Making a DIY Steadicam

Making a DIY Steadicam is a cheap and effective way to get the shots you want for your videos. Before the invention of the steadicam in the 1970s, there were only two ways to create camera movement. You could mount the camera to a crane or dolly which was costly, time consuming, and is not always practical due to the amount of space they take up. Or, you could shoot handheld, which had the results of having a shaky look.

The steadicam changed all of that by allowing a camera operator to walk with his camera, while the Steadicam rig mechanically isolated his movements creating a smooth shot. While Steadicam rigs cost a lot to rent and own, it is possible to make your own steadicam with a few cheap materials.

What You Need

You will need a bolt that can fit into the camera's mounting screw, a metal bar (preferably aluminum that's somewhere between one to two feet in length), a pipe (one inch in diameter), three screws with nuts and washers and a counter weight. You will also need tools to bend the metal bar along with a drill.

How to Build It

Drill a hole that is large enough for the camera mounting bolt to pass through in the very center of the bar. Then, drill two holes at each end of the bar that are one inch apart from each other. Next, bend the bar into a triangle, then bend the ends of the bar so that they are parallel to each other. The gap between the two ends should be large enough for the pipe to pass through it.

Measure where the holes on the bar will align with the pipe, and drill two holes through the pipe. Then, drill another hole at the bottom of the pipe. Connect the metal bar to the pipe with the nuts and screws. Add the counterweight to the pipe and hold it in place with the last screw.

Attach your camera to the metal bar, and you now have a DIY Steadicam to work with.