Make a DIY Steadicam-Style Camera Stabilizer

If you're a filmmaker on a budget, you've probably lusted after the various camera stabilizing offerings from Steadicam. With this tutorial, some hardware store components, and a little bit of elbow grease, you'll be up and running with a DIY Steadicam in a flash.

As seen at the end of the video, this nifty little home-brew rig will help refine your handheld footage without breaking the bank.

To get started all you'll need is:

  • 3 lengths of 3/4" steel pipe
  • 3/4" steel pipe T fitting
  • 1/4-20 x 1" bolt and two 1/4-20 nuts
  • 2 3/4" steep pipe caps
  • 1 3/4" steel pipe flange
  • 1 1/2" PVC pipe (about 6" in length)
  • Duct tape
  • Black spray paint

The TL;DW version is below:

  1. Screw a 1/4" hole into one of the steel pipe caps and for the bolt.
  2. Tighten one nut to hold the bolt in place and leave the second loose (you'll use this to hold the camera in place).
  3. Cut the 1.5" PVC into a segment long enough to make a comfortable handle, divide this section into quarters length-wise. Sand the edges of three segments, these will make a grip for the rig.
  4. Tape the three segments together around the long end of the rig.
  5. Assemble and paint matte black if desired.

Check out the original post on I Like to Make Stuff for step by step directions with illustrations.

If DIY projects aren't your bag and you'd still like your Steadicam fix, be sure to check out their GoPro stabilizer. At $60 it's a lot less expensive than their beefier models.

[via ISO 1200 and I Like to Make Stuff]

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5 Comments

Hans Rosemond's picture

fun! I wish I had a shop for this sort of thing. Of course, if I did I'd probably have 3 less fingers by now.

Tim Foster's picture

The whole point of a Steadicam is to support the camera rig at or just above it's center of mass. It's possible to achieve this with such a contraption, but balancing isn't really discussed here. A bottom-heavy counterweight won't work anything like a Steadicam.

Thanks for the video and good description. We have also made a stedicam from carbon:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5yr2o8uNQPs