Tech & Gadgets

How To Shoot Stable Handheld Video Using A dSLR

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Don’t have access to a monopod, tripod or anything sturdy to stabilize your camera? Then here are some tips to help get stable handheld footage with your dSLR.

Handheld Technique

Grip the camera using your right hand, while cradling the lens and base using the palm of your left hand. Your camera?s weight should be evenly distributed between your hands.

Don?t try to carry all the weight using your right and hold the lens from the top with your left hand. While this may work for still images, it?s still not good for stable videos. This may sound obvious, but you may want to flick the switch to turn on your camera?s image stabilization.
Some dSLRs from brands like Pentax, Sony and Olympus have built in stabilization. Search for this option in the camera?s menu, then turn it on. Also, make sure to apply it on both stills and videos.


Points of Contact

Simply resting both elbows close to your body, at the top of your waistline or your hips, will make all the difference.
You can also hold your breath for a short period of time to be as steady as possible and to minimize extra movements.


Camera Strap

The strap of your camera is a very useful tool that will help keep your videos stable. Put it over your head and keep it tight around your nape. Extend your camera out as far as your camera?s strap will allow using a proper handheld technique and you will be achieving a smooth result for shooting moving objects.


Buy Accessories

If you do not want to invest in a monopod or a tripod, there are plenty of accessories in the market you can buy that will help you get more stable handheld dSLR footage.
A viewfinder is an absolutely great ad-on for any dSLR camera. It provides another contact point because it fits over the camera?s screen and it comes with an eyecup that rests against your face, making the camera more stable.


Stabilizing Softwares

There are numerous editing softwares out there and Adobe Premiere CC and Final Cut X are some of the good examples. These programs come with a built-in video stabilization feature. However, depending on the shake?s severity, these features can be a hit or a miss.

To enable the stabilization in Adobe Premiere, choose a clip, then go to Effects panel > Distort > Warp Stabilizer.
On the other hand, the stabilization feature of Final Cut X pops up in the video inspector sidebar every time you click on a clip.


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