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Photography

How to Capture Super-Stable Handheld Video

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Difficulty:IntermediateLength:ShortLanguages:

When you hold your video camera by hand it’s easy to introduce shakes and jitters into the footage. In this lesson from Slavik Boyechko's course, Video Production on the Go, you'll learn a few simple tools and techniques to help you capture smoother handheld video.

 

The key to video stability is anchoring the camera to a larger object, to keep it steady. This can be a solid object, the earth, or even your own body. A simple camera strap around your neck is a quick and easy tool. When using a strap, stretch the camera out in front of you until the strap is taut. This maximizes the stabilizing effect of the strap. It makes for handy drop prevention, too.

You can also hold the camera snugly against your chest. Try to avoid holding it at awkward angle against your shoulder or chin (I gave myself neck problems doing exactly this, ouch). Rather, a comfortable cradled position gives the camera something to rest against while minimizing shake introduced by arms holding the full weight. Most of all, nothing beats a solid object. If you can, use railings, tabletops, floors, or walls to lay or brace the camera against. These locations can be even more stable than a tripod!

The video above demonstrates these and other techniques that ensure your handheld video will be super-stable. Best of all, demo footage is included to illustrate just how critical stability is. You’ll soon see how even high-quality zoomed video is possible with only a handheld camera. 

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