Improve source video on the cheap (tripod strap stabilizer)

I’m always thinking of ways to improve the quality of my work. While I might be bias because I have spent a lot more time taking photos than shooting video… so photos come more naturally, I think it takes a lot of effort and money to get high quality video compared to the latter. Most often expensive stabilization hardware is needed to just get in the door. I’m not in a position or have any real desire to use something like a steady cam, so I have been looking for simple methods to improve the quality of my videos taken at events like conventions.

Camera and tripod strap:

Here is a Youtube video I made explaining the method I’ve been testing. I go into detail and demonstrate the techniques I devised to use the additional camera strap:

The general technique I’ve been trying:
– Attach the second strap to the tripod.
– Have the strap short enough so you can have tension on it, but still easily see the screen.
– Use your left arm as a monopod by holding the tripod mount area and pushing your elbow into your stomach.
– Try to keep your arms as ridged as possible. We are trying to remove arm movement out of the equation.
– Be mindful of your movements. Take your time and move slowly (eg… don’t move fast like I was in my two video examples). Be especially mindful if you are walking while taking video because you naturally bob up and down and that will show in the video.

In addition to proper techniques of movement which I’ll be working on for a long time, the second strap helps take some of my unintentional arm movement out of the equation. The rest of my natural movements like when I am taking a video while walking are still there of course, but one step at a time.

Here is a technique I thought of after making the youtube video:

I wrap the normal camera strap around my hand. This seemed to further improve that monopod effect because my hand was a lot more ridged with the strap tightly wrapped around it. In this photo I’m using my right hand to hold the camera so I can use my left to change focus. This will be good for on-the-fly focusing.

The tripod strap in detail:

The strap is from a company called “Carry Speed” and is generally pretty decent. The construction is high, but it does have a few quirks such as the rubber not being thick enough to prevent the tripod mount from shifting position in extensive usage.

I’ll keep working on this technique and plan on trying it out at a convention I’ll be going to Saturday. Let me know if you find this helpful or have further ideas to improve on it.

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