It’s debatable whether the “art” of the selfie and the plethora of Youtubers these days are a good thing. However, cheap yet capable phones, easy-to-use video editing software, and broadband can be combined into one really handy tool.
Being able to film your own videos is useful in a whole bunch of contexts: promoting your business, generating awareness of some cause, creating family memories, checking on your child, explaining things in a way that’s easy to understand, or just for the hell of it. The trouble is, though, that this is not always easy to do, and a badly-filmed video can actually be less effective than a slideshow presentation.
Of course, a professionally-produced ad or explainer video doesn’t come cheap – including writing, filming, animation, and production, $15,000 and four weeks (or more) is not unreasonable. Most people, however, don’t want to spend that much on filming a school sporting event or building their personal brand. What options are available between using experienced specialists and creating something that’s just an embarrassment?
Learning a bit about cinematography is certainly to be recommended, as is using your own creativity. To a large extent, though, having the right gear is what makes the difference. Buying an expensive camera, lights, reflectors, lenses, filters and the rest is more than most of us can afford, but there is one relatively cheap way of improving the video you shoot. A good stabilizer.
Why You Probably Want a Stabilizer
One of the worst features of amateur video is often a shaky perspective – this looks cool in “found footage” movies, but rarely in any other genre. The best way to eliminate this problem is by using a tripod, but much of the video you’ll want to shoot requires some mobility. This is where a stabilizer comes in.
Its most important function is mechanically decoupling your hand and your camera. In other words, whether you’re walking, running or driving, your footage will be significantly less shaky, confusing, and cheap-looking. Digital image stabilization really doesn’t hold a candle here, especially at night or if high resolution is important to you.
One reason we’ve decided on this particular product is the value it offers: it’s pretty nearly a professional stabilizer, but still manages to keep the cost down. Another reason is its versatility: it can accommodate basically any camera of up to 2.1 lbs in weight, including smartphones. This makes it suitable for most hobbyists, especially those who don’t want to spend too much or don’t need special lenses. (You may need to buy an adapter for a phone, though). It is also good on the ergonomic side, which can become very important to video quality under some circumstances.
Here’s a more detailed explanation of what this stabilizer can do:
This is definitely a great buy if you’re at all into filming. It will not turn you into a professional videographer overnight but, seriously, what purchase will?