If you are a proud new owner of a camera and a camera stabilizer, you may be wondering how you would fare in using it. You may be all excited about using it and finally seeing better quality videos from your device. But before you get to that, you must first come face to face with the task of how to balance your camera stabilizer.
In case you still were unacquainted with their exact mechanisms, camera stabilizers first have to be properly balanced in order for them to work properly as well.
If not balanced correctly, your camera stabilizer will be rendered practically useless and may even make your videos worse. That is why it is very important to learn how to balance a camera stabilizer.
1. Place the camera on the designated stage on top. Balance it so that its weight is centered. Usually, cameras already have a designated screw slot where you can attach a plate that you then lock into the stabilizer to act as a stage for the camera.
Nevertheless, it is still important to note the heavy sides of a camera as this will depend on the type that you have. DSLRs are mostly heavy on the left side as the right is usually where the grip and the shutter button are.
They are also usually front heavy due to the weight of the lens that they have. The exact heaviness will depend since lenses on DSLRs are adjustable and can be changed to bigger or smaller proportions.
2. Install and adjust the weights on the bottom. You do not need to exactly match the camera weight with the bottom weights, but you should come close.
As a rule of thumb, the entire piece with the camera and the weights installed should be slightly heavy on the bottom so that it can act as a counterweight and stabilize the camera as much as possible no matter what movement you make –vertical, diagonal, or horizontal.
Also, although the entire piece has to be a bit bottom heavy, it does not necessarily mean that you should immediately install all of your available counterweight pieces as this may make the entire piece too heavy to be carried comfortably and for prolonged periods. There is a certain way to get around this and it is explained in the next few notes.
3. Lock the top post halfway down the bottom post. This way, you will be able to change the weight ratio by simply moving the sled upwards or downwards to finalize the balance.
This is the exact method of getting around having to install too many weights that could just weigh your camera down. You can simply install the right amount of weight at the bottom piece and then from there adjust the sled downward to add a bit more weight.
Take note that if you move the sled down, thus elongating the entire piece, you are shifting the weight more downward; if you move it up, you are bringing the weight up. This is a good way to finalize the right balance for your camera stabilizer.
4. Shift your camera as needed, either forward or back. This ensures that your camera does not fall over. This step is merely the finishing touch to the first one about mounting the camera onto the piece. You can test out the balance of your stabilizer by moving it around in the way that you would expect to use it on site.
You can walk in different directions, or simply wave it across in front of you. Your camera should be steady and straight at all times even with the movements that you make.
If you find that the piece with the camera and the weights attached swings and rotates as you move it, this only means that your entire piece is a bit too bottom heavy. You can easily fix this by looking into the previous step and adjusting the sled.
Since it is too bottom heavy this time, you should adjust the sled upwards instead of down. Try not to be too heavy handed in your adjustments as a few millimeters can go a long way.
Achieving a good balance with your camera stabilizer is the essential beginning in finally improving the quality of your videography. Once you have achieved the right balance, you can then begin practicing with your new tool.