One of the biggest surges of the 21st century is photography and videography. With platforms like Instagram, Youtube, TikTok, and more growing larger everyday, it is easy to understand why photography and videography are growing. Because people post so frequently to these online social platforms, camera skills are becoming more and more important. When you combine these newer forms of media with more traditional forms, it becomes easy to see why there is such a resurgence in camera and video tech. One of the greatest innovations to camera technology in recent memory is that of the camera stabilizer.
In reality, camera stabilizing technology first came about in the 1970s. Invented by Garrett Brown, the technology was initially put in use in order to increase mobility for very heavy cinematography cameras. Today however camera stabilizers serve a much broader audience. While cinema cameras have gotten significantly lighter and more practical, capturing steady and clear shots can still be problematic. Thankfully, as our cameras have progressed, our camera stabilizers have followed suit. In the remainder of this article we will take a look at a few of the best camera stabilizers you can buy.
How do Camera Stabilizers Work?
Like the name implies, camera stabilizers serve to eliminate twitches or bumps from a camera shoot. Primarily used for videography, a good camera stabilizer can make a world of difference in product quality. There are 3 different types of camera stabilizers that videographers can choose from:
The most basic form of stabilizer, handheld camera stabilizers are as the name describes. The handheld stabilizer attaches to the camera and is then held by the videographer or photographer. Handheld stabilizers help to reduce shaking but because of their build, it still requires a steady hand to hold it for top quality.
The vest stabilizer system is attached to a vest worn by the videographer. Primarily put to use in high-budget cinematography, the vest stabilizer allows the wearer to walk around while still capturing a steady shot. Vest stabilizers systems consist of three parts; the physical vest, the arm that attaches camera to vest, and the sled which is responsible for actually balancing the camera itself.
The final main type of camera stabilizer is the 3-axis gimbal system. The 3-axis refers to the 3 different planes of movement the camera stabilizer adjusts for. The 3-axis gimbal accounts for issues in camera hand steadiness or for issues in capturing moving shots. The systems come in both motorized and non-motorized models, with the motorized models requiring a charge to operate.
Now, here are a few of our favorite camera stabilizers you can buy today:
Our favorite handheld camera stabilizer on the market is the Glidecam HD-Pro. This professional grade handheld stabilizer consists of high-quality, highly durable stainless steel. The stabilizer can comfortably support up to 4.5 kg of weight which covers most cameras on the market. It also comes with a quick release camera plate to help make mounting your camera even easier. The Glidecam HD-Pro features a 3-axis system so users can ensure they get maximum camera stability. Because of the high-quality stainless steel, the stabilizer can be a bit heavy during long shoots. But all in all, it is one of the top handheld options available.
Next on our list is the DJI RSC-2 gimbal stabilizer. This stabilizer is perfect for capturing high-quality footage in a lightweight frame. Able to stabilize most any modern camera, the DJI RSC-2 also has the amazing ability to fold in on itself for easy mobile transport. The gimbal system is motorized but comes with 14-hour battery life so that you can shoot all day with no worries. Additionally, the stabilizer’s unique center column is the perfect tool for vertically shot social media videos. All in all the DJI RSC-2 is one of the most versatile products on the market today.
Our final recommendation comes from one of the biggest names in the camera stabilizing industry, the Tiffen Steadicam M-2. The newest model from Tiffen is just as durable as previous models, but comes lighter weight and at a more affordable cost. “Volt” technology allows the camera to tilt, roll, and pan as necessary for a maximum stability camera shot. The “Volt” controls customizes and moves to either side of the camera to allow the operator maximum control.
Steadicam users can choose from a variety of lengths of carbon fiber posts, as well as choosing from a couple different options for the sled as well. The M-2 includes many configurations in a large number of different ways in order to best optimize the camera to the user’s needs. Overall, the Steadicam M-2 could be the best camera stabilizer on the market.