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Stabil-i Case could be the simplest video camera stabilizer yet


July 30, 2012

The Stabil-i Case is designed to steady up the user's hand-held iPhone video footage

The Stabil-i Case is designed to steady up the user's hand-held iPhone video footage

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As someone who shoots web videos with a pocket camcorder, I can attest to how to infuriatingly difficult it is to keep the little things from shaking like a leaf when hand-holding them. Fortunately, various products aimed at minimizing that problem are now appearing in the market – the iPhone 4/4S-dedicated Stabil-i Case is one of the latest, and cheapest.

Following in the footsteps of the SteadeeGo and the Steadicam Smoothee (along with its various imitators), the Stabil-i Case uses the principle of a counterweight suspended below the phone, combined with a “floating” handle that keeps the user’s shakes from being transmitted into the weighted phone.

Unlike those devices, however, it folds up flat against the phone when not in use. The lead alloy counterweight alone reportedly weighs about 35 percent of the total weight of an iPhone – that’s definitely not a matter of tons, but it’s perhaps something that you wouldn’t choose to just keep attached to your phone permanently.

For clever types who realize that using a tripod is really the best way to go – when possible – a tripod-mount adapter is also available.

The Stabil-i Case folds flat against the phone when not in use

Austin, Texas-based Dynamo Innovations Group, which makes the Stabil-i Case, is currently raising funds on Kickstarter for large-scale manufacturing of its product. An early bird pledge package (which is now sold out), promised backers a case of their own in exchange for a donation of US$33 – that’s pretty decent if it’s any indication of the planned retail price, as the Steadicam Smoothee will set you back $200. According to the inventors, part of the reason for their device’s low cost is the fact that it doesn’t require any bearings.

Pledge packages of $44 are still available, and Stabil-i Cases for other phone/camera platforms are reportedly in the works.

You can see how it works at smoothing out the jiggles, in the pitch video below.

Source: Kickstarter via Engadget

About the Author
Ben Coxworth An experienced freelance writer, videographer and television producer, Ben's interest in all forms of innovation is particularly fanatical when it comes to human-powered transportation, film-making gear, environmentally-friendly technologies and anything that's designed to go underwater. He lives in Edmonton, Alberta, where he spends a lot of time going over the handlebars of his mountain bike, hanging out in off-leash parks, and wishing the Pacific Ocean wasn't so far away. All articles by Ben Coxworth

That is pretty dang cleverly designed indeed!

Mark Eastaugh

It only works well for horizontal shoots. When you tilt it, lets say you wanna film a bird up on a tree while moving, you'll still get the same shaky footage. Nonetheless, I like it and I really like that you can fold it onto your phone. Thing that's bothering me however, is that the weight on its base isn't flat enough. Heck, the entire mechanism isn't flat enough when folded.

Nitrozzy Seven

Great idea for basic stabilization.

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