HandlePod Makes Inexpensive DIY Steadicam and Slider

With simple modifications and inexpensive DIY accessories, it is possible be create effective tools for video camera motion stabilization.

DIY Slider for Smooth Tracking Moves

Slider on tripod 1

DIY slider rail mounted on a tripod.

Turn HandlePod into a camera slider with a simple modification. All that’s necessary is to cover the high friction rubber feet with a soft material that will let it slide easily on any smooth surface. The best material for this is the fabric part of adhesive Velcro strips as described in a previous blog. This will let you slide the camera across any even surface—a table, a bar, a car hood whatever is available for a smooth tracking shot.

A DIY slider rail is easy to build at minimal cost with just a strip of lumber and a yardstick. Tripod mounting threads are simple to add to the rail with T-nuts. Now you can place the slider rail anywhere to get tracking video where you need it. The Velcro covered feet of the HandlePod will slide across the DIY rail as smoothly as any commercial slider you can buy—all for about three dollars and a few minutes of your time.

Build Your Own DIY Steadicam

HandlePod Steadicam

HandlePod DIY steadicam with gimbal and roller bearing.

HandlePod provides the basis of the least expensive, easiest to build steadicam imaginable. Three versions offer the ultimate in hand held camera stabilization at a minimal cost. The simplest version depends on balancing by hand and can be made in a matter of minutes with just a few dollars worth of PVC pipe. It works extremely well but you may want further modifications.

The addition of a gimbal isolates hand movement from the camera. A Traxxas 5151 half shaft makes a simple and easy to install gimbal as described in a previous blog.

To completely separate hand rotation from the camera you can add a roller bearing. A skateboard wheel bearing will do the job. This final addition completely separates hand movement from the camera and provides absolutely smooth steadycam motion video.

HandlePod makes it easy to quickly balance the camera over the steadycam. The finished product offers performance equal to any commercial product out there and at a minimal cost.

The DIY slider and steadycam are low cost and simple to build. Their performance duplicates video shot with hundreds or thousands of dollars of equipment at a bare fraction of the cost. HandlePod is the key to this versatility by providing a convenient hand grip for the slider plus a versatile camera mount for the DIY steadicam.


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