One of the biggest waves of the 21st century is photography and videography. With platforms like Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, and more growing every day, it’s easy to understand why photography and videography are on the rise. With people posting so frequently on 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’s easy to see why there’s a resurgence in camera and video technology. One of the biggest innovations in camera technology in recent memory is that of the camera stabilizer.
Camera stabilization technology actually first appeared in the 1970s. Invented by Garrett Brown, the technology was initially used to increase the mobility of very heavy motion picture cameras. Today, however, camera stabilizers serve a much larger audience. While film cameras have become significantly lighter and more practical, capturing steady, clear shots can still be problematic. Fortunately, as our cameras have progressed, our camera stabilizers have followed suit. In the rest of this article, we’ll take a look at some of the best camera stabilizers you can buy.
How do camera stabilizers work?
As the name implies, camera stabilizers are used to remove shake or shock from a camera shot. Mainly used for videography, a good camera stabilizer can make a big difference in the quality of the product. There are 3 different types of camera stabilizers that videographers can choose from:
The most basic form of stabilizers, handheld camera stabilizers are just as the name describes. The handheld stabilizer attaches to the camera and is then held by the videographer or photographer. Handheld stabilizers help reduce shake, but due to their construction, a steady hand is still required to hold them for best quality.
The vest stabilizer system is attached to a vest worn by the videographer. Primarily used in high-budget cinematography, the vest’s stabilizer allows the wearer to walk while capturing a steady shot. Vest stabilizer systems consist of three parts; the physical vest, the arm that attaches the camera to the vest, and the sled that is responsible for balancing the camera.
3 axis gimbal
The last main type of camera stabilizer is the 3-axis gimbal system. The 3-axis refers to the 3 different planes of motion that the camera stabilizer is adjusted for. The 3-axis gimbal accounts for problems in camera hand stability or problems capturing moving shots. Systems come in motorized and non-motorized models, and motorized models require a charge to run.
Now here are some 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 is made of high quality, highly durable stainless steel. The stabilizer can comfortably support up to 4.5kg in weight, which covers most cameras on the market. It also comes with a quick release camera plate to make mounting the camera even easier. The Glidecam HD-Pro features a 3-axis system so users can ensure maximum camera stability. Due to the high-quality stainless steel, the gimbal can get a bit heavy during long shots. But overall, it’s one of the best portable options available.
Next on our list is the DJI RSC-2 gimbal stabilizer. This stabilizer is perfect for capturing high quality images in a lightweight frame. Capable of stabilizing most modern cameras, 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 a 14-hour battery life so you can shoot all day without worry. Plus, the stabilizer’s unique center column is the perfect tool for social media videos shot vertically. 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 stabilization industry, the Tiffen Steadicam M-2. Tiffen’s newest model is just as durable as previous models, but it’s lighter and more affordable. “Volt” technology allows the camera to tilt, roll and rotate as needed for maximum stability camera shooting. The “Volt” controls are customized and moved to either side of the chamber to allow for maximum operator control.
Steadicam users can choose from a variety of carbon fiber pole lengths, as well as choose from a couple of different options for the sled. The M-2 includes many settings in a large number of different ways to better optimize the camera for the user’s needs. Overall, the Steadicam M-2 might be the best camera stabilizer on the market.