How To Video
Stabilize smartphone videos with smart tripodsIn this episode of CNET Australia's Pocket Filmmaker, Jason Van Genderen shows off an array of inexpensive tripods and other stabilization devices that will keep your smartphone video shots as steady as a pro's.
Hey. Welcome back to Pocket Filmmaker. This week, we're looking at stabilization devices. So, things we can put under our pocket camera to help keep those shots nice and smooth. Now, one of our challenges in shooting with a smartphone is that of stability. Now, if I hold up my iPhone, I really hold it this far away, so I can see the screen. And what happens is my arm, it's like a huge lever. So, every vibration that goes through my body gets picked up along my arm and amplified by the time it gets to the camera, which means that that shot is not always as steady as what it could be. And then to start off, we have to find a way to fix out smartphone to a stabilization device. Now, this one here is called the Sidekick, it's also named The Glif, where you could slide your iPhone here into this little cradle; keeps it nice and steady. Underneath here, you have a little conventional tripod screw there, so you can fix it to a number of different devices. For just a couple of dollars, you can buy one of these online. Okay. Now, these come in all different shapes and sizes, but they're essentially just a fixed-arm little tripod, great for mounting on table surfaces. They're easy to keep in your pocket or in your bag, and they help keep your shots nice and steady. Now, of all the mini tripods, one of my favorites would have to be this, the GorillaPod. These are fantastic and really versatile because it have these little flexible legs, and they're rubberized. So, they grip onto anything. You can wrap them around a tree branch; I've used it on the railings of staircases, and they can hold your camera nice and steady. Another one of my favorite devices is the thing called the Monster Pod. Now, these things are quite flat and portable, there's no arms or legs to extend. In fact, you take off the back case there, it's with a special polymer backing on here which sticks to just about anything. It's crazy. On the top here, you got a little tripod screw mount there for your camera. And I've seen these mounted on brick walls. I've seen them even mounted vertically on a wire fence, and it holds. If you're looking for the ultimate in stabilization devices, you probably can't go pass one of these. We've all heard of Steady cams. Well, this is a similar kind of a device. They operate on the basic premises of a handle with a gimbal on the top, and a weighted brace that redistributes the weight of the camera in a different way. So when you go walking down a set of stairs, you can move your arm around without moving the camera shot itself. They're really, really good. Okay. Now, my ultimate pick for something to keep in your camera bag is this, the Steadipod. These things are incredible. Extend this out, steel cable with a grip on the bottom that you can put underneath your foot, you pull up then, you lock it off; this little tripod screw on the top here is where you attach your camera, and it operates in the basic idea of tension. So, you just basically put this on the ground, stand on it, and then you can move this around like so to keep your shot nice and equidistant, or I say. As you can see, plenty of stabilization devices. No excuse not to have steady shots for your pocket filmmaking. Now, before we go, I'm gonna leave you with a short inspirational film to check out, called Splitscreen. It was all filmed on a smartphone. It's a love story, it's very pretty. Check it out. And next time, we're gonna look at great ways to get a fantastic sound out of your pocket camera. So, stay tuned. See you next time.