How To Build a DIY Steadicam - Simple DIY Gimbal Design

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DIY Steadicam
Here is a sleeker design of what can be your universal DIY camera stabilizer. Scroll the page for test videos and detailed pictures.

You can mount any type of camera as long as it's not too large or too heavy. While it's also a DIY DSLR steadicam, I would't recommend using cameras heavier than 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) on this particular rig.

If you necessarily need smooth video with heavier cameras, you can build a more solid version with a thicker threaded rod as a shaft and a sturdier gimbal with larger bearings.

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Since I'm no longer selling the DIY Highball steadicam, you may wanna check out these other camera stabilizers. Click on any picture.
GoPro Smoothee Stabilizer by Steadicam
Glidecam HD 2000
Flycam Stabilizer
Check out the stabilizers on Amazon Canada, Amazon.UK and Amazon.DE.
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Watch some sample footage taken with this glidecam while working on a rooftop solar farm in Berlin (my day job) - some shots taken with my home made dolly slider


What I did here is I tried to imitate the exact concept in the original Steadicam and that means having a 3 axis DIY ball bearing gimbal. Basically, you isolate the movement of your hand from the camera. The rotation on each axis is done smoothly on bearings.

3 Axis Gimbal

Ball Bearing Gimbal

DIY Gimbal

The gimbal has two bearings on the main shaft which is an advantage compared to my first version (one bearing and PVC pipe rings gimbal). If for some reason, you don't want the shaft to spin too freely around its axis, you can tighten the nuts, that hold the gimbal on the shaft, against each other and adjust the amount of spin.

My bike stunts video - shot with GoPro HD on DIY Stabilizer


DIY Glidecam Gimbal

Gimbal

A cross element of polypropylene pipe fitting, machine worked to fit the bearings perfectly, a 90 degree piece, an omega cable holder, nuts, bolts and a mountain bike handle grip - the best looking DIY gimbal. :-)

Home Made Gimbal

DIY Camera Mount for DIY Steadicam

The camera plate can hold any type of camera that has a tripod mount possibility. The GoPro you see here is fixed with a custom mount.

DIY DSLR Steadicam

GoPro Mount for DIY Glidecam

How to shoot video with a DIY glidecam

If there's one thing you should know about shooting video with a camera stabilizer then here it is: you need to train in order to get those smooth shots.

You actually have to work with your steadicam. It's not like it's gonna do the job for you. That's why Garret Brown does those workshops teaching people how to shoot video with his invention. And that's the very same reason highly skilled cameramans and steadicam operators are sought after.

GoPro Stabilizer

Some words on dynamic balance

This is perhaps the biggest headache for people trying to balance a steadicam. If you get the right droptime (1.5 to 3 seconds) and the upright position of the main shaft this means you've only accomplished static balance.

For dynamic balance you have to adjust the weights and the camera until the main shaft remains vertical even when you're spinning it. In other words, you need to align the center of gravity of the camera right above the shaft.

See the video below for more details - the video starts with dynamic balance explanation at 6:39 min.



If you want to get as close as possible to getting the dynamic balance right, follow these steps:
  • hold the steadicam by the gimbal and keep the shaft in horizontal position
  • adjust the camera and/or the camera plate until you perfectly align the CG (center of gravity) of the camera with the glidecam shaft
  • you need to achieve a neutral state (neutral equilibrium); no matter how you rotate the camera plate, it will remain in the same position (see the video below, that's how I do it)
This grants smooth footage when flying your camera with the stabilizer.



GoPro Steadicam

GoPro Glidecam

A trick on how to balance your camera stabilizer

If you wanna take out a variable when it comes to balancing your glidecam, you can add washers as weights on the shaft. So you eliminate the long bottom weight plate and only adjust the camera and the camera plate when balancing the steadicam.

However, for fast movements, this setup tends to pendulum as there's a high concentration of mass in the lower part of the shaft. I personally prefer the weight plate.

Weights in DIY Glidecam

What materials you need to build this stabilizer and what is the exact dimension of each piece in the puzzle

Bert asked me (down in the comments) about the specific dimensions of this rig. The truth is, there is no standard as far as I know.

Imagine that even the Steadicam Pilot or the Glidecam 2000 have a telescopic tube as a shaft, thus variable dimensions. Each model comes with weights which you can add in case you place a heavier camera on the top plate. So for any given setup (camera, display, microphone, batteries) the dimensions will be adjusted.

With this DIY stabilizer design, you cannot make the shaft longer so you you raise or lower the CG (center of gravity) by loosening the wing nuts and sliding the weight plates higher or lower. Or by adding and taking weights.

List of materials
  • 50 cm long, 8 mm thick threaded shaft
  • 5 ball bearings, 8 mm inner diameter, 22 mm outer diameter
  • 1 cross pipe fitting (polypropylene with 3 mm thick wall)
  • 1 90° angle piece for the gimbal handle
  • 8 mm self locking nuts (5 pieces)
  • 8 mm wing nuts (4 pieces)
  • 8 mm inner diameter washers (outer diameter may vary, get a lot of these)
  • 8 mm split washers - these act as a spring (2 or 4 pieces)
  • 8 mm bolts, 4 cm long (3 pieces)
  • weight plate
  • camera mount made of two plates (see picture below)
  • 4 bolts, 6 cm long, 6 mm diameter
  • 12 self locking nuts of 6 mm inner diameter (these and the 4 bolts will hold the two plates for the camera)
  • a piece of pipe that goes into the 90 degree piece to form the handle
  • a bike handlebar grip to cover the pipe/handle (we care about ergonomics, don't we?)
  • 10 mm thick bolts as weights (2 pieces), longer or shorter depending on the weight of your camera; buy a few pairs of different lengths 
  • 10 mm washers (to be used on the 10 mm bolts), buy lots of these if you're planing to use a DSLR with your DIY steadicam
  • an omega cable holder to be used as a frame that connects the gimbal to the handle
Please note that as long as you respect the design and the symmetry, you can work with any type of bolts, bearings and so on. Any other design will work fine if it's well built and well balanced (once it has a camera on it).

DIY Camera Plate for DIY Steadicam

Also download these drawings in CAD format:
You can send these files out to your local milling and cutting shop.

Print the image with the plates and show it to your local CNC machinery shop. If you can get these pieces machine worked, they'll look better.

More about the plates here: DIY camera plate

Want smooth video?

If you're a filmmaker and don't have the time or materials to build one of these, you can buy one. I've been getting requests via email, on YouTube and Vimeo and thus I'd like to help you. This is a sexy new design and I'm not embarrassed with it as I was with my first version. :-)

Note that the plates and the gimbal are machine worked. 

Update: I'm no longer selling these. I'm currently involved in other projects (working online with clients and doing offline work gigs in the green energy industry) and I don't have the time to manage the assembly and shipping.

There's another reason - there's only so much you can do with a DIY. When it comes to shooting video for clients you need a tool that allows you to do fast adjustments according to each camera you use. My DIY rig works fine but when you have to switch cameras and balance them again, you kinda wanna have a better system in place.

There are affordable solutions out there for GoPro and DSLRs as well. If you ask me, I'd go with the Glidecam 2000 HD or 1000 HD, simply because Devin Graham shoots with it. If my video gigs will start to dominate my life, that's what I'm gonna buy.

Steadicam released the Smoothee - a smaller version of the Merlin design. However, I believe a sled and shaft stabilizer is better and more versatile. It allows you to do so much more: spinning the camera, low mode shooting (camera down and weights up), easy tilt and turn, etc.

GoPro Smoothee Stabilizer by Steadicam
Glidecam HD 2000
Flycam Stabilizer
Post a comment below for any technical questions regarding this particular stabilizer or video shooting and editing in general.

Cheers!

PS - Here's my first video I shot with this stabilizer. Some shots were taken with a DIY slider as well - camera used: Sony HX9V.


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65 comments :

  1. First of all, thanks for sharing this design! It looks pretty sharp and functional at the same time.

    I was just wondering if you could post a list of the materials you used, including dimensions, such as the inner/outer diameter of the bearings (are they standard skateboard bearings?), as well as the size of pipe used.

    I'm planning to attempt to put one of these together but I want to make sure that I'm picking up the right sized items. :)

    Thanks!
    B

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Bert! I updated the article with the info you requested.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
  3. think you could put this design on a longer pole for filming better angles, etc?

    ReplyDelete
  4. Yup, that's possible but you'll loose some of the control. You need to have your hand just below the gimbal (on the shaft) for soft tilting and panning.

    If you have the rig on a long pole, you won't be able to do all that. Basically you have to turn around to change the shooting angle of the camera.

    But just to take a few high shots (like you would with a jib crane) - that's possible.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Well done! looks really awsome! thanks for sharing your ideas to save alot of money! :)

    I would like to know, if exactly this steadycam (with the given material measures) would hold a canon 550d + kit lens etc as well???

    thanks,
    cheers

    Toby

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hey Toby!

    Yup it'll hold a DSLR as well - however to be sure, I'd build it with a 10 mm rod and perhaps a more solid metal bracket (the one that links the handle with the gimbal).

    Or you could buy a Flycam - which is the cheapest professional steadicam on the market.

    My point is: if you shoot with an expensive camera why not do an extra financial effort and buy a solid stabilizer.

    My rig is designed for compacts and small consumer cameras - even though it holds DSLR's as well; any type of camera actually as long as it's not too heavy and has a tripod mount hole.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Hi! I would like to know can this version hold 550D? Maybe i do one for my DSLR. Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup it holds even the Canon 60D.

      It just takes a bit longer to balance, unlike with the GoPro or a compact.

      Delete
  8. Hey I like the design. Im trying to build one myself but I can't find the right skate bearings for the PVC. The one's I have are too small. Any suggestions?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Try to find a specialized shop that sells bearings and simply give them the outer and inner measurements of the bearing - they'll get it for you.

      I found this shop online.

      Delete
  9. hi there, I want also to thank you for sharing this.
    I created mine based on your instructions:
    1) I have still some issues finding the right balance, but I am close. How much weight is the weight you use based on the camera? the same with the camera or more?

    2) I used 45° angle piece for the gimbal handle instead of 90. Not sure if this affects at all the solution.

    3) I used 3 bearings instead of 4 at the central PVC "cross", but the result is that I have some vibrations going up to the camera as the central thread hits the PVC...so I will correct that soon. The problem is that I couldn't find a cross so I drilled a "T" connection.

    If I will not make it...at least I see that you have a link to a commercial product. Nevertheless, I will not need to hide from all my friends that wait from me smooth video shooting :-)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. 1) The weight in the lower plate can be smaller than the camera but nevertheless you can make the bottom more heavy than the top by simply lowering the base-plate - thus you lower the CG of the system.

      So what I'm saying is you can have a weight slightly larger than the camera's weight or you can have a lighter setup but then you must lower the base plate to make it slightly bottom-heavy.

      2) That should't be a problem as long as the bearing is well placed inside the gimbal handle.

      3) A T piece iworks as well - make sure the main bearing (the shaft goes through it) is parallel with the upper edge of the T piece. Also, make sure the shaft makes a 90 degrees angle with the T shape.

      Delete
  10. hi nice design.
    Can you tell us how the bolt that goes inside the cross pipe is fix? Or can you make a video of all the parts being assembled and put togheter?

    thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Ze!

      The bolts in the cross pipe are simply inserted through the bearings and the bearing is locked on the bolt with a self locking nut.

      Then the bearing is forced into the cross element with the bolts sticking out. The "Omega" piece is then connected to the bolts and to the gimbal handle (which has another bearing inside for the third axis movement)

      The same goes for the shaft - it passes through the bearings and it's fixed with self locking nuts against the bearings (not too tight though - otherwise the bearings won't spin freely).

      Delete
  11. Well.. Iv built my own this weekend. And its not working. When im walking it does the pendulum effect. left and rigth. Any ideas on that?

    Thank you

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Fine tune the balance - raise the base weights a little higher. Make sure the gimbal is perfectly built (hard to achieve, I know...); 90 degree angles and aligned bolts, etc, etc.

      That's why professional stabilziers are expensive - it's about precision machinery work and fine assembly.

      Check out my struggle and conclusion here.

      Delete
  12. At the top there are 2 plates with the bolts in between, is that really necessary or would one work just as well?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It can work in any way.

      The point is to accommodate a camera and at the same time to be able to adjust its position on 2 axis: forward/backward and lateral slide.

      Delete
  13. At the top you have used 2 metal plates instead of one, would it work with just the one?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I think you need both! The bottom plate bolts to the stadicam and the top plate holds your camera directly in the center for balance. <A MUST!
      However you could use shorter all thread to close the gap! ALL THREAD is the name of the "bolts" 3/8" all thread is the exact size. The next size up would be 1/4" this would add about 1/2-1 pound over all in total weight but could handle the larger cameras. All thread comes in 8' sections so you would only need maybe one piece for this steadicam.

      Cannot wait to build one!

      Rick

      Delete
  14. What does the entire rig weigh without a camera attached?

    After seeing your spill in the bike park video this is a must have! The fall was so smooth for the camera, you not so much.

    Great work! keep the awesome footage coming!

    THX,
    Rick

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :-) Thanks, man.

      I don't know the exact weight. It gets heavier with heavy cameras as you need to counter-balance it with washers.

      Stay tuned on my YouTube channel. I shoot my green energy work with the steadicam.

      Delete
  15. I tried to build the Wsclater design and I failed because of the bad aligning (3-5 degrees error).I will try to build your latest design using the PVC cross (found in Bucharest PPR cross) and 32mm ball bearings with a 12mm threaded rod.All is quite cheap but I have 3 issues:
    1.Despite the cross is rated 32mm and outer diameter for ball bearing is also 32mm I cannot insert them into the cross,it seems the cross is slightly smaller.
    2.I can find nowhere aluminium plates smaller than 3mx2m and quite expensive.
    3.I cannot find the Omega cable holder in any of the available shops.
    Any help will be greatly appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Andrei,

      1. You need to either machine work the cross to accommodate the bearings or you can place the cross in hot boiling water - then it dilates and becomes malleable.

      2. Look for Alucobond or Alubond suppliers and ask for somne scraps.

      3. I bought them in a small specialty shop in Brasov. If you can't find any, build one yourself from flat stock (bend it and drill it like I did here)

      Hope this helps.

      Delete
    2. Thank you for the quick reply.I measured the 32mm rated cross,the inner diameter is only 31mm.Still looking for someone to do the machine work.The hot water method worked smooth for the 90 degrees piece but I have no means to check the alignment and is a pain to insert the bolt through it.Found some aluminium for the camera plate but not enough for the weight plate (should I use some wood as a replacement?).

      Delete
    3. Anything that's rigid and will hold the weights is fine. I used 8 mm thick laminate flooring in my first design.

      Insert the bolt in the bearing first, lock it with a self locking nut, and then insert the bearing into the 90 degrees piece.

      Delete
  16. It seems that once the PPR gets the ball bearing it will not let go.I had to cut the 90 degrees piece to recover it.The "clema cablu tip omega" has other synonims?Google returned only one result,and I need a 90mm one which is not on the list (63mm max).I try to avoid as much as possible doing it myself because of the risk of malalignment.Is there any way to check the alignment of the ball bearings on the cross?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was hard for me as well to find the right size for the omega piece. Try Hornbach.

      I found mine at an independent small store in Brasov.

      To answer your alignment question: Not really.

      Once you place the threaded rod through the bearings you'll find whether they're aligned or not. If the rod is tilted, then the bearings are not well placed.

      After a while of trial and error you might reach the same conclusion as me: a DIY is good only for a while. If you shoot videos for a living you need to upgrade to a professional rig.

      I do paid gigs occasionally but if I ever get into video production full time, I'll buy a Glidecam HD 2000.

      Until then, my DIY is just fine for my small cams (a compact Sony and a GoPro) - even for small scale paid gigs.

      Delete
    2. I use a Canon HF11 for family shots,and I'll use the rig for good quality memories.I thought about using Hague Mini-Motion stabilizer but some state that it has a high friction in the ball joint that causes left-right swing (tilting of the horizon),and is not cheap(64+21 pounds) for someone living in Romania.
      After placing the rod through the bearings all seems well aligned to the eye,but so it was with Wsclater design.I thought about some lab measurements but I have no friends doing mechanics.
      I like your design because I can turn the camera plate into a cage for low shots.
      I figured out the maths behind the system using Holway's "Dynamic balance primer",but that doesn't account for the weight of the rig itself.The gimbal and the threaded rod are quite heavy.I'll post some test video if all goes well with the rig.

      Delete
  17. Please do so - I'm always curious to see what other are doing.

    Yeah, the shaft and sled design is much better than the Wscaletr Merlin type stabilizer.

    Cheers!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It seems I scr**ed again.I drilled wrong the omega piece, the central hole is 1 mm offset toward one side and 1 mm offset toward the edge.I assembled the gimbal on the threaded rod and the rod stands angled about 10 degrees forward and 5 degrees toward right,very steady when I move the handle.The piece is 2.5 mm thick Zinc covered steel,quite hard to bend.Fortunately I have a second piece to try again.

      Delete
    2. :-) Welcome to the club! Trial and error at it's best.

      Delete
    3. The omega piece is driving me nuts.I end up ordering it as a custom part in a factory.I wrecked two pipe holders,each had an arm heavier than the other (a small permanent lateral tilt of the camera),but even so the test footage in motion looked awesome after placing the rod in the center of gravity of the camera.The threaded rod should be tweaked to prevent the rotation of the camera plate and the weight plate.Every time I take out the weight plate is a pain to make it perpendicular to the camera plate again (bubble level checking).A quick release adaptor is a must have to prevent multiple re-balancing.

      Delete
    4. The quick release plate is a good idea but you need that even with the professional rigs - so that's not really a problem for a DIY.

      The hardest part is to fix all the small imperfections in the system.

      My first design - the one with concentric PVC rings - doesn't require that much attention to details. It self balances much easier - maybe you'd like to try that as well... Or maybe you're sick of it already. :-)

      Delete
    5. I thought about cutting half of a PVC pipe of 90mm,but I couldn't find any,and placing the holes with precision is still a problem.I hope that the workshop from the factory will do a more precise job than me.Can't let go this project,the early results look impressive even with the imperfections mentioned.It seems that the only problem in the system is the omega piece.
      I noticed that you balance the rig with the weight plate attached.I searched the camera's center of gravity by first balancing anterior-to-posterior (bottom camera plate) and side-to-side (top camera plate) without the weight plate attached.Then for up-to-down balance (moving the gimbal on the rod) I attached the weight plate.

      Delete
    6. If you can find the CG of the camera is great. But I always balance the cam right on the rig, with the weight plate attached.

      That's how you normally balance every glidecam -place the camera on it and simply look for the perfect balance adjusting everything that's adjustable. :-)

      Delete
    7. Anterior-to-Posterior balance is imposiible to acheive with the weight plate attached,the threaded rod spins freely in the bottom camera plate at every adjustement, modifying the angle made by camera plate and the weight plate.I should have bevelled one end of the threaded rod and make the hole in the camera plate smaller to prevent that.

      Delete
    8. I put some test footage on Youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-vy0FsNMBI&feature=youtu.be
      Unfortunately it seems I cannot do the gimbal right.I can balance the system while holding the cross.When I grab the handle all goes to hell, I get a tilt to one side about 5-10 degrees.If I add more washers to the other side I can fix the tilt while standing still,if I move the tilt is back.While testing the gimbal on the rod only the tilt is there, due to the omega piece.
      Can you please describe the technique you used to bend the omega piece and balance the gimbal itself?I know you don't sell those devices anymore,but I wonder if for a price you are willing to build another gimbal.I can get the parts for 6.5 euro but I'm too pissed off to try again.Even the omega piece made in the factory is flawed.
      The Glidecam HD 2000 is too expensive for me.

      Delete
    9. Failed again.Even the factory made omega piece is flawed.Test footage here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=j-vy0FsNMBI&feature=youtu.be The windy day wasn't helpful at all.
      Can you please describe the technique you used to bend and drill the omega piece with such precision?
      I know you don't sell the device anymore but I wonder if you are willing to build another perfect gimbal for a price.I would try again if I wasn't so pissed off, the parts are not expensive (6.5 euro).
      The Glidecam is out of the question, too expensive for me.

      Delete
    10. I hear you man.

      Unfortunately I'm not at home these days and I don't have the time (busing working abroad in the green energy industry).

      Just as a rule: you have to "dance" with the steadicam and it's easier to get smooth shots if you move fast (unlike when moving slow).

      I can only get super smooth shots for a few meters and then I get some tilting. The best shots I get with my GoPro since it's compact and can be aligned better above the shaft.

      Sometimes I do 3-5 takes until I get the right shot. And I usually edit with short scenes so that's enough.

      But even the professional rigs are not a "push button solution". Steadicam operators have a very smooth hand themselves - it's a skill that you get with lots of shooting/training.

      I just bent the omega piece in vise.

      Delete
    11. Fixed the tilting issue.Video here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sd8UihxdTSo&feature=youtu.be Note that I didn't use my left hand to guide the rod all the time (clumsy technique).
      Due to the imperfections of the omega piece I needed an "adjustable" gimbal (quote from the Glidecam HD 1000 specifications).By moving left to right the omega piece (larger by 1cm than the cross with the nuts) on the PPR cross I balanced the gimbal itself and got rid of the lateral tilt.However there are 2 issues to be solved:
      1.By moving the omega piece left-right in relation to the cross to compensate the difference of mass between the two halfs I altered the alignment of the 3 axes, the anterior-to-posterior axis does not intersect the center of the cross, but lies just 1mm to the side.This creates a momentum of force while moving the rig forward which adds a spin on the superior-to-inferior axis (yaw).
      2.The setup is unstable, a small shock can move the omega piece enough to upset the balance of the gimbal.Also I had to return from aluminium to steel, the piece has to be rigid.
      I exchanged the roll for yaw, but the later is better tolerated.Still looking for a way to fix the yaw.

      Delete
  18. Where did you manage to find the Alucobond? A distributor or the milling place itself? Also, if I am unable to find it, what do you think a suitable alternative would be? For a GoPro as well. Thanks a lot, man. This is great work by the way!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi and thanks for your comment.

      I happened to find alucobond scraps on a construction site. The workers said: "Sure, take it all." :-)

      A good alliterative would be laminate flooring - that's what I used for my first design. Same functionality - alucobond looks sexier though.

      Delete
  19. Have you tried using this rig with something like a canon 7d or a 5d? If so did it work well? I like your design and intend on building one myself, but I am shooting with a 7d. I built my version of a steadigo that I have been using. Although the sway sometimes is a problem. Great design though.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Brett!

      I've rigged a Canon 60D but it took a while to balance.

      I came to the conclusion that it makes no sense to go through the trouble of building a DIY stabilizer for an expensive camera like the 7D or 5D.

      You're better off with a Glidecam HD 2000. It has two knobs which allow you to fine tune the balance much better.

      Delete
  20. I have a semi related question. I owna sony cybershot as well and it shoots video in the AVCHD format (.mts files).

    What do you use to convert those files to an editable format? I use Adobe premiere on a windows 7 platform and will usually edit quicktime video files on it but I cannot find a program that will convert the files to quicktime. Sony's PMB software will upload to youtube but will not convert.

    What do you use?

    ReplyDelete
  21. What do you use to convert the sony mts files to an editable format like quicktime?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Tomer,

      Thanks for your comment.

      I edit MTS files (AVCHD) with Magix without converting.

      It supports all sorst of files including MP4, MPEG 2, MOV, MTS, AVI etc. So I don't convert the AVCHD files that the Sony outputs - I simply import them in Magix and start editing right away.

      I love this software and even though is not as complex as Premiere or Final Cut it's still a great program for video editing. Easy to use and gets the job done.

      Delete
  22. hey i am try to build one to but i don't find the proper cross pipe fitting can you tell me where to find it? some site maybe? i realy like the design! thanks

    kobe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hey Kobe!

      If you're in Europe, you can find it in Praktiker, BricoStore, Hornbach.

      Delete
  23. Hi Constantin,
    I have built the steadicam by your design, thanks for sharing!
    My steadicam has slight imperfections but I have managed to balance it somehow so it doesn't tilt or swing too much, actually it is very usable! With some practice I think I'd be able to pull out even some more demanding moves with it.
    Only thing is that when I am walking a bit faster, the shake from footsteps transfers to the cam and creates small jitter. Did you experience similar problem with your build? Any advice on how to minimize that?

    I allready have a little trick for turning the camera around, I use my index finger to lighly touch the "omega" piece and gain more control over turning :)

    Thanks for great design, everything cost around 20 eur :), I got aluminum boards for free though.

    Dusan

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome Dusan! Glad to hear this was useful.

      As for the movement of the camera, try to walk with your knees bent. Normally, the professional stabilizers have that articulated arm but even so, the operators (cameraman) walk with their knees bent.

      In our case, or knees and elbow/wrist joints act as the articulated arm - thus we have to be "loose" when operating the steadicam. That's why I say you have to "dance" with it, not just hold it.

      Hope this makes sense.

      Delete
    2. Thanks,

      I'll try to dance more :)

      Delete
  24. AS an FYI you can get any 3/4 CTS pipe (copper tubing size) and the bearings will fit snugly in the fittings, no machining or modification needed.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup, you're right. I eventually found a different size for bearings that fit perfectly in the plastic fittings. Cheers!

      Delete
  25. Thanks a lot i succeed to build one. it was precise work but i works fine now.
    I wil send you a link from my version it looks almost the same.
    Its hard to balance it but and i'm thinking about a second version where you can adjust the camera position by turning a bolt sow it's much more precisely.

    thanks Kobe

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Awesome, Kobe! Please do send a link - you made curious. :-)

      Delete
  26. hi

    Awesome blog i really enjoyed reading it !

    did you cut all the videos with magix ?
    how long did you you spend on that train video with editing ?

    your glidecam is so far the best DIY glidecam ive seen.
    i ordered all my parts and spend 30 euros so far, hope it will work :) nice work.


    felix

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Felix!

      Thanks for your kind words.

      Yup, all my videos are edited with Magix Movie Edit Pro Plus. It's easy to use and works with most formats without the need to convert the footage (including GoPro HD MP4, MKV, MTS, MOV, etc.).

      I ca't remember how much it took me to edit that video. But it's usually anywhere between 7 hours to 20 hours for a 3 to 5 minute video. I take my time.

      I first choose a song. Then do the editing on music beats. Then I do color correction, effects like masks, cropping the scenes for cinematic look, etc.

      Here are some articles about all that:

      3 Ways To Make Your Videos Look Better

      How To Make Your Video Look Like a Movie

      Are you from Germany? Magix is a German company - I happen to love everything German: cars, beer (Erdinger, Paulaner :-) and, during the last few years, the video editing software.

      Delete
  27. Hi There, I too was thinking of using a pipe cross for the center of a rig, a great way to keep things true, saves a lot of drilling, also keeping a lot of the weight in-line with the slim rod, but I wonder if you have noticed the pendulum effect creeping in with the weights down there?
    Ideal setup for smaller camera's.
    I've been working on a bigger rig if you want to have a look
    http://iso-l8r.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Whoa! That looks awesome. But is it worth the time, money and effort? What are the additional advantages to a professional Glidecam or Steadicam?

      Delete
  28. Would a canon t3 rebel work with this?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yup - but it will be harder to balance coz its weight is unevenly distributed (lens in front heavy, battery on one side heave as well).

      Compact cams are easier to balance on this particular DIY stabilizer.

      I'd get a Glidecam or Flycam with a smart upper plate for fine tunning the balance for a DSLR.

      Delete
  29. Hello!After a lot of exercise with my DIY Highball Steadicam I decided I need a Glidecam HD-1000 or a Flycam / WIELDY CARBON FIBER IRON TRIANGLE.I need the steadicam for low shots - my kids are 1 meter or less in height.Which one should I choose?Glidecam HD-1000 can be flipped but the gimbal is too close to the sled, and cannot be moved, the handle will hit the sled.Flycam and Wieldy are cheaper, I've heard that are poorly constructed and are for heavier cameras - 1kg or more.Only Wieldy Iron Triangle has a movable gimbal.Your advice will be appreciated.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi, Andrei!

      I'd go for Glidecam HD 1000 or 2000. It doesn't matter that the gimbal is close to the camera plate - you'll hold the stabilizer with the gimbal handle up when shooting upside down.

      I saw the new Wondlan stablizers - you can adjust the position of the gimbal on those. That's nice! Haven't seen any reviews yet though.

      Delete

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