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.
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.