Choosing Steadicam for a smartphone

Thanks to the innovations of technology companies such as Samsung, Apple, HTC and Sony, modern smartphones now have the same capabilities as the best HD cameras and camcorders. You can shoot cinematic shots of unsurpassed quality. Nevertheless, even holding a tiny smartphone, your hands will tremble, and this trembling will intensify many times in the image, which will surely ruin even the most outstanding video.

To get perfectly smooth high-definition frames, you should buy a steadicam for your phone or read bestrobotsguide gimbal review. With a good smartphone, you don’t need either a GoPro or a SLR camera if your video is well stabilized with the help of a right stabilizer.

As SLR cameras become smaller and lighter, and cameras in smartphones continue to improve, the demand for handheld stabilizers continues to grow. Many cameras and lenses have built-in optical stabilization. However, for handheld shooting this is not enough and you need additional support.

Mechanical or electronic stabilizer for the phone?

There are two main types of stabilizers for smartphones and action cameras. Simpler one, which uses a set of weights to balance your camera for better shooting. And more sophisticated systems that use brushless motors as well as software to help you get the exact balance when shooting your videos from action cameras, whether GoPro or Nikon cameras, as well as smartphones. They are usually expensive, but guarantee you high-quality images.

Manual stabilizer for the phone

The most affordable option is a mechanical manual stabilizer for the phone. Consider what it is like with the Ulanzi Smartphone Rig as an example.

Steadicam for the phone is equipped with two handles, which, unlike stabilizers with one handle, provides additional stability. It can be held both opposite the face and lower, in the second case, the hands will get tired less.

But the main thing in this model is the presence of connectors in which you can install a microphone for a smartphone and a camera light. The picture above shows what it looks like. Now you will not puzzle over where to attach the microphone, there is also a place to install the light for the smartphone. Thanks to the hot shoe mount, you can use a more powerful camera light which is used for professional video SLR cameras. A standard 1/4” jack is provided on each side of the steadicam for mounting on a slider for the video camera or on a tripod for the photo camera.

We consider this Steadicam for a smartphone the best choice in the segment up to 50$.

More expensive mechanical systems are a small copy of stabilization systems for counterbalanced SLR cameras, when for counterbalance you need to add weights and adjust the length of the steadicam rod. Glidecam has such steadicam and is called Glidecam iGlide.

Besides the fact that this system is more bulky, you will need another quick-detachable platform and a holder for the phone. In addition, to achieve decent results, it takes time to acquire shooting skills. However, all these difficulties fade against the background of the result. After all, only a mechanical stabilizer for a smartphone provides physical isolation from the videographer and a truly smooth movement.

Electronic Steadicam for smartphones

While mechanical steadicams can do a great job of isolating the camera from videographer’s movements and providing a smooth “floating” sensation, they are limited in action, requiring the videographer to physically manipulate the system to perform tilts and rotations. With practice, this can become a habit, although any contact with the system can lead to unwanted vibrations.

On the other hand, motorized electrical systems do not require the person to physically interact with the camera pan or tilt system.

In fact, using a gyroscopic one, it is best that  you never try to pan or tilt the phone when it is on the stick. If you need to take a panoramic shot, just turn around while holding the stabilizer, and the camera will repeat this turn after you. This is fundamentally different from a conventional, non-motorized stabilizer, where the camera always maintains facing one particular direction, no matter how you spin on the spot.

For action cameras and smartphones, the number of electronic stabilizers is growing, they are easy to use and help ensure smooth video. The gyroscopic stabilizer for the phone has only one handle. This is both good and bad at the same time. The good thing is that such a steadicam for a smartphone is extremely compact, it can be carried with you everywhere, just throw it in your city backpack. However, often you will not get the perfect “movie-like” video, and the electronic stabilizer for your smartphone is not designed for this. Rather, it stabilizes your picture, removes vibrations, but it will not be easy to achieve a perfect picture when moving.

One of the best ones is DJI Osmo Mobile. It works with iPhone and Android, whose width is in the range of 59m – 85 mm. By the way, the width of the iPhone 6 Plus and iPhone 7 Plus is 80 mm, so most phones with a diagonal of up to 5.7” are suitable for this model.

Like the new unmanned aerial devices (for example, DJI Mavic Pro), smartphone steadicams can rotate in three axes and hold your phone in one direction, even when you walk in circles.

The device allows you to get a very smooth video sequence and automatically create panoramas, selfies, time-lapses, as well as carry out other specialized types of shooting. This is the first electronic three-axis Steadicam for a smartphone from DJI, made on the DJI OSMO platform. It can help you produce stunning cinematic quality videos.

Gyroscopic steadicam for a smartphone can be either two- or three-axis. It is important to note that they all have limitations in the range in which the engines will operate. If you violate this range, you will feel a distinct vibration / oscillation on any engine, which is very difficult to extinguish. Most likely, you will have to cut out the damaged segment, turn off the stabilizer, reset the settings, and then restart. The more you practice, the less such situations will happen. 

By the way, DJI has released a high-end stabilizer with an integrated camera. Meet – DJI OSMO Steadicam, specially designed to work in conjunction with a compact 4K camera. This manual stabilizer has design features that allow it to lock the stabilizer in place to protect it from possible damage.

DJI OSMO Steadicam provides an excellent solution to any of your camera stabilization problems. The stabilizer weighs about 420 grams, which makes it very convenient for carrying and traveling. The 3-axis stabilizer allows you to take pictures at any angle in amazing quality. An easy-to-use stabilization system will gently correct any vibration.

Introducing a novelty in the price segment up to 90$ UAH. This is a two-axis electronic stabilizer X-CAM Creative sight 2. It is designed to work with smartphones whose screen diagonal does not exceed 5.5″. The product will be appealing to anyone who wants to improve the quality of video shooting using a mobile device. It is distinguished by an affordable price and decent video quality (you can see it by watching numerous tests on YouTube.) The dimensions are so compact that the X-CAM Steadicam can be kept in your pants pocket, and the settings are so simple that even a child can handle them.

Nice price makes X-CAM Creative sight 2 the best offer for a wide range of video making lovers.

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