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SteadyWheel takes a circular approach to stabilizing video

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February 20, 2013

The SteadyWheel is a circular stabilizing rig for video cameras

The SteadyWheel is a circular stabilizing rig for video cameras

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As can be seen by the increasing number of stabilizing rigs available for DSLRs and small camcorders, people don’t like shaky hand-held video. Most of those rigs are inspired by the Steadicam Smoothee, utilizing a counter-weighted arm that extends below the gimbal-mounted camera. It’s an effective set-up, but one that’s also kind of fiddly. Fabricator and machinist Robert Stone has created something much more simple, in the form of the SteadyWheel.

The ABS-bodied device looks like a steering wheel, with a mounting point for the user’s camera located on a beam that goes from one side to the other. A series of stainless steel weights are strategically embedded around the outside of the wheel. By moving much of its mass to the edges in this way, the wheel’s moment of inertia is increased – this means that it becomes more resistant to rotational acceleration, such as might be caused by a shaky-handed cameraperson.

Despite its steel weights, the rig weighs in at a fairly reasonable 1.6 pounds (726 grams).

The SteadyWheel acts as what professional cinematographers would call a “Fig Rig” – this a...

Additionally, the SteadyWheel acts as what professional cinematographers would call a “Fig Rig” – this allows users to get a wide, stable grip on the camera, and to be able to incorporate swooping, twisting movements into their shots.

Stone is currently raising productions funds for his product, on Kickstarter. A pledge of US$50 will get you a SteadyWheel of your own, when and if they’re ready to go. Hopefully the campaign will go better than that of the Circle Thing, another circular camera stabilizer that recently failed to meet its funding goal.

Footage shot using the SteadyWheel can be seen in the pitch video below.

Source: WildIron via Technabob

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
5 Comments

Hmmm, what a joke. I can make something like that in my home for a couple of dollars. Why would anyone be stupid enough to buy something like that ?

Greg P
21st February, 2013 @ 01:32 am PST

@ Greg: For video productions it's often important to look professional. If your gear is home made clients think you're a fake even if your crappy looking rig is functioning nicely.

moreover
21st February, 2013 @ 09:04 am PST

By that rational I guess you made all of your dishware and furniture as well. You could build your own car if you wanted to, but some people would rather buy a coffee cup than make one. Does that make them stupid?

crazylegs
21st February, 2013 @ 10:31 am PST

Greg. I just wanted a video shot before and after with the device to compare stabilization effect, with camera internal stabilization turned off.

Trent Smith
21st February, 2013 @ 02:08 pm PST

Beautiful design and if it sells for $50, a good price too.

Edgar Walkowsky
5th August, 2013 @ 04:30 am PDT
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