Last week, we talked about getting to know your camera or video equipment. This week, we’ll be talking about keeping your shots steady to ensure quality video.

While the whole shaky camera business was big a few years back, it doesn’t make for entertaining viewing unless you’re trying to shoot someone being chased by a running zombie or fleeing some unknown terror and want to emphasize that. However, for YouTube videos or other videos, eliminating that camera shake is ideal.

Why Keep Your Video Shots Steady?

  • It looks professional
  • Makes for better viewing
  • Lets you tell your story better
  • It simply looks better

Practical Tips in Keeping it Steady

Use a Tripod

This seems like common sense but you would be surprised how so many people don’t use their tripod when taping their videos. Sure, if you can set the camera on a steady platform then it’s fine, but otherwise, it’s still best to grab a tripod.

Hold the Camera Properly

If you’re shooting with a DSLR, grip the camera using your right hand while your left palm cradles the base and lens. This provides even weight distribution and minimizes the shake.

Use that Image Stabilization

Most cameras offer image stabilization so make sure this setting is turned on when you’re taping. There are also cameras with in-body stabilization so these need to be turned on as well.

Increase Contact Points

If you can brace yourself against a wall, a tree or a pole, then better. You can also just bring your arms close to your body or have it rest on your waist. Take a deep breath and let half out then hold your breath while shooting. For longer shots, practice keeping your breath steady. This will help relax your nerves and minimize those shakes.

Find the Right Accessories

There are those who really hate tripods but luckily there’s a host of wonderful camera accessories available that can help you with a creating a stable shot.

Use Software

Programs like Adobe Premiere CC and Final Cut X offer image stabilization. Even YouTube can detect and offer to fix your camera shake. But these are still software and can generate good to awful results.

Stay tuned for next week, we’ll be talking about lighting.