The steadycam you already own (but didn't know)

This experiment started with thinking about making a video about fixing this old barn. A shot panning around the structure would be good for an overview. But if I walk with the camera, it makes for some very bumpy footage. How to stabilize it?

Devin Graham always uses a "glidecam" to stabilize his camera, so I figured I'd experiment with rigging up something similar.


I started with the shaft from one of my wooden tripods


I made a horizontal bar to clamp to the bottom of it, clamping it on with just a wood screw.


Two weights clamped to the ends of the bar along with the weight of the camera makes for something with a fair amount of moment of inertia. Which is to say, resistant to sudden rotation in all directions.


I tested it by running around the barn while filming. This turns out to be much harder than running with the camera facing forwards because I have to be careful where I'm going while looking sideways at the camera.

The shot was much smoother than running and holding just the camera itself.


Then I had the idea of running while just holding a relatively light tripod. This worked about as well as my steadycam experiment, though slightly awkward.


The next experiment was running with my big Manfrotto tripod. The legs on this one fold out nearly horizontally. Combined with the sheer weight of the tripod, this made for the smoothest shot I captured. But it i also goofy, and with the legs sticking way out, it's more likely to get caught on something. But it demonstrates that for a steadycam, bigger and heavier is better!


Then I had the idea of trying the steadycam while riding my ATV at high speed. This was quite fun. But, as I discovered, this is also quite unsafe!

The brake is on the left handlebar, but I held the camera in my left hand. And because I kept my eyes on the camera, I wasn't really watching where I was going. Going up a steep incline, I ended up hitting a stump. I'm not sure how close I came to flipping the ATV, but it sure was scary. I won't be trying that again, or at least not on a trail through the bush up a steep incline at high speed!

The grassy area I drove though in the video is the same one where I filmed my tree cage video and the lawn mower of destruction video.


Ater posting this, a lot of people have commented "make a video about the barn".
I had to put the barn on hold for this year (2015), but I made a quick video about the current state of it.


More photography and video related articles:

Macro photography
with a cheap camera
Simple light stands
from discarded lamps
Wasp sucking machine
XL
(same location)

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