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Old October 9th, 2016, 07:01 PM   #1
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HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer

Hello, just got a SUTEFOTO s40. Using a Sony a6000. When filming my shots are unsteady. I'm using the technique I found on YouTube, thumb and index finger on stem to keep it steady. User issue ? Or balance issue ? See video link.


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Old October 10th, 2016, 01:53 AM   #2
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Re: HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer

thumb and index finger are not used to keep it steady, those are to give your steadycam directions, your main problem is a balancing issue, you already see in in the mirror when you move sideways and the steadicam starts to sway which means it's not correctly balanced. There are plenty of youtube videos available with tutorials on how to balance a steadicam though I have to say many are not that good and explain it wrong, I don't know of any accurate tutorial right now but I have come across "mrcheesycams" tutorial in the past and you might have a look at that:

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Old October 10th, 2016, 12:30 PM   #3
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Re: HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer

Agree. Off balance. I watched video and others. Can't get it balance. I was going to sell it but gonna try one more video suggesting to add battery grip to the Sony a6000. According to vid, camera too light.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 03:08 PM   #4
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Re: HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer

Properly balancing a stabilizer is very tricky and can be time consuming and frustrating. In addition, as I'm sure you've already found, there is both static balance and active balance. You have to achieve both to be really effective, but with active balance being the most important if you don't want to be constantly fighting the stabilizer while moving. After all, moving is the whole reason you're using a stabilizer.

It is helpful when getting started to use a good lightstand and slip the handle of the stabilizer onto the lightstand stud. This will allow you to more easily achieve a good static balance on the rig since it's being supported by the stand.

Then take the stabilizer off the lightstand and work toward active balancing. If you quickly move the rig to one side, and any part of the rig "gets left behind", then that part of the rig has too much effective mass versus the components of the rig on the opposite side of the gimbal.

Remember it's a combination of the mass and the distance from the gimbal that make up the effective mass.

If your camera is too light, you can change four things to try and correct it.
First, shorten the length of the lower rod of the rig.
Second, remove weight from the bottom of the rig.
Third, add weight to the top of the rig.
Fourth, add height to the mount between the upper stage and the camera. (This makes the camera's effective mass larger by moving it further from the gimbal).

If any part of the rig spins around the vertical axis of the stabilizer when you move the whole rig to the side, then the effective mass of the part "left behind" is greater than the parts on the opposite side of the vertical axis through the gimbal.
Usually you will move the camera stage little by little to correct this, or move the camera to a new mounting hole on the stage if you are way off. You may also need to move the weights around on the bottom of the sled.

Any change you make will ripple through the whole system, so you must keep making smaller and smaller changes until you have balanced out the whole system.

For the most precise final adjustments, I use magnets and small but dense steel weights. I have found the rubber-coated steel balls from old computer mice to be effective because they are dense, magnetic and the rubber covering keeps them stationary against the magnet but you can still easily move them a few millimeters at a time.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 05:23 PM   #5
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Re: HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
Properly balancing a stabilizer is very tricky and can be time consuming and frustrating. In addition, as I'm sure you've already found, there is both static balance and active balance. You have to achieve both to be really effective, but with active balance being the most important if you don't want to be constantly fighting the stabilizer while moving. After all, moving is the whole reason you're using a stabilizer.

It is helpful when getting started to use a good lightstand and slip the handle of the stabilizer onto the lightstand stud. This will allow you to more easily achieve a good static balance on the rig since it's being supported by the stand.

Then take the stabilizer off the lightstand and work toward active balancing. If you quickly move the rig to one side, and any part of the rig "gets left behind", then that part of the rig has too much effective mass versus the components of the rig on the opposite side of the gimbal.

Remember it's a combination of the mass and the distance from the gimbal that make up the effective mass.

If your camera is too light, you can change four things to try and correct it.
First, shorten the length of the lower rod of the rig.
Second, remove weight from the bottom of the rig.
Third, add weight to the top of the rig.
Fourth, add height to the mount between the upper stage and the camera. (This makes the camera's effective mass larger by moving it further from the gimbal).

If any part of the rig spins around the vertical axis of the stabilizer when you move the whole rig to the side, then the effective mass of the part "left behind" is greater than the parts on the opposite side of the vertical axis through the gimbal.
Usually you will move the camera stage little by little to correct this, or move the camera to a new mounting hole on the stage if you are way off. You may also need to move the weights around on the bottom of the sled.

Any change you make will ripple through the whole system, so you must keep making smaller and smaller changes until you have balanced out the whole system.

For the most precise final adjustments, I use magnets and small but dense steel weights. I have found the rubber-coated steel balls from old computer mice to be effective because they are dense, magnetic and the rubber covering keeps them stationary against the magnet but you can still easily move them a few millimeters at a time.


Ok. I got it static balanced. When I walk straight line camera eventually begins to turn (spin) slightly eventually facing me. When I do the test trusting forward and rear ward it begins to turn. Same with left to right, right to left test. It's not bobbing anymore though that I can tell. Thoughts ? Thx.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 06:00 PM   #6
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Re: HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer

If you stand still with the camera pointing away from you, then quickly move the rig to the left, which way does the camera spin first in reaction to the quick move to the left?

If the camera spins to the right when moving the rig to the left, then all the items in front of the vertical axis through the gimbal have more effective mass than all the items behind the vertical axis.

You will likely have to change several items a small amount to achieve active balance and then re-tune your static balance again. Then repeat the process.

The first place to start if the camera spins when you move the rig side to side, is to move the camera stage in small increments. However, you could also move a weight on the bottom sled forward or backward. Or a combination of both the camera stage and the bottom weight but in opposite directions in order to reduce the effect on your static balance.

The key is making very small changes. It takes time, but will eventually yield a good active balance and a good static balance.
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Old October 10th, 2016, 08:51 PM   #7
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Re: HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
If you stand still with the camera pointing away from you, then quickly move the rig to the left, which way does the camera spin first in reaction to the quick move to the left?

If the camera spins to the right when moving the rig to the left, then all the items in front of the vertical axis through the gimbal have more effective mass than all the items behind the vertical axis.

You will likely have to change several items a small amount to achieve active balance and then re-tune your static balance again. Then repeat the process.

The first place to start if the camera spins when you move the rig side to side, is to move the camera stage in small increments. However, you could also move a weight on the bottom sled forward or backward. Or a combination of both the camera stage and the bottom weight but in opposite directions in order to reduce the effect on your static balance.

The key is making very small changes. It takes time, but will eventually yield a good active balance and a good static balance.

Yes moves to right. I'll try again, thx. So far whole week trying get it balanced. I'll try ur suggestions. I'll keep u posted.


* Hey, anyone one live near Rancho Cucamonga, Ca ? Sure could use ur help. *
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Old October 11th, 2016, 12:09 AM   #8
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Re: HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jay Massengill View Post
If you stand still with the camera pointing away from you, then quickly move the rig to the left, which way does the camera spin first in reaction to the quick move to the left?

If the camera spins to the right when moving the rig to the left, then all the items in front of the vertical axis through the gimbal have more effective mass than all the items behind the vertical axis.

You will likely have to change several items a small amount to achieve active balance and then re-tune your static balance again. Then repeat the process.

The first place to start if the camera spins when you move the rig side to side, is to move the camera stage in small increments. However, you could also move a weight on the bottom sled forward or backward. Or a combination of both the camera stage and the bottom weight but in opposite directions in order to reduce the effect on your static balance.

The key is making very small changes. It takes tim
e, but will eventually yield a good active balance and a good static balance.

I found this video and tried his method. Worked. Just have to tweak a bit.

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Old November 1st, 2016, 03:31 PM   #9
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Re: HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer

Recently I have been using two stands to assist in balancing my stabilizers using the methods shown in the videos.

One stand fits into the 5/8-inch opening in the grip.

The second stand has a V-Groove attachment with a 1/4-20 threaded base.

Using the first stand, with the stabilizer hanging vertically as it normally would, I work on the static vertical balance.

Then I swing up the base of the stabilizer so the center column is horizontal and lay it in the V-Groove of the second stand.

Now I can adjust the entire rig to be balanced around the center column by rotating the stabilizer while it is horizontal.

Then it's easy to lift the column out of the V-Groove and keep adjusting vertically until it's satisfactory.

Continue the process, including actively moving the rig around, then return it to the stands and keep making smaller and smaller adjustments until it's balanced.

Using two stands allows much easier adjustment, taking most of the load and variability out of the equation versus hand-holding.

In this photo, the stabilizer really is horizontal. The two stands exit the bottom of the image.

By using just a fingertip to slowly spin the base of the stabilizer, you can tell where to adjust the balance around the center column. Essentially I'm working in the horizontal to equalize around the center column that's normally vertical when actually shooting. When balanced, the rig won't roll on its own no matter what position it is left in.
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HELP: Unsteady video w/ handheld stabilizer-stabilizer-horizontal-balancing-925h-img_0702.jpg  
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