How to Shoot Super Steady Handheld Footage

If you don’t have access to lots of fancy gear or just enjoy run-and-gun filming that’s super lightweight, getting stable footage can be a challenge. Fortunately, the duo at Mango Street has put together an excellent video to give you some tips on how to sure up your handheld shooting.

With both lens and in-body stabilization doing so much to help address shaky footage, some simple tricks can go a long way to giving you gimbal-like smoothness, though of course, some movements will benefit from having all of the stabilization turned off.

The duo makes an excellent point when mentioning that handheld introduces a less precise, more human feel to a film. B-roll these days seems to be a rollercoaster of pans, tilts, and tracking shots, with filmmakers often fearing that even a single static shot will make a video look unprofessional or risk losing an audience’s attention.

Handheld footage can be a way of addressing this, mixing in some humanity and grit to a process that can so often emerge feeling cold and clinical. One fantastic and very affordable piece of gear to help you get consistently smooth handheld footage without making it feel mechanical is a top handle, and prices start at around $20 for something that slots straight into a hot shoe. 

If you’ve further tips, be sure to leave a comment below.

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2 Comments

Jeroen F's picture

With a Olympus E-M1 Mark III it seems. DPR shot this video review with it: https://youtu.be/3CNlM3xAgPI

Charles Mercier's picture

I actually love the bungee cord idea!