Part 6: Shot Stabilizing Equipment for Tracking Movements with Handheld Cameras

Equipment dedicated to tracking movements with handheld cameras.
Principle of tracking with a handheld camera..

2- Steadycams, a perfectly balanced invention

The Steadycam is a shot stabilizer used in cinema and television for shots on the fly or for versatile tracking shots (circular, forward, backward, lateral, low mode, etc.) thanks to an ingenious harness system and articulated arms. The operator can walk or run while maintaining the stability of the image and create vertical and horizontal tracking shots, or panoramas, without a link to the ground (like rails, carts, etc.).


The Steadycam will allow you to create long following shots, climbing stairs, or movement around uneven terrain. This equipment fits onto the body and is designed to protect the camera from jerking movements associated with the movements of the operator.

My personal choice was to invest in the “Pilot” model designed for cameras less than 5kg in weight (so you can hold anything from an EOS 5DMKII up to an EOS C300 camera). After you’ve done the job of getting into balance, it is very instinctive and comfortable to carry, even for long periods of time.
The Steadycam was developed by Garette Brown for the Betacam Camera line. Since then, it has been redesigned to work with light-weight cameras. In fact, the creator says the following about the “Pilot”: “Our goal wasn’t to conceive of this equipment like it was just for fun. Rather, we wanted to create serious tools for creating art with the Steadycam. We simply feel that just because you are using a small, compact camera does not mean that you are an artist or videographer of any less talent.”



3- The 3 axis Gimbal stabilizer, for totally fluid filming

The 3 axis stabilizer

Originally designed by drone companies (see below), these new stabilizers are devised around a three axis gyroscope that features tremendous freedom of movement. To simplify this new technology, the stabilized drone baskets were combined with cages made of very light carbon rods.

They weigh no more than 1.3 kg, but they can nevertheless support loads exceeding 10kg (camera + accessories). For usage over a long duration, combining it with an Easyrig system is recommended. The upper handles of the carbon cage allow them to be suspended with the Easyrig system, allowing the operator to work for several hours under exceptionally comfortable working conditions.

They are extremely efficient with respect to their compact size, so these systems really put all users on an equal footing. Similar to the benefits of the Shoulder Rig, but unlike the Steadycam, the operator is responsible for the movement by being the “body” of the camera with the gimbal..

Here is part five, just in case you missed it and here is part seven.

The original article was written by the author in French and has been translated for the purpose of the MSoX website.

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