Stabilizers: Here’s Why This is Another Video Essential For Professional Looking Video
You have a plan, script and maybe even put together your shot list. Let’s now focus on what you need to get those great shots – using stabilizers!
Cameras are getting smarter and many now come with built-in image stabilizers and editing systems have plug ins that help you steady your shots but you don’t want to rely on these because they aren’t perfect, compromises image quality, and really aren’t meant to take the place of using a tripod, monopod, or other stabilizer.
Your camera can’t get a clean stable shot by itself even if you think you have the steadiest hand in the world. I know the hand held look is a lot more accepted these days but did you know that what you see the cinematographers do on television and in the movies takes a very practiced hand to give you the sense of hand held but not in a distracting way. Most of these are done with the use of a stabilizer…even if it’s just what they have at hand, a table top, doorway, knee, etc.
I own 4 video tripods and six monopods. No lie. Some are cheap and inexpensive that I can take with me on a trip or easily throw in the trunk of my car.
But I use a good tripod when it matters. I also use my monopod a LOT! Not only does it serve to stabilize my shot much better than hand holding, it also allows me to get some cool angles on the fly.
It’s also a good idea to keep a very tiny table-top device to attach to your mobile phone in the trunk, your purse or a backpack – just in case.
What To Do If You Don’t Have a Stabilizer With You
There are going to be times when you won’t have a stabilizer handy but don’t let that keep you from steadying your shot. Look around you and see what is available to you to help you stabilizer your camera.
Shooting an interview? Prop your camera against something, like a purse or bag, on top of a table. Need the camera higher? Use empty upside down water or wine glasses.
Shooting outdoors? You can prop your camera up on a fence, car hood, against a tree or on a low, hanging limb.
You can even use your body to steady your shots.
While handheld shooting for spur of the moment testimonial or marketing videos is better than not getting the shot, if you’re going for a higher a beautiful cinematic scene or want to inspire awe in your production, you won’t if the video is shaky, and small cameras and DSLRs shake. Especially smartphone cameras when you hold them out in front of you!
If you’re going for that one long distance shot where you’re zoomed all the way in to climbers hanging to the side of El Capitan in Yosemite, you need to be on a tripod. Period.
So go invest in a tripod please, and make sure you use it!
Next week: Why you need decent audio.
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