Friday 26 October 2012

SteadyCam -one hand-

That's my own DIY SteadyCam, like others that you can found at the web, but not completely conventional ... 
The origin of this project was to intend for obtaining stabilized footage riding a mountain bike. What about a steadycam that doesn't need use one hand to frame?

 If anybody do not know what a steadycam works, please view the next video from PILOT steadycam.

That is a column-type steadycam, but there are arch-type models, more simple and less professional, that works in a very similar manner:  like this MERLIN or THIS ONE more simple.

Next some photos of joint (or kneecap / swivel) that provides independence from movement for two axis.
The movement for the thirth axis (rotation around Z axis) was solved with a bearing whose friction is Significantly higher that kneecap, but permits to implement the "one hand" system,

In the next, you can see the system to locate the camera to achieve that the exact centre of gravity of the complete steadycam coincides with centre of kneecap.


All the steadycams that I know have to be handled with two hands: Usually one hand for support the weight of the steadycam and other hand to aim or frame the image, gently, using very little force for not disturbing its working principles.

My modest contribution is that two rubber bands are used to mantain (gently) the camera pointing at front. Now the steadycam only stabilizes the fast and short angular movements, but not the smooth and permanent movements. And is possible to frame pointing with the same hand that holds the handle.

SteadyCam -one hand- from montonm on Vimeo.

The video in not a comparison between two similar recordings with or without steadycam.
The sample without stabilization (upper) only intends to show how the violent shaking on the handle of steadycam does not avoid that final result is acceptable enough.
The swinging up-down seems well solved and equally the oscilation side-to-side. But the rotation around z-axis is less smooth due the higher resistance to movement of bearing.

I hope to do some test with the steadycam on the bike... (not too esasy). I promise to report.

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