Camera Mounts

Video 101 Home
Start of this lesson

Lesson Outline
Tripod Parts
Field Tripod
Studio Pedestal
Body Mount
Jib Arm

Camera Mounts > Types> Steadicam

The guy is wearing the Steadicam vest, which attaches to an arm, which links to the camera and the counterweight. It's heavy and complex.
(Courtesy Steadicam)

Not to be confused with "steadi-shot" circuitry in some consumer camcorders, a true "Steadicam" is a strap-on device, costing more than $10,000 (often a lot more), that miraculously smooths out handheld shots. A operator can run up and down stairs or over rocks and you will still have a super-smooth shot.

They're cool, but be forewarned, they require a lot of practice. In fact, you really need an expert to operate them satisfactorily.

I rented one once and gave myself an instant backache. (Try holding up a bowling ball with your arms extended. You'll get the idea.) In fact, a Steadicam is a lot like a violin. You can learn the basics in about a half-hour, but there are only a few really good violin players. Same with Steadicam. It takes years of practice.

As a result they are not used in the world of television news or even documentaries. This is the realm of high end feature film equipment.

Of course there are lots of mini versions of the Steadicam-- like the Steadicam Junior ot the Glidecam. All these devices have their place. But the problem is that beginners think these devices are designed to REPLACE the tripod. NO! Tripods are still the best solution for more than 80 percent of your shots. Even if you have access to one of these fancy toys, you must resist the temptation to overuse it.


CONGRATULATIONS! You have reached the end of the Camera Mounts lesson. Click "next" to return to the home page, or review any topic via the list at the left.

Are you a teacher using this site in a class? Stay legal (and get some great teaching resources!)

Copyright ©  2000, 2001
Michael Trinklein