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Built a steady-cam for $9

Posted: Sat, 6th Dec 2003, 11:19pm

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Serdar3500

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I built a basic steady cam for $9 a few days ago. Here's a 672KB video clip to demonstrate it.

Quicktime File
Posted: Sat, 6th Dec 2003, 11:43pm

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ssjaaron

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so how do i build it? and where is a place where i can learn how to build it?
Posted: Sat, 6th Dec 2003, 11:48pm

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blaine

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ya!
Posted: Sun, 7th Dec 2003, 12:09am

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Serdar3500

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I'm rather busy at the moment but I'll get you guys a nice little tutorial tomorrow.

But just very briefly to show how simple it is, all you need are a few pipes from a hardware store, some washers, bolts, nuts, super glue, and a weight.
Posted: Sun, 7th Dec 2003, 12:21am

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kungfukid

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super glue sux USE http://www.miracleglue.com/
Posted: Sun, 7th Dec 2003, 1:20am

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Cyi101

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Just check out http://homebuiltstabilizers.com/

Go to the Tips section for some tutorials.
Posted: Sun, 7th Dec 2003, 1:27am

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Aculag

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That didn't really look THAT stable. Was it just the thing with a pole attatched to a weight?

Like this?
Posted: Sun, 7th Dec 2003, 1:30am

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Cyi101

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Yeah, actually I think you can achieve the exact same, or better, results by using a tripod. Just keep the camera on the tripod, spread the legs out a bit to achieve a good balance, and you have a poor man's version of the steadicam.
Posted: Sun, 7th Dec 2003, 3:07am

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Aculag

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Of course, with all of these things you can do to hold your camera, you still have to figure a way to steady it. This is the reason a Steadicam's arm works so well. The thing isn't moving all over the place while you walk.
Posted: Sun, 7th Dec 2003, 7:53am

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Serdar3500

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Haha, Aculag, I started laughing my ass off when I saw the steady-cam in that link you gave, because it's almost the same! Haha!

Anyways, it didn't look "perfectly" stable in my video because I honestly wasn't trying to keep it steady. You pretty much gatta use your legs and know how to move your own weight around. And about using a tripod as a steady-cam, good luck because unless your tripod weighs like 3 pounds, it won't be steady at all.

I guess I don't have to make a tutorial then. Though mine is A LOT easier to make.
Posted: Sun, 7th Dec 2003, 8:10am

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Aculag

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Serdar3500 wrote:

good luck because unless your tripod weighs like 3 pounds, it won't be steady at all.
What is THAT supposed to mean? Is that saying that tripods are really light? Or that they're really heavy? Something heavy would work better, and most tripods have a decent amount of weight to them. Good ones anyway. Mine weighs probably 10 pounds. Explain yourself.
Posted: Sun, 7th Dec 2003, 8:57pm

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Serdar3500

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You just did explain it. Like I just said, unless your tripod is heavy, it won't be steady at all.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 12:51am

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Aculag

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I was just wondering if you considered 3 pounds to be very heavy.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 1:08am

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Magic_man12

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Tripods that are somewhat decent are heavy!

light ones are usually garbage

-MAGIC
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 1:16am

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CX3

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Yea, I agree w/ aculag. That clip didnt look steady at all. Before or after. Ive had steadier shots just holding a camera...
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 1:29am

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Serdar3500

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Adversus solem ne loquitor.

Don't waste your time arguing the obvious.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 2:00am

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CX3

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I know you translated it but what is that supposed to mean? And who was it directed to?
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 3:22am

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Serdar3500

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It's self-explanatory but I'll elaborate on it. Basically I meant that it was obvious that my video clip demonstrating the steady-cam wasn't perfectly smooth, as I had stated before. So I don't think time should be spent arguing that fact.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 3:56am

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Magic_man12

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Homemade steady cams are over-rated. Why not just hold the camera from the handle on top (most good cameras have this) while it is attached to a tripod...does the same as what "homemade" ones do.

I find it useless. Use a tripod. If you want to camera to move, stick it on a dolly.

Making a steady cam that is decent would be somewhat costly. You get what you pay for.
" a steady cam for 9 dollars" - you think nine bucks will change much?

www.homebuiltstabilizers.com

its reallllllly funny as some of the rediculous contraptions some people have made....

-MAGIC
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 4:52am

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Serdar3500

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Magic_man12 wrote:

Making a steady cam that is decent would be somewhat costly. You get what you pay for.
" a steady cam for 9 dollars" - you think nine bucks will change much?
Not everybody has a few thousand dollars to throw at a new Canon GL or what-not. My camera for example does not have a handle, and don't you ever assume that $9 can't make a difference. "What you pay for is what you get" does not apply to everything. Take for example the home PC. Why do a lot of people prefer to build their own PC rather than buy one? I'll tell you why. Because the end result is cheaper and better.

Do you think I have a few grand sitting on my desk for purchasing a new camera when I already have a camera which does the same thing, to record video onto a miniDV tape for editing in home-built PC.

Don't argue my friend.

A $9 steady-cam does a lot for me. Maybe for you it doesn't because you have a handle. But for mine, and many others, it works wonders. How about the next video you see that has an unsteady shot, you recommend to the author not to use a simply built steady-cam or tripod, but to go and buy a new camera with a handle on it so he can use it on his tripod.

using a camera with a handle on top screwed onto a tripod is about as 'home-made" as a home-made steady-cam is. Well what do you know... that is a home-made steady-cam.

I'm a nice guy. No really, I am.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 4:57am

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Aculag

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Serdar3500 wrote:

Adversus solem ne loquitor.

Don't waste your time arguing the obvious.
What are you doing? That entire last post looked like an argument of the obvious to me...

Last edited Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 5:00am; edited 1 times in total.

Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 4:59am

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cantaclaro

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Ba-Zing!!!

Canta unsure
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 5:13am

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Cyi101

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Although I believe that carrying a tripod will yield the same results as a $9 "steadicam", I strongly disagree that homemade steadicams are overrated. Magic_man, the "ridiculous contraptions" you are making fun of have yielded professional-level image stabilization that would have otherwise cost hundreds of dollars. And no, holding your camera by the handle will not give you much better results than Serdar's steadicam. Read up on how stabilizers work, and you'll see why these contraptions look so "ridiculous".

And I think everyone kinda needs to refocus a bit: Serdar's just sharing some info that helped him achieve better shots and we're just sharing some of our own tips. This thread is starting to spiral into an argument, let's get back on track.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 5:23am

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CX3

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Im just saying that if he was going to show us a demonstration of his steady cam, then you think he would have shown us a demo of it actually working. Thats like somebody saying they installed their own brakes on a car, then they show a demo of a car with no brakes crash into a buliding, then the after shot of the car with the brakes installed and it still crashes into the building... I just didnt get the point of the demo. Im not trying to start a fight.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 5:32am

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Aculag

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Cyi101 wrote:

Magic_man, the "ridiculous contraptions" you are making fun of have yielded professional-level image stabilization that would have otherwise cost hundreds of dollars.
Hundreds? Do you even know what they use to stabilise images for professional level films? For one thing, even to rent a steadicam is about 500 bucks a day. Then you need to pay an operator, which can also be VERY pricey. Hundreds is a severe understatement.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 5:45am

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Magic_man12

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Whoa wasn't expecting this haha

Serdar3500 - im not saying you need to get a thousand dollar camera for a handle. i was meaning its easier to hold the handle with the tripod attached (you can easily make a duct tape handle haha).
What you pay for is what you get. I agree its not tru for EVERYTHING, but in this case it is - to an extent. The Home PC, "most people build there own so its cheaper and better"? of all the people i know, i know of ONE person who has bought the parts seperately and put it all together themself, and, oh... he didn't work well at all and he bought one that came together! I agree that this is cheaper tho, but better?
Depends on the part, if you are buying GOOD part, its not really much cheaper is it? you dont pay THAT much extra for it to be already made, and when you buy it already made, usually (in most cases i have seen) it is covered by a warranty and tech support if needed, which helps alot of people.

No i doubt very much anyone has a few grand sitting on their desk for a camera.
I wasn't arguing my friend just stating my opinion.

Cyi101 - ...Yeilded prefessional-level image stabilization that would have otherwise cost hundreds of dollars.................your a moron.
If you have EVER used PROFESSIONAL equipment, there is no way you would ever think anything homemade works as good as it does. I myself have used PROFESSIONAL equipment and it is BY FAR better than homemade stuff . YES some homemade stabilizers work VERY VERY well, BUT - they didn't cost 9 bucks!!! and they are NOT AS GOOD as PRO stuff. Dont even try arguing that a homemade stabilizer will work as good as proffesional stabilizing equipment, ESPECIALLY for 9 bucks - which is what is being discussed!

I never said holding the camera by the handle will give you "much better results than Serdar's steadicam". WHere did i say the handle approach will be much better?!?!? i didn't! I said "why not just.." Why not just - meaning INSTEAD of makign something do that - which wouldn't cost anything if you have a camera like that or are willing to make a duct tape hande (haha)
sorry bud!


-MAGIC
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 6:49am

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Cyi101

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Aculag - I was referring to the handheld stabilizers for the smaller cameras (stabilizers such as the Steadicam JR. or the lower model Glidecams). Those you can purchase for several hundred dollars. Sorry for not specifying.

Magic_man - Calm down buddy, I didn't want this to turn into an all-out flame war. I'm sorry that I pissed you off, but I'm just stating what I know. I never said that a 9 dollar stabilizer will work as well as professional equipment, but I'm also not naive enough to say that a homemade stabilizer can never get close to professional level equipment. The handheld stabilizers can be built to professional standards by someone who is proficient in working with metals and constructing. These handheld stabilizers (such as the Steadicam JR.) are not rocket science, and the designs are not extremely complex. I'm not saying I can make one, but on homebuiltstabilizers.com there are many who have the knowledge in physics and welding who can.

You're right about the handle though, I should've read your post more carefully. I just needed to respond because it seemed like you were making fun of the stabilizers on www.homebuiltstabilizers.com, when in fact those devices do work very well. Check the website for the test videos and design plans - those guys really know what they're doing. And just wondering, but what professional equipment have you used? I'm thinking about buying one in the future and I'd like to hear some opinions on equipment.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 6:53am

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Aculag

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Cyi101 wrote:

Aculag - I was referring to the handheld stabilizers for the smaller cameras (stabilizers such as the Steadicam JR. or the lower model Glidecams). Those you can purchase for several hundred dollars. Sorry for not specifying.
Yes, those are cheaper, and professional, but they're hardly for professional use. They're just professionally made. How many professional filmmakers do you see running around with a little sony camcorder?
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 7:33am

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anonymous

Does every single thread on this board have to turn into an argument?? Holy shemolians.

This is a place where amature filmmakers (basically people who record from VHS to MINIDV) can post tips and tricks to make they're movies look good. There are people on here talking about how much REAL equipment costs and what its like in the "biz". What do we know? If we were THAT professional, we'd be sitting in offices or in a directors chair making multi-million dollar flicks.

But no, we're posting messages on a message board basically arguing about nothing. There are websites with cute little "(insert name) films/Productions" titles for they're "companies" posting they're short films on the net and explaining how they have had more experience and other people's work is degrading. When in fact, they're just as low budget and amature as we are.

...But whatever makes them feel like they know more than what they really do I guess...
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 7:46am

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Serdar3500

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Haha, fun fun.

I didn't mean to start a big debate, lol. Now I remember why I try not to post on forums so much, I get too involved in these heated debates. In the real world (outside of the "matrix" lol), I don't get into many arguments because the arguer (usually my friends, lol) know what they'd be getting into, haha.

"Reload" begins filming in a few weeks. My home-made devices sha'll be put to the test.
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 7:55pm

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Aculag

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Good luck!
Posted: Mon, 8th Dec 2003, 8:03pm

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Mantra

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Ok everyone, now breathe.... and relax.....breathe.....and...
Christmas cheer at FXHome, marvellous!
Posted: Sat, 13th Dec 2003, 12:12pm

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AndrewtheActorMan

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hehe, my short XMAS film is called Christmas Cheer....see why it might be called that? To be queit honest, it doesnt have really ANY 'cheer' in it..

And, actually, there are people making expensive flicks, and people sitting in the directors chair...hm...John Carter?

And dont forget Sollthar who is getting his movie released by fox...