Introduction: DIY Camera Stabilizer

Picture of DIY Camera Stabilizer

I have been starting to get into filming lately and can't find a reasonably priced stabilizer to film with my DSLR. So with that I began to map out a design modeled after a few PVC stabilizers on Youtube and other sites. The PVC creates a strong and efficient mount that is also cost friendly. The stabilizer can be held in any way to achieve the best shot. This means you can hold it with one hand or two, run, skip, ride a bike and still produce a relatively smooth image. The total cost of the project was only $20, saving tons on similar products sold online. I have included a video with a stabilizer test. Enjoy!

Step 1: Materials

Picture of Materials

For this project I went with 3/4 inch PVC Pipe since it is lightweight, strong and not too bulky. In total I used 63 inches but I would get 70 just in case. Also be sure to use the correct bonding agent to reduce error. I used a non-hardening PVC cement which was a hassle after I put it together the first time around. So with that here is the full parts list.

Parts:

  • 70" of 3/4 inch diameter PVC Pipe
  • 8 Pipe Connectors of 45 degrees
  • Two "T" style Fittings
  • Two snap-on "T" Fittings
  • Cross Connector
  • A single 1" Diameter Cap
  • A quarter inch bolt with a few nuts

Tools

  • Hack Saw
  • Drill with 1/4 inch bit
  • Tape Measure
  • Sandpaper
  • PVC Cement
  • Spray paint

Step 2: Layout Design and Cut PVC

Picture of Layout Design and Cut PVC

Its time to start designing the camera stabilizer frame. From prior DIY projects and suggestions I have gone with an octagon shape for the best ergonomic characteristics and filming abilities. The snap on "T" connectors allow easier mounting without cutting extra strait piping.

Cut

  • Eight, 6" PVC Pieces
  • Two, 5.5" PVC Pieces
  • Two, 1.75" PVC Pieces

Sand the edges of the cut pieces to make a smooth surface for construction and gluing.

Layout the design out to be sure all pieces are accounted for and fit together correctly.

Step 3: Camera Mount

Picture of Camera Mount

Use the 1" Diameter cap and the bolt/nuts to create a strong mount to attach the camera. Drill a 1/4" hole and attach the bolt as the pictures show.

Step 4: Glue the Parts

Picture of Glue the Parts

Begin by assembling the stabilizer to be sure that every piece fits correctly and is in place. Now use the cement to secure the pieces. Let dry before finishing.

Step 5: Take a Break and Enjoy the Sun

Picture of Take a Break and Enjoy the Sun

Had to snag this shot mid-build. Those clouds are awesome!

Step 6: Finish and Test

Picture of Finish and Test

After the glue dries, the mount can be painted and accessories can be added. I used white paint and then applied a rubber coating around the whole piece to increase grip. You can also attach rubber to the sides for extra grip and padding.

What I learned:

  • White paint is boring. Next time I'll choose something a little more exciting.
  • Take your time when constructing anything. I had to backtrack several times because I rushed some of the steps.
  • Use eye protection when using equipment. I had a piece of PVC jump in my eye when drilling. Safety glasses are a must next time.
  • Have fun!

I recorded some video with the stabilizer of my last instructable. I'm just starting to get into video so I'm not too good with filming. Any comments or suggestions are appreciated! Thanks!

Comments

DJBeelen (author)2016-01-07

Stabilizing your camera is easier then you think! Watch the video and start building! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBJB2ZdqLxo

fortney (author)2015-07-12

Real nice job

DhavalP6 (author)2015-07-06

Sample Video??

amansinghaljpr (author)2015-06-22

can you please give me the details of the bolt which is used for mounting dslr

No_Limits (author)amansinghaljpr2015-06-22

I just used a general 1/4" diameter bolt. Mine was 3 inches but it can be longer or shorter depending on design

Vincent619 (author)2015-06-19

If you can find the center of gravity of the camera it wil ease holding the camera if that point is exactly in the middle of the frame. This might be a good upgrade depending on how heave the lens is.

mikeasaurus (author)2015-06-18

having a lightweight rig is good, but you might find a little weight in the apparatus provides some stability by dampening smaller vibrations and movements from shakey hands or unwanted movements. Should be pretty easy to add into your current build.

Great idea, and really well done.

No_Limits (author)mikeasaurus2015-06-19

Thanks for the suggestions Mike! I will look into updating the current rig. It means a ton to hear from someone that is so well know on instructables and the DIY world!

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