Introduction: $1 Camera Image Stabilizer
I have demonstrated the building process and use of the stabilizer in this video.
Here's a cool little gadget that you can use to seriously reduce camera shake. With this stabilizer, I find that I can hand hold still photos at least 3 stops slower that I could without it.
It also folds up to store easily in your pocket. Unlike a tripod, Its portable enough that you'll never mind taking it along.
Step 1: Parts List
For this project, you will need:
1 1/4 inch diameter bolt with coarse threads. You'll probably want the shortest one you can get. You could also use an eye bolt with the same threading.
1 piece of string a little longer than you are tall. The string needs to be a kind that doesn't stretch much.
1 large washer or other small weight. Take a look at the video to see how this works, and then use whatever you have available. One good idea might be something that you could wind the string around.
Take a look at the video to see how all this is going to work.
Step 2: Tie on the Bolt
Tie the bolt onto one end of the string. You can get all fancy and use a lashing like I did or you can use your best granny knot.
Step 3: Tie on the Washer
Tie the other end of the string onto the washer or whatever weight you have chosen.
Step 4: Connect to the Camera
To use the stabilizer, start by screwing the bolt into the tripod mount.
Step 5: Step and Pull
One of the really great things about this gadget is that it is so easy to pan back and forth with.
This stabilizer will almost entirely eliminate vertical shake, and the added stability greatly reduces horizontal shake. For medium shutter speeds you'll notice a big improvement in image quality. It will also make your videos look a lot better.
This obviously does not make your tripod totally useless. It really isn't going to work for long exposure times, though it would certainly help. It is also maybe not the kind of thing that you want to use with a big heavy lens for long periods of time. That might get a little heavy. This is, however, a great solution for a huge number situations where you might need to use only medium or faster shutter speeds and for times when you just really don't want to bother with a tripod.
You can easily pack one in your camera bag. Then you'll always be ready when the need arises. Try that with your tripod.