Thursday, March 24, 2016
Review: Stayblcam Camera Stabilizer
I have a love/hate relationship with gimballed camera stabilizers. You can get some really nice smooth shots, but boy are they touchy and require lots of practice to operate properly. Just balancing these things can be a headache, which also includes the one I built myself.
Electronic gimbals are all the rage right now, but the cost ($300 and up) will keep many frugal filmmakers from even trying them. That puts us back into the balancing ring, where we must adjust, pamper, and hold our breath to get smooth shots on successive takes.
When Stayblcam contacted me, I was intrigued--and then it showed up in the mail. I'd never seen a balanced gimbal-style rig in such a portable form factor before. In its collapsed state, it's only about 12" long, but pull it apart and it quickly becomes full size!
When expanded, you have a counterweight, the gimbal, and a cell phone mount. Yes, the Stayblcam is aimed at cell phone shooters, which is fine. I was curious, however, if this was a serious piece of gear I could use on a real shoot, or just a novelty for hobbyists?
I go into more detail in the video, but suffice it to say, it is not something I could trust on set. Due to the fixed nature of the gimbal (it's a two-axis gimbal, not three), too much shake goes from my body right to the lens, when it should be eliminated by the rig. This results in a noticeable side-to-side jitter that makes the footage distracting and unusable.
I really like the idea of the Stayblcam. If the kinks can be worked out it would be worth a second look. As is stands, I can't see myself purchasing one.
Posted by Scott Eggleston