Canon 7D Tips: Shoulder Mount Camera Stabilizer for Video

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So how good is a $45 Shoulder Mount Stabilizer?  I decided to shoot some video to find out.  Video clips standing still and even the pans were very smooth.  More complex moves like walking and blurs were rocky even with lens image stabilization enabled. But, hey, this isn’t a SteadiCam.

In the video, you can see my shadow when I am walking on the boardwalk.  I had the Canon 7D mounted on the Stabilizer with the Canon 15-55mm f/2.8 EFS (with IS enabled), Rode VideoMic, Hoodman Cinema Kit (with HoodLoupe 3.0, HoodEYE 3.0 and Cinema Strap) and carrying the Canon 100-400mm L in a LowePro Lens Case #4.  After walking around for about 4 hours with this set-up, the cold beach weather was bothering me more than the weight of the equipment.

But, keep in mind, using such a rig will draw attention.  I was stopped several times by people wondering if they were going to be on TV. 😆   People typically ignore me when I am shooting with just the Canon 7D, even when I have the VideoMic attached.

Overall, this was a great way to try out a Shoulder Mount Stabilizer without spending $1000.


Shoulder Mount Camera Stabilizer for Under $50

Smith Victor CS-1 version

Video Sample: Shoulder Mount Camera Stabilizer In Use


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6 Replies to “Canon 7D Tips: Shoulder Mount Camera Stabilizer for Video”

  1. hi,
    you can achieve far better results if you add a bar with 2 handles as i did. of coursee is not ment for walking, just for stills and panning which is greatly helped by the handles. i never saw a reason of buying a 200$ one. this works perfectly. i added also a macro rail and quick release plate for more comfort. mine looks now like a crossbow.

  2. Ok, so you can’t walk with it.
    I was hoping is might be a viable solution because I find glidecam type stabilizer so unnatural.

  3. Well, it mounts to your shoulder. Your body carries the weight instead of just your hand (like with the glidecam). I spent the afternoon filming that clip along with the mile walk to and from the lighthouse wearing the shoulder mount plus gear the entire time. Considering the low cost, it is definitely worth a try.

  4. The static shots are very nice, but I don’t see how the walking shots could be usable – they are way too shaky. I think I’ve gotten better results hand holding. While it’s definitely cheaper than a glidecam or similar rig, I don’t think your test goes very far is conniving anyone that it’s as good a stabilization system.
    Thanks for posting though. It’s nice to have visual examples of the different support systems in action.

  5. That’s exactly my point! A shoulder mount does not create the camera float effect when walking around. It just turns you into a human tripod. I have created a great camera float effect by using a weighted tripod/monopod. Take a look at my new video of the NYC Halloween Parade. I shot the entire video using the weighted tripod technique.

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