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Stabilizer Rigs Buying Guide

Posted by SmallRig on 29th Dec 2021

Stabilizer Rigs Buying Guide

When you think of camera accessories, your mind wanders through pictures of lenses, microphones, and cables. Probably even a few images of tripods and cages pop up as a second thought. You might just not think immediately of stabilizer rigs as part of any gear essentials.

In fact, a camera stabilizer rig is one of the fundamental pieces you need in your camera equipment to create beautiful and steady videos. It’s often an underestimated piece, but its presence can level up your video quality in unparalleled ways.

With so many stabilizer rigs available online, it’s easy to feel overwhelmed by choice. That’s why we’ve gathered a list of factors to consider when looking for a new or your first camera stabilizer.

Without further ado, let’s jump straight to our stabilizer rigs buying guide.

Camera Stabilizer Basics: What is a Stabilizer Rig?

A camera stabilizer - also called “camera-stabilizing mount” - is a piece of camera equipment designed to hold a camera in a way that avoids any unwanted movement and maintains smooth footage during shooting.

While there are a few different types of stabilizers, they are all based on your camera weight and need to be properly balanced. This is because all camera stabilizers operate on the same basic principle: the weight and movement of the stabilizer serve to counterbalance your camera’s weight and movements. So besides choosing a stabilizer that best matches your camera model and weight, you might also need to adjust it to properly counteract its movement.

Camera stabilizers can incorporate gimbals to prevent camera shakes or even come equipped with brushless monitors for precise adjustments.

Why Are Stabilizer Rigs Important?

Regardless of whether you are shooting or filming, almost nothing will ruin an image or video more than the blurriness from camera shakes. Unwanted movements when shooting do not only affect your audience’s viewing experience. They will also make your shots look sloppy or amateur.

The Benefits of Using a Camera Stabilizer Rig

The obvious benefit of a camera stabilizer is its ability to stabilize shots better than a camera operator alone could. But camera stabilizers also boast several other benefits, including:

● The ability to shoot from different angles that might otherwise not be possible without a stabilizer

● An easier and more comfortable way to hold the camera, especially for longer periods

● The ability to capture smooth moving shots

● They provide a place to attach additional camera accessories

5 Factors to Consider When Buying a Camera Stabilizer

With the benefits that a camera stabilizer has to offer, it’s certainly worth considering adding one to your collection of camera equipment. You’ll notice an increased quality and professionalism that could translate into more job opportunities and boost your career as a content creator.

There are so many types of camera stabilizers on the market. How can you decide which one to choose? Should you only focus on your budget or consider any other factors?

To help you make the best decision, consider the following elements when choosing a camera stabilizer:

1. Your Project

As you’re searching for the right camera stabilizer, it’s important to consider what future projects you plan to be handling soon. Camera stabilizers play an essential role in various types of video production outside of filmmaking. Depending on the type of video you plan to shoot, you might have to prioritize versatility and mobility over extra functionality or vice versa.

2. Your Content Type

While camera stabilizers are most often used in filming, they can also stabilize photography shots. When choosing which one to buy, consider whether you’ll be shooting videos or photos with your stabilized camera. Camera stabilizers for photography tend to be small and handheld. Those used for filmmaking could either have the same size or be a larger, higher-tech stabilizer like a camera stabilizer vest and arm.

3. Your Budget

With so many models available, the prices vary based on the type and model of the stabilizer you choose. Set a budget for yourself and browse one model that falls within your price range. Remember that even if you need to compromise temporarily on some features, you’ll always be able to upgrade it later as your requirements become more sophisticated.

4. The Compatibility With Your Camera

A camera stabilizer is designed to be attached seamlessly to your camera and be fastened securely to the device. So while not every camera is the same, the same is true for stabilizers. Before buying one, check whether it is fully compatible with the camera you’re using. Otherwise, there’s not much point in purchasing an expensive and fancy stabilizer if you can’t attach it properly to your camera. The same applies to looking for a stabilizer designed specifically for use with phones if you’re using the camera of your smartphone to shoot.

5. The Compatibility With Other Accessories

Depending on the type of stabilizer you choose, your stabilizer rig can also be compatible with other camera accessories. Want to attach an external light or microphone to your camera rig? Pick a stabilizer that can accommodate these additional accessories, whether you need to use them now or as you become better at shooting.

The best way to ensure higher compatibility is to select a brand of camera accessories with a vast product selection. This way, you can be sure that expanding your collection of camera accessories won’t be a hassle at any time of your journey as a content creator.

Other Factors

These are some of the main factors to consider, but they’re not the only ones. You can also choose between selecting either a motorized or a non-motorized stabilizer. The main difference between these two types is that the latter has no motor powered by electricity; it works by mechanically balancing the camera using its weight. Non-motorized stabilizers can be manually adjusted, allowing you to have a bit more control of the stabilizer than you would have with a motorized model.

Camera stabilizers models don’t only differ from each other because of their stabilizing mechanism. Stabilizers come in all types, weights, and sizes, meaning that some are more portable than others. If you hold your stabilizer and camera for long periods, you might want to invest in a lighter handheld model. If your shoots are short, or you’ll be attaching your stabilizer to a separate dolly or car, you can opt for a bulkier, heavier version. Consider also whether you want to bring your stabilizer on the go, and therefore opt for a model that is highly portable and can easily fit in your backpack.

SmallRig Stabilizer Rigs: Stabilizers Worth Your Investment

Our SmallRig stabilizer rigs are designed to help you shoot steady videos without the need to invest another huge part of your budget into purchasing this type of video accessory. On SmallRig, you can find over 96 different types of stabilizer rigs, from mounting clamps to sling handgrips and more.

Find what you’re looking for among our vast array of camera stabilizer rigs.

Conclusion

Filming with smooth and stable shots is the best way to give your filming and photography extra professionalism and quality. Unless you’re looking intentionally for a shaky or blurry shot, you’ll appreciate the ability to consistently take stable shots with a camera stabilizer rig.

We hope you’ve found this guide useful to discern and select the camera stabilizer rigs that best suits your projects and video shooting requirements. Be sure to check our vast collection of camera stabilizer rigs that will help bring your video quality to the next level.