How To Use A Camera Stabilizer

How To Use A Camera Stabilizer
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A camera stabilizer is an effective tool for shooting smooth and steady shots. If you’re having problems with jerky shots and camera shakes, a camera stabilizer will come in handy.

How To Use A Camera Stabilizer Properly

But how do you use a camera stabilizer? The following information will explain how a camera stabilizer works.

Adjusting the Counterbalance Hinge

Connect the longest counterbalance weight onto the extension end of the counter balance. Once the camera is mounted, you can add smaller counterbalance weights if necessary. You don’t need to tighten the unit too much, just enough so the screw does not move around.

To get your starting place, start by measuring the counter balance hinge distance from the weight’s end on the hinge to the camera mounting base’s end. Depending on how much your camera weighs, you’ll need to adjust the counter hinge distance.

If your camera weighs one pound, you may need to adjust the distance by eight inches. If your camera weighs two pounds, the adjustment may have to be 12 inches. It depends on what type of stabilizer you have.

If you need to modify the vertical balance, you can do so by adjusting the vertical and horizontal screws to close or open the counterbalance hinge. Keep in mind that adjusting the counterbalance weight has a direct effect on the balance.

Mount the Camera

1.  Take the quick release camera plate off the receiver mount.

2.  Take off the screw that came with the device.

3.  Hook up the camera on the quick release.

4.  Fasten the screw.

5.  Make sure the receiver screws are securely where they need to be. In most cases, the screw must be tightened so there’s no play.

If your DSLR camera comes with a heavy lens, you’ll need to set the plate forward along the lens as a starting point. If you’re attaching a video camcorder, position the mounting plate so that it’s forward slightly off center of the DSLR. You can also use any of the mounting plate screws to mount the camera.

Adjust the Vertical and Horizontal Trim

1.  Hold the handle with the camera on the platform. Hold it carefully and check if the tilt is to the right or left.

2.  To adjust the camera’s side by side placement, loosen the camera mount bottom screws. With most stabilizers, there is a screw for adjusting the side by side screw. Tighten the screw once you have the balance right.

3.  Test the camera balance. Adjust the front and back if it dips backwards or forwards.

4.  If it does dip, loosen the screws on the left or right and make the proper adjustment.

5.  Tighten the screws when you’re done.

Achieving the Right Balance

It might take some tweaking to get the balance right for your camera. You may need to repeat the steps above to get the balance you’re looking for.

Take note of the weight and settings you use when you get the right balance. You should also look into the setting of the quick release plate so you can use that again.

After you get the proper balance, you should be able to tilt or pan your camera as you shoot. To pan your camera, put your thumb on the ring (the ring is just under the receiver mount and over the hand grip). With your thumb, turn the knurled ring to the left or right to turn the camera.

To tilt, place your thumb along the bottom of the receiver mount. Apply a bit of pressure until the camera tilts in the direction you want. Once you are done shooting, take the quick release plate and the camera off the stabilizer. Do not put the stabilizer on an even surface with the camera, as it might cause damage.

Tips for Holding the Stabilizer

Some stabilizers require just one hand, while others need two. Using both hands provides balance. However, one hand is ideal when you’re going through a crowd, filming at one side, or want some high shots.

If you want to hold the stabilizer with two hands, use one hand for camera support. Make sure your hand holding the stabilizer doesn’t touch anything that could hinder the camera’s smooth flow. If you’re using one hand to hold the stabilizer, it has to be with a secure grip.

Reminders and Warnings

  • Read the manual and follow the instructions.
  • Handle the stabilizer carefully.
  • Use only with camera models it is designed to work with.
  • Use a clean, dry cloth to clean the stabilizer.


The information here shows how easy it is to use a camera stabilizer. Keep in mind that the information provided here is meant to be a general guide only. Make sure you read the manual that came with your camera stabilizer before using it. Once set up, you won’t have any problem getting it to work.

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