Glidecam vs Steadicam: Which Is Better?

Glidecam vs Steadicam: Which Is Better?
Spread the love

Handheld footages are often shaky and jittery, which many filmmakers try to avoid, not unless it is exactly the effect that they are after. Those who create professional-level videos often use a variety of techniques and equipment to keep their shots smooth, even if they have to move their camera around. The most popular kinds are from Glidecam and Steadicam. Let’s do a Glidecam vs Steadicam comparison to see which one has the upper hand.

What Is a DSLR Stabilizer?

A DSLR stabilizer is basically a piece of equipment that keeps your camera stable while you film. Stable means it keeps itself free from unnecessary movements.

When you operate a camera by hand, it is susceptible to instability, which is the shaking and jarring of movements when you walk around, and your hands’ attempts at carrying the weight of the camera and keeping it relatively still.  A DLSR stabilizer reduces the effort necessary to keep the camera steady while operating it.

A DSLR stabilizer uses a set of joints, hinges, weights, balances, and sometimes, springs to counter sudden movements, and smooth out the movement of the camera, while it is being carried around and panned along the course of a shot. The stabilizer keeps the camera in a smooth path while shooting, compared to a jagged line of motion when the camera is operated with bare hands.

How to Choose the Right DSLR Stabilizer?

There are plenty of kinds and types of DSLR stabilizers. These are all meant to achieve the same goal, which is to carry around a camera while filming without making the shot appear shaky.

The difference in design that each kind of DLSR stabilizer has from another is simply meant to enable the operator to do the shots that they wish to make while utilizing their preferred camera and equipment.

When you pick out a DSLR stabilizer, there are several things to go over before you finally make your pick.

  • Features

Compatibility with your gear should be one of the first things you should check out. Make sure that the stabilizer you are going to buy is going to work with the DLSR stabilizer you are planning to buy. Some brands also try to make their products compatible with specific brands of cameras while some equip their products with the means to fit most brands.

Compatibility also means being able to switch from your stabilizer to other equipment. Some filmmakers tend to use a variety of accessory equipment with their cameras aside from just the stabilizer like tripods or monopods. Being able to switch seamlessly from one to the next can also help you figure out which one works for you.

  • Durability

A DLSR stabilizer can be a sizable investment, not to mention the camera that you are using. It is prudent to make sure that these can endure the kind of abuse that comes naturally with the type of filmmaking inherent to the use of stabilizers. Moving around exposes your gears to greater risk of bumps and potential drops. Make sure that your gears can endure these on a regular basis.

  • Ergonomics

Ease of use is also a big point when choosing the right stabilizer. Your comfort in using your gear translates to better shots. A stabilizer that is well-designed ensures that the user can operate the camera without having to worry about the stabilizer working properly. The DSLR stabilizer should be able to enhance the use of the camera, and not be a hindrance to it.

  • Price

Those that are priced higher tend to have the best features and materials, but this is not necessarily true all the time. Some great stabilizers may be priced lower especially when newer models come out, but still perform astoundingly well compared to the latest offerings, with a huge price gap to boot.

Some companies may have products whose prices are brought down because they have released newer models. Check out these items still, as the lower price may not necessarily mean subpar quality and performance. The company may simply be trying to boost sales of older models, which are expected to decline once the newer offerings come out.

Do not be deceived by the low price, especially if it comes from a reputable company. These items may even perform better than more expensive premium products from lesser known brands that may not be reliable at all.

Glidecam vs Steadicam

Glidecam and Steadicam are two different companies that produce DSLR stabilizers and other types of camera stabilizers. The principles that they apply in their products are basically the same, and they function practically the same way thus operating one compared to the other are highly similar.

Both companies have different price ranges for each kind of stabilizer that they offer. In terms of price points, these two are the same on average, for the products that offer the same functionalities.

Their basic design for DSLR stabilizers both has several joints, rotating attachments, a handhold, adjustments, variable counterweights, and the platform where the camera is placed. The way these components were made, determine the overall quality of the final product.

The materials used in these stabilizers also determine the weight-carrying capacity of the stabilizer itself. Some steadicam stabilizers are made of sturdier materials thus can carry more weight. With the glidecam, you may have to upgrade to another model which can tolerate heavier cameras.

Some steadicam stabilizers don’t have a flat bottom; thus, you are forced to carry it around for long periods, whereas, there are those with a glidecam that can stand on its own. While the design of the glidecam allows you to set it down on a flat surface in an upright position, this can be prone for toppling over.

The camera mount of the steadicam has dimensions that are compatible only with equipment of the same brand. With glidecam, it has the camera mount, that has dimensions that can fit onto the mount of other equipment that you might find yourself using during the shoot. If you need to transition to a tripod, then you can easily detach the camera from a steadicam, and slide it in a standard tripod.


The glidecam vs steadicam comparison has no clear-cut winner. A single feature can give one the plus points over the other, but which it can lose in another. The DLSR stabilizers offered by each brand are great products. It all boils down to which features you like best. Pick one that has most, if not everything, that you want in a DSLR stabilizer.

Leave a Comment:

Leave a Comment: