Filmmaking August 28, 2017

How to get steady footage handheld without an expensive gimbal

how to get steady footage

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How to get steady footage HANDHELD you ask?

If you’re anything like me, you don’t either have the money or the room in your camera bag for a shiny 3-axis brushless gimbal. And as a minimalist traveler, I am shooting handheld almost 100% of the time! Knowing how to get steady footage is paramount. In this video tutorial I show you how to get steady footage without an expensive gimbal or steadicam, just using my partners modest Canon 1300D (aka: Rebel T6) with little bit of technique.

Let’s recap…

Step 1: Get Out and Shoot

Seriously. Go. Shoot anything. This is the biggest, and most important step you could ever take. You won’t do yourself (or your shots) any justice if you don’t get out and get on location. What’s the point in spending all your time reading up on how to get steady footage if you’re never in the field applying these methods and practicing? This may seem pretty self explanatory, but get out there and make something.

Step 2: Three Points of Contact

Holding the camera steady. The real meat and potatoes of getting steady shots. Three points of contact means three points of stabilization. Two hands creating tension on your camera strap provides this. This combined with deliberate, ninja-like full body movements will ensure you won’t be bouncing your camera all over the place. Make sure you watch the video above for the full details and demonstration!

Step 3: Post-processing magic

Load that footage up and slap warp stabilizer (or your softwares equivalent) on it! It’s as simple as that. In the video, I go over a couple more tricks to get it looking the best it can, but warp stabilizer is the main method in regards to post-processing.

BONUS TIP: If your camera has the capability of shooting at frame rates higher than 24fps, that means you can shoot slow motion. Slow motion = smoother footage. For instance, you could shoot your sequences in 60fps using the three points of contact method, toss the footage into your software and slow everything down to 24fps. Slap a warp stabilizer on that bad boy and BAM! Smooth, buttery, beautiful shots. No gimbal required!



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