How To Stabilise Your Camera Without a Tripod

There’s something very common about films such as Cloverfield, The Blair Witch Project, Quarantine, and your dad’s 50th birthday… shaky footage!

Going handheld can be useful in certain occasions, yet shaky footage has the tendency to leave your viewers feeling nauseated. While this shooting style may have worked well for found-footage TV series, American Horror Story: Roanoke, it’s not something you should settle for in a corporate video.

Not having a tripod doesn’t always mean you’ll end up with shaky footage. We wanted to share with you today some handy tips on how to shoot stable handheld shots.

Keep your camera close to your body

The closer it is to your body, the easier it gets to capture a steady shot. Tuck your elbows into your sides and hold the camera tight to your chest to stabilize shots.

Use a camera strap

While a camera strap usually gets in the way of shooting, they too can serve a lot of purpose in stabilising your shots. Place your camera strap around your neck like a necklace, and pull the camera forward until you reach the strap’s limit, making them tight.

Use the ground, a wall, or a table for support

Putting the camera on the ground or other flat surface can give your video a new perspective as you work to shoot more creatively. Apart from stabilisation, having your camera at a different height from your body can add a dramatic touch to your shots. Alternatively, leaning on a wall gives you an instance brace to help steady a shot.

Use a wider lens

The wider the lens, the easier it is to keep steady. For cameras like the Canon 5D Mark III, try to stay below 35mm. For crop sensor cameras like the Canon 70D, it’s best to stick below 24mm.

Consider incorporating slow motion shots

Shooting at a higher frame rate helps a lot in smoothening shots, yet in going for this option, make sure that the shot serves a purpose towards your story. We recently started our very own passion project which is all about capturing beautiful slow-mo footage – check out our post about this.

For those of you who’d like to go the extra mile with stabilising your camera, you can check out these awesome tutorials that teaches you how to create your own steadicam on a shoestring budget.

 

Filmmakers and photographers use many different ways to overcome shaky footage. What are your moves? What’s your style? Share them with us in the comments below.


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