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Photography

How to Improve Handheld Shots (Essential Video Skills)

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High-quality handheld video may seam tricky, but it’s actually a quick and simple technique that can produce amazing results. With handheld video comes the need for portability. Accessories aren’t required, but a few simple tools can dramatically improve your handheld video.

 

The best way to stabilize a camera is to add points of contact: areas where the camera contacts either you or a solid object. This stabilizes the camera and makes for smoother, more professional video. A camera strap is a must: not only does it provide a convenient way to hold and carry your camera, it allows you to better secure and stabilize the images you capture.

Handles are similar. Handles and grips are effective drop prevention, and they also enable positioning of the camera at unusual angles, particularly those lower to the ground. With a grip, you’re afforded greater hand control and range of motion in your video. Viewfinder loops or extenders provide a closer look at the objects you capture in the video, and transform your face into a point of contact. 

It’s also important to choose lenses that have built-in image stabilization, if you can afford them. No matter how steady your hand, jitters and camera shake will occur at the outer limits of zoom. Worse still, these jitters are nearly impossible to remove during the editing process. Stabilized lenses remove shake with the flip of a switch.

Lastly, monopods are a valuable accessory. Less bulky and more maneuverable than tripods, monopods offer ground support, extended range, and improved carrying ability. By using accessories like these, you’ll be capturing great handheld video in no time.

The video above offers a field demonstration of these and other handheld video accessories. Sample footage is included to illustrate the potential of many of the tools mentioned. You’ll see how easy it is to capture spectacular handheld footage without breaking the bank.

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