How To Use A Camera Stabilizer [Detailed Guide]
Have you ever tried shooting a video with a sizable camera in your hand? If yes, then you’ll know how shaky or ‘bumpy’ the shot can be and the resulting footage will not be very attractive. Here’s where camera stabilizers come in handy for a perfect shot. First all you need to know is how to use a camera stabilizer and about the working of camera stabilizer.
A stabilizer stabilizes the shot and keeps it shake-free. Apart from this, you get a multitude of different camera angles that are almost impossible to achieve without a stabilizer. So buy a camera stabilizer before starting a shot, definitely it adds the visual value for every shot, giving you a greater range of possibilities for range and movement.
But learning how to use a camera stabilizer can be daunting, especially if you are a beginner. So, here’s how you can make your stabilizer work for you.
HOW DOES A CAMERA STABILIZER WORK?
STEP 1: ADJUST
THE COUNTERBALANCE HINGE
Connect the longest counter-balance weight onto the extension end. After mounting the camera, you can add smaller weights. Don’t tighten the unit too much, just adjust it enough so that the screw remains in place.
Measure the counterbalance hinge distance from the weights’ end to the end of the mounting base. You will have to adjust the counter hinge distance, depending on the weight of your camera. You can also change the vertical balance by adjusting the vertical and horizontal screws.
Note: Keep in mind that changing the counter-balance weight affects the camera balance directly.
STEP 2: MOUNTING THE CAMERA
This step is the easiest of all.
Take the quick release plate off the receiver mount and then remove the screw. Place and hook the camera on the quick release plate. Fasten the screw. That’s it; your camera is mounted.
You can use any of the screws to mount the camera. But make sure that the receiver screws are securely tightened in place.
Tip: If the lens is heavy, set the plate forward with the lens as a starting point. And if it is a video camcorder, the mounting plate should be slightly off-centre of the DSLR.
STEP 3: VERTICAL AND HORIZONTAL ADJUSTMENT
Hold the stabilizer handle with the camera on the platform. Check if the tilt is toward the right or left. Loosen the bottom screws of the mount. This screw adjusts the side-by-side placement of the camera. Once the balance is right, tighten the screw back.
Test the camera balance. Here, you’ll have to be a bit intuitive and adjust the position of the camera if it dips forwards or backwards. If it tilts, loosen the screws on the left or right side accordingly. And tighten them back once it is done.
STEP 4: ACHIEVE THE PERFECT BALANCE
To get the perfect balance for your camera, you might need to repeat the above steps. And once you do achieve the right balance, note the weight and the settings used. This will come in handy the next time you are using the stabilizer.
To check whether it’s adequately balanced, try tilting or panning the camera. If it is perfectly balanced, the camera will stay in place.
STEP 5: TAKING THE CAMERA OFF THE STABILIZER (ONCE THE SHOOTING IS DONE)
Once your shooting is finished, take the quick release plate and the camera off the stabilizer. Then you can detach the camera from the plate.
Caution: DO NOT keep the stabilizer on an uneven surface with the camera still mounted. It can damage your camera and your stabilizer.
PRO TIPS TO USE A CAMERA STABILIZER
What we have presented here is the easiest and most efficient way of mounting your camera on a stabilizer. However, it might not work for all stabilizers. For this reason, when you buy a stabilizer, do the most obvious thing first. READ THE MANUAL that comes with it.
So this was all about how to use a camera stabilizer. If you have any doubts, feel free to ask them below.