How To Make Videos Without The Shakes
One of the gadgets we were in search of at the NAB Show 2011 was a stabilizer that works with camera phones like the iPhone.
One of the great things about the smaller pocket cameras like the iPhone is how lightweight they are. That can also be a problem, especially when you are shooting longer than a second or two or it’s windy.
Because the camera is so light, it has little resistance to shaking.
Has this happened to you? You think you have a steady hand only to find that when you look at your footage, the image is shaking all over the place? The farther out from your body you hold the camera, the more shaky your footage will be. I was watching a tutorial video from a very successful marketer who had shot it on his iPhone and I literally had to look away and just listen to him; it was so shaky it was making me ill!
If only he had taken the time to add a stabilizer like a tripod or monopod, it would have been a better quality video and very watchable.
Many pocket cameras, like the Kodak Zi8, have a standard tripod screw hole and are easy to attach to a tripod or monopod. You can buy separate accessories to attach an iPhone or other smart phones to tripods.
How to make videos better if you don’t have a tripod or monopod
If you don’t have access to a stabilizer, look around to see if there is something else you can set your camera on to stabilize it.
If you must hand-hold your camera you can use your body to stabilize your shot. Get in the classic photographer stance, with your legs firmly planted about a foot or more apart. Using your right hand, grip the right side of the camera. Your forefinger should be poised above the shutter button (if the button is on top), or your thumb in the ready position if the button is on the back of the camera like it is with an iPhone or Flip cam. Your left hand should support the weight of the camera. I also like to press the hands together in a 90 degree angle for more stability. Be sure to keep your fingers out of the shot.
Tuck your elbows in and hold the camera just a short distance away from your face. You’re using your body as the stabilizer and the closer your arms and hands are to your body, the steadier the shot will be. If available, lean against a wall or other solid object.
How to shoot videos on your iPhone with a movie look
But say you want a moving shot – the shakiness may not be as noticeable but to really get a nice fluid, floating shot like you see in the movies, we found a solution for you.
On the last day of NAB, we found ourselves at the Tiffen booth and there we found the Smoothee. Just like the name implies, it helps you get a smooth, gliding shot with your pocket camera.
In this short video, we show you the Smoothee as well as a couple of other Steadicam stabilizers we saw at NAB.
Here is another video taken with an iPhone and the Smoothee, not just showing you the footage they shot but also how easy it is to use.
Side story: As you can see in the video, they were just getting ready to have a raffle for a Smoothee. We were the second to the last person to get a raffle ticket – and we were one number away from winning! It turned out that the young woman who jumped in line in front of us scored this nifty little stabilizer. I guess she was supposed to have it.
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