2012 11

sports-camera-stabilizerThis is a quick post about specialty gadgets for videography geeks. Amateur and professional moviemakers and videography enthusiasts have been going gaga over the explosion of these new and affordable camera stabilization equipment. In the last year or so alone, the number of devices available to us range from those that can accommodate various professional cameras, to DSLRs, to smartphones—with particular emphasis on the iPhone. Some of the most exciting items that have come under our radar are the mini handheld steadicams and the motorized track sliders. These two items have caught our attention for their wide variety and affordability, and for just for being plain nifty. With the former, just about anyone who owns a smartphone can now take much better quality video footage. Mounting your phone into one of these small, handheld camera stabilizers will allow you to easily shoot video minus the usual headache-inducing jitteriness and the abrupt stops and starts captured as you move along. With such a simple and straightforward gadget, you can produce smooth and flowing video in a snap. As for the latter, the same can be said for the motorized track sliders except these usually fall under the domain of the more serious videography fans. These can almost be categorized as specialty “toys” for those who shoot footage for fun or for work. While we normally expect the usual brands such as Merlin, Tiffen, Glidecam, and the rest to come up with these products, it is actually the newer players in the camera stabilization arena who are putting them out. Items such as the Myrmica and Mobislyder have been getting quite a bit of attention even with their limited applications and with the minimal exposure. Even with the much more affordable price tags, many ask themselves if these gadgets truly are a necessity. For shooting video on small cameras and on iPhones, it is easily enough answered; yes. If there’s any hope of capturing decent quality footage, then one must employ a handheld camera stabilizer. As for the motorized track sliders, well, even at the more affordable prices, they’re not exactly cheap. Are they nice to have? Sure. Are they essential? That all depends on your definition of essential.