2007 December 4th, 23:06
Homemade camcorder shoulder/pistol grip stabilizer
The other day I reviewed the recent 40 minute short I made and I noticed that there were a lot of mobile shots that seemed a bit shaky. To prevent this from happening in my next upcoming films, I decided to make a homemade camcorder stabilizer. Part of my inspiration to do this was looking at Eugenia's shoulder bracket from the HV20 picture thread. I looked at the price and was not impressed at all, so I thought to myself, why not make one? So I just went to my local hardware store and found a bunch of pipes, screws, a spring, and I happened to have some cushioning thingy's I got from my work and put it together with a friend within two hours. Here is how it turned out:
The handling takes a little getting used to because of the extra weight, but once I played around with it quite a bit, it turned out to be more comfortable than I thought. There is still a little bit of shock while walking but it is barely noticeable when I looked at some test footage (I wish I could show ya'll but my computer is way to crappy to render anything right now ) Overall, I love what I did with $20 dollars and I will be looking forward to shooting some scenes for my next film!
Headphone wires go into the end of the tubing of the pipe.
Shoulder padding. Not THE MOST comfortable stabilizer in the world but it does the job.
Where the camcorder mounts on. I can shake it all I want, flip it, and the camcorder still won't fall off.
Soft cushioned handle for support. Gorilla glue: best super glue on the planet. If you're too lazy to screw anything in like me than I recommend Gorilla Glue. The only thing I actually used to screw in was a drill bit through the pipe, so that the screw thingy (haha forgot what kind of screw it's called) can go through the pipe and the blue mount thingy (don't know what that is either, just picked it off the shelf) for the camcorder to mount on.
I used the wireless remote controller that came along with the camcorder and strapped it onto the spring/handle. The reason why I did this is because I want to be able to press the zoom button from the controller while maintaining my stability with both of my hands at the same time. Instead of having to release my hand from the handle and reaching for the built in zoom toggle that could risk the stabilizer not being stable! In conclusion, I'm glad Canon gave us HV20 owners a remote controller that I thought was useless!
If you have any questions on how I built this rig, feel free to shoot. This idea kind of came out of no where, and I am not a genius at building stuff. That is why I had a friend help me out. So I will try to answer your questions as best as possible. Thanks.
2007 December 4th, 23:38
Wow! When I first saw the top photo, I was very curious about the reason for the spring in the front, but then I read the rest of your post and thought it was very well done! I like how you can move the remote to use.
That is the end result - a useful device to do a job. I admire your ingenuity and wish you the best in your productions. Thanks for posting!
2007 December 4th, 23:54
wow looks like it'll work put some footage on with it
2007 December 4th, 23:58
Wow! That is very inventive. Congratulations cinemasteve. Love to see some of your footage sometime.
2007 December 5th, 00:12
Thanks for the compliments! I would love to show you guys some test footage, but the only problem is. . .I need a new computer to be able to capture, edit, and render smoothly. The current one I am using right now is about to blow up. Once I get a new computer, hopefully in the near future, I will put some footage on there. I can tell you first hand, that it is working pretty well for me thus far. I was a bit skeptical at first because I thought it would produce a lot of noise and shock while walking, but it handled very smoothly and silently at the same time. It even doesn't look half bad while running.
I was about to regret putting the spring on as the handle but I just remembered that it was a pain letting go of it to reach for the zoom toggle. So that is why I decided to strap the wireless controller onto the handle.
2007 December 5th, 16:44
Time to go to the hardware store.......
2007 December 5th, 17:59
I'm sorry if I'm completely missing something but what is the spring handle for again? Very mariachi-style of you! Oh wait... Robert Rodriguez would have used the pipes under his mom's sink and strapped old kitchen sponges to the handle and shoulder support with his sister's hair ties...
2007 December 5th, 19:12
Honestly, I really do not know why I used the spring in the first place. But what I do know now is that it literally gives me a lot of flexibility with the handling as I am moving my arm/hand around. I can move my arm down while aiming at the main emphasis of my shot without having to move my whole upper body down, up, or sideways with it as well. I hope you get what I mean by that. So I'd say the spring worked out.
Originally Posted by drexebo