Low Cost Video Stabilizer

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Video stabilizers are used to improve the smoothness of video when the operator is in motion. Professional version cost in excess of $500. The version shown below can support the weight of a DLSR camera and is made from less than $25 of materials. I’ve also included a video of the stabilizer in use along with a PDF version of the plans.

Drawing File:

https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B21TbB8gGNQbMldmcE...

Video:

Teacher Notes

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Step 1: Tools

  • Tape measure
  • Saw

Step 2: Materials

Step 3: Top Level

Follow these views for the build.

Step 4: Cut Pipes and Organize Parts

Cut the ¾” PVC pipe as shown in the material list.

Step 5: Side 1

Assemble first side as shown. You will use five (5) 1 ¾” length pipes, one (1) 3” pipe, and one (1) 24 ½” pipes.

Step 6: Side 2

Assemble the second side which is a mirror image of the first side.

Step 7: Cross Support Assy

Assemble cross assembly as shown. You will use two (2) 4” pipes and one (1) 3” pipe. Repeat process to build a second assembly.

Step 8: Camera Mount

Drill hole through cap. Insert ¼-20. Captivate bolt with ¼-20 nut.

Step 9: Assembly

Connect Side 1 to Side 2 with the two (2) cross support assemblies and the two (2) 9 1/8” pipes. Add the camera mount to the front assembly. Add weight and cap to the rear assembly.

Step 10: Glue (optional)

For additional rigidity, glue connections together. This will obviously prevent you breaking the rig down later.

Step 11: Paint (optional)

Mask off the screw threads and paint the complete assembly.

Step 12: Additional Damping (optional)

Add foam pad for additional damping and comfort

Step 13: Final Product

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    19 Discussions

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    peppypickle

    4 years ago on Introduction

    This is an incredible project, thanks for sharing your diagrams. This would save a lot of money because video stabilizers are hundreds of dollars!

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    ImAtech

    10 months ago

    Great idea. I'll make one for my grandson who is into video. I do see a problem with the camera mount. It looks like the camera is only strapped side to side allowing it to be rocked forward and backward on the mounting bolt. This could rip the mount out of the camera. It needs to have a platform and a tightening bolt like a tripod mount, much stronger and with another plus of more stability.

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    espdp2

    4 years ago on Introduction

    I love this. Half of YouTube needs to love this!

    My daughter attends a media based high school. This will be a great asset for the students that won't break the school's budget. Thanks for sharing.

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    Battlespeed

    4 years ago on Introduction

    The decision to "cement or not cement" (all or none) isn't binary. You can cement both sides as separate units, and then cement cross-pieces to the sides in an alternating fashion to have a rig that can be torn down with few uncemented joints, and it shouldn't come apart easily in the field.

    stabilizer.jpg
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    ASCAS

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Awesome Ible! I made one as soon as I read your post. I made a slimmer version though. It definitely stabilized my footage by 60%. Thanks!

    IMG_20141102_201005.jpg
    1 reply
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    Battlespeed

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Gosh that picture came out small! What it says is to cement alternate cross pieces to opposite sides, but you can't read it. Sorry!

    stabilizer.jpg
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    mayala6

    4 years ago

    Looks like it's smooth

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    JohnnyG2

    4 years ago on Introduction

    What an excellent set of instructions, keep up the good work Again, Kudos

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    hegure_ryu

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Very good. My brother-in-law is a photo and videographer and is always looking to save some money, I 'll have to show him.

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    Hodor

    4 years ago on Introduction

    Really Cool! I work at an Ace Hardware so the only suggestion I have is to supplement glue for PVC Cement. Its the only way to truly make that PVC stick together, otherwise you risk the PVC just falling right apart if its not tight enough!

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    mtairymd

    4 years ago

    Nice job!