Trying to capture super-steady handheld video? There’s no better way than using your camera’s viewfinder. Not only does the viewfinder show you the exact perspective of your finished video, it also increases stability. In this lesson from Slavik Boyechko's course on making video on the go, you'll learn how to use the viewfinder as a point of contact to stabilize your shots.
Three Points of Contact
Viewfinders add stability to your footage by turning your head into a point of contact for your camera. Shakes and bumps are reduced, and deliberate motion looks smooth and planned.
What you see in the viewfinder is exactly what the camera sees, and what your audience will see in the finished video. When filming this way, tuck your elbows close to your body. Keep your breathing normalized—not held, not too deep. Aim for a natural posture; holding an awkward position might cause camera shake.
Viewfinders come in two types—electronic and optical. Optical viewfinders are tiny windows; you’re actually looking through your lens. Electronic viewfinders are tiny screens.
Even if your camera doesn’t have one of these, attachments like optical loupes transform your camera’s screen into a usable viewfinder. They’re great for capturing fast motion, or handheld shots with zoom. The trick is matching your camera with your goal: See what you’re equipped with, and how it aligns with the type of videography you’re doing.
Like any good technique, viewfinders have a learning curve. Plus, the plethora of add-on accessories can be confusing. For a quick look at some options—and to explore their possibilities—the above tutorial is a great place to start. You’ll see various viewfinder options and accessories put through their paces in the field, and how you can bring them to your own work.
Videos like this, along with stock videos, graphics, templates and more are available as part of membership to Envato Elements. Elements is a low-cost, all-you-can-download creative toolbox on a monthly membership.
- VideoHow to Stabilize Video in Final Cut Pro XSlavik Boyechko
- VideoHow to Stabilize Video in After Effects with ReelSteadyCharles Yeager
- PhotographyDecoding Lens Jargon: Image Stabilization, Coatings, and Advanced Focusing MotorsDavid Bode
- VideoHow to Capture Super-Stable Handheld VideoJackson Couse