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Steadycam for Low Mode - Baby and Kid's Hunting
  • Please give some suggestions for other DIY ideas or commercial steadycams useful for low mode.

    I mainly use my GH2 for kid's hunting. As soon as they start crawling it's not easy to keep track on them and I decided to build a DIY steadycam just for low mode applications. The design is very unusual but in my opinion one of the most convenient arrangements for a right handed person. Total weight is 2.7 kg. The gimbal is very simple but due to it's small size you feel the mass inertia between your fingers. In some of the pictures below you can see that the gimbal consists of one very small ball bearing as well as a small metal cardan joint. I use the 20mm with a x0.70 Sony converter which gives also a reasonable in-door light performance. Frame parts are based on holders for flower boxes.

    Following footage should give an idea what can be expected:

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  • 10 Replies sorted by
  • My suggestion is to put the camera on a tripod and turn the whole thing upside-down and hold it by the legs (move the LCD so you can still see it). You can easily walk around getting your shots. Then you flip the image upright in post. Done that on a few videos, always pretty effective.

    This looks like a really nice bit of kit though. Do you have some video done with it?

  • Very intresting Idea. Would love to see some footage with you using it

  • This thing is simplest way. And very compact assembled.

    Quality of manufacturing is very good.

    <$20 for each, if you make group buy.

  • @Mark_the_Harp a tripod is a good idea. One problem is that it could be sometimes dangerous for the furniture.

  • @tida ...and the camera!! I've not done it with my GH2 but have done with other cameras and it's a good technique. If you let the thing swing (just a bit) when you go round a corner it's quite a nice effect, almost like you're flying in a miniature plane. I've used it to show a pet's eye view of a room. One of those rubber bungee cords is quite good to suspend the legs and dampen any hand wobbles. I think the other important thing is to basically keep an eye on the room rather than the camera (if you can).

  • @Mark_the_Harp very good suggestion from your point of experience. Didn't think about how to show a realistic unsteady eye view of the moving subject in low mode.

    In general I think if somebody like to optimize the smoothness of the shot all comes to mass inertia. Low friction of a gimbal is second. You cannot change the world if you want mechanically smoothen all movements by using a light weight system. Especially for translation movements (forward, backward, sidewards, upwards downwards a light weight system has it's weakness. For rotational movements (panning, tilting) its important to place counterweights as far away from the camera as possible. But also it's important to place the two counterweights as far as possible from each other. To decouple the rotational movements its also better to use a small gimbal. The diameter of the screw is for example only 4mm - good for smooth panning by means of finger tip. Smooth tilting is achieved by using a small cardan joint also with your finger tips.

  • @Mark_the_Harp, @Craig_R just did add some footage on first page...

  • Oh - very nice and cute child! I'm a sucker for those child's eye view things. Nice control of the camera, fun to watch.

  • This is great stuff... "super low mode"

  • Just an idea how proper and smooth my DIY steadycam works...

    Used GH2 at 1080p30, Lumix 20mm f1.7, Davinci Resolve, Sony Vegas Pro. Costs of Steadycam approx. 50EUR. You need no special tools just screw everything together as it is when you bought it.