AVS Special Member
Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: On the Road
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Camcorders without eyepiece viewfinders force you to hold them away from the body. And, they are small enough that a two handed grip is difficult.
Zooming of course makes it worse. If you can, avoid zoom and get physically closer.
To reduce shake, I attach it to something. My favorite is a light monopod with a ball head on it. I may have it extended, with the foot on the ground or floor. More often I have the ball head bent so that the retracted monopod is firmly tucked between my arm and ribs. I might also put the foot in a front Levi's pocket or tucked behind my belt.
I might also mount the camera on the monopod with a a small, flat bar I made so the monopod extends above the camera. The idea is to hold the monopod at about chest height and the camera at about waste high. Between gravity and the distance from hand to camera the effect is a little like a "steady cam". The ball head is used to level the camera and the foot of the monopod is held with my finger tips. Pro models often have a handle/mic holder positioned above the camcorder that provides some of the same effect.
I've even found that using the ball head at 90 degrees to point the monopod horizontally and to the left allows me to grip it like a handle bar. Basically it gives a two handed grip with the hands separated. That causes the camera to be more steady.
Another two handed approach (I've not tried) is shown here: Frugal Filmmaker Camcorder Stabilizer.
Of course, nothing beats a tripod. Expensive ones can pan smoothly. Cheap ones are OK if you don't need much panning.
Join Date: Oct 2007
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If i had the skill, time, and patience, i'd like to construct the gimbal this guy designed. http://www.yb2normal.com/DIYsteadicam.html Unfortunately, i don't have much of either so i'll probably just find a cheesy way to hang some weights from the bottom of a monopod and use that for any shots that require me to walk.