productions. Steadicam rigs were pretty expensive. However in action scenes they’re practically de rigueur if you want useable footage. Steadicams stabilizes your camera, enabling you to take smooth shots while moving. The Steadicam isolates the camera from the movement of the operator.
There are a lot of options out there right now and prices can vary quite a bit. However you shouldn’t count something out just because they’re cheap, a lot of them work just as well as more expensive models.
6. Liinmall S40 Handheld Steadycam
The first Steadicam we have reviewed is a handheld one. The liinmall s40 has plenty of amazing features in a very compact package. It’s incredibly easy to use and features a smart counter weight design that enables it to be used with a wide range of DSLR cameras. The weights can easily be adjusted with dials on the bottom part of the stabilizer.
Liinmall smartly uses an ergonomic mobile handle. This makes it easy to maneuver around different positions while still comfortably holding the handle. The top mount is pretty standard so you can use it with most cameras out there. The mounts uncomplicated design lets you easily attach and remove your DSLR. It’s also relatively cheap though there are lots of cheaper options.
5. BINKO VS-C7 0.2lb-3lb Carbon Fiber Stabilizer
The Binko VS-C7 is an excellent beginner’s camera stabilizer. It’s perfect for anyone who’s just starting out and figuring out their craft. However, that doesn’t mean this camera stabilizer won’t do for more advanced users. It’s plenty capable enough for that. It features a simple design and made out of lightweight carbon fiber which gives it lots of strength without adding more weight.
The frame weighs just 2.2 lbs. The carbon fiber frame can easily support most cameras provided they do not go over the 3 lb limit. It also features a quick release system that’s pretty convenient when you need to switch cameras. It has a dual weight system that can give you a wider range of angles to work in. Included with the kit is a small carry bag.
4. Glide Gear DNA 1000# Small Camera Action Video Stabilizer
Glide Gear is a brand most well known for their gimbals and stabilizers. The DNA 1000# is a versatile video stabilizer that can serve both beginners and professional videographers. It stabilizes extremely well and it’s quite lightweight too which helps (anyone who has spent hours filming an event would understand) in long filming sessions
The DNA 1000# is compatible with most cameras. It has 3-axis stabilization and can support cameras which weigh up to 1.5 lbs. It has a sled based platform with an ergonomic handle that enables you to rotate it smoothly. Like the Binko, it has a quick release system which is completely toolless. You can disassemble it without much fuss which is great for when you need to switch something out quickly.
3. Opteka SteadyVid PRO Video Stabilizer System for Digital SLR Cameras
Most people may not love the design of the Opteka but when balanced just right it performs amazingly well. The main complaint about the Opteka is that it can be a pain to get the balance right. We’ve spent an hour adjusting the weights before we got the balance just right. On the other hand, this has kept the design very simple which in turn keeps the weight down.
Let’s talk about that stabilizer. It is shaped like a crescent, arching downwards where the counterweights are located. The entire frame is made out of steel (still pretty light though) The weights at the bottom can be removed individually. The mount is compatible with most cameras and is very easy to use. The grip is ergonomically designed, wrapped with a soft touch foam which makes it one of the more comfortable grips we have tested.
2. Glide Gear DNA 5050 DSLR Stabilizer
The Glide Gear DNA 5050 is an updated 1000 series. They’ve changed quite a bit design wise but overall nothing too major has changed. Why mess with what works right? They did however changed the weight distribution, making it easier to balance properly. The mount can now support heavier cameras than that of the 1000 (up to 2 lbs this time).
This time around, Glide gear has started using a 2 axis system. You can adjust the shaft length to fit. The handle rotates smoothly. The handgrip this time is covered with a soft spongy rubber material which really helps you maintain a good grip. Overall this is an excellent camera stabilizer. The price tag might turn off people though.
1. Roxtant Pro DSLR Steadycam Stabilizer
The Roxtant is the perfect blend of form and function. Its simple design lends it a versatility few others can match. The handle is located directly beneath the camera giving it excellent weight distribution. The rubber coated is comfortable and spongy enough that sweaty palms won’t make it too slippery.
The stabilizer looks like a reverse C witch hooks towards the user. On the bottom are the adjustable weights which you can move up or down. It features a toolless design which is uncomplicated and easy to use.
Despite not having an ounce of carbon fiber, it still manages to keep its weight down. This also keeps the manufacturing costs down which is immediately passed down to us, the end user. The black paint is aesthetically pleasing and the light weight is great for those long filming sessions.
The mount supports most DSLR camera models up to 2 lbs. The best feature of the Roxtant is that it’s foldable which makes it easier to pack in your camera bag.
Steadycams or Camera stabilizers need to have a good balancing system in order to provide good useable footage. If the entire system isn’t calibrated properly according to the camera system weight then the entire system will just fail to stabilize your footage. All you’ll be left with will be blurry shaky footage and a very expensive paper weight. Another important aspect to consider would be stabilizer weight. Anyone who has filmed for more than a few minutes can attest to this. A heavy system will wear you out. Guaranteed. At the end of the day, you’d be incapable of holding the camera stabilizer steady. Light weight is a must if you plan on extended filming sessions. A DSLR camera is heavy enough, imagine adding a couple lbs on top of that. Remember you have to lug these things around all day. Do yourself a favor and pick something that won’t break your back.
One thing you must also consider is that there IS a correlation between price and quality. What makes it even more confusing is that price is not always directly correlated with quality. You can’t just decide to buy the most expensive stabilizer out there only to find that it doesn’t perform as advertised. You just can’t discount something because it’s cheap either- for the same reasons.
There is mantra that I believe applies in most instances. Cheap, light, strong, pick two. Lightweight stabilizers are often made out of carbon fiber thus making them more expensive. Cheaper stabilizers are often made out of metal, making them much heavier. It’s up to you what you find to be your sweet spot.
Take all these things into consideration when you’re making your choice. Remember to do your due diligence. Read the reviews. Try them all out. Find what’s right for you.
matters. It is important to take all these things into account when looking for a decent DSLR Steadicam stabilizer.