Camera stabilizers are invaluable when it comes to filming smooth footage. But if you want to get the highest-quality footage possible, it’s important to use your stabilizer properly. These tips for filming with a stabilizer will help you perfect the art of filming with this accessory.
Choose the Right Stabilizer
Not every stabilizer is the same, and not every stabilizer will be the best choice for your project. For this reason, it’s important to consider the different types of stabilizers and choose the right one for your needs. For example, while a Flycam and a gimbal both stabilize film footage, they have some key differences. A gimbal is better for a beginner who wants automatic motorized stabilization. A Flycam might be better suited for an advanced camera operator who prefers more precise, mechanical movements.
Balance Your Stabilizer Properly
No matter what type of stabilizer you choose, it’s important to balance it properly before you begin filming. Most gimbal stabilizers will need to be balanced on their tilt, roll, and pan axes; adjustments are usually made with a system of knobs, counterweights, and locks attached to the gimbal. When your stabilizer is properly balanced, it should be level in the position you want it, with no tilting back and forth or side to side.
Learn How To Walk
While camera stabilizers do eliminate most of the camera’s unintentional movements, they usually can’t completely cancel out the up and down motion of walking. When using a stabilizer to film walking shots, you’ll need to learn to walk in a way that minimizes shakiness in your shots. Take your movements slowly, avoid swinging your arms, and keep them locked close to your sides as much as possible. Keep your knees bent and your muscles tensed as you walk, and hold the camera and stabilizer as close to your body as possible for added stability.
Lighten Your Load
They may not all look like it, but camera stabilizers can get heavy fast! That’s why one of the tips for filming with a stabilizer is to lighten your load, especially if you’ll be shooting for a long period of time. This could mean using less or lighter accessories, choosing a lighter camera, or even choosing a lighter stabilizer—whatever it takes to make the load more manageable and less taxing on your arms.