What's in this session?

  • 1. Shoot with a wide lens
  • 2. Shoot with a high frame rate
  • 3. Shoot with proper form
  • 4. Use image stabilization
  • 5. Look into a warp stabilizer

Show notes and resources

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The Transcript

One of my absolute favorite ways to shoot video is to shoot it completely handheld, no fancy stabilizers, no costly or complicated pieces of gear to set up. Just pick up my camera and go. But, shooting steady handheld video can be a challenge, and so in this video, I’m gonna share with you my best tips and tricks for eliminating shake while shooting handheld. Well, hey there, I’m Brady Shearer from Storytape.com, a stock footage site that gives you access to unlimited video downloads for one low monthly cost, so make sure you hit subscribe on this channel. We post new videos talking about video production tips and tricks, and if you like this video, give it a thumbs up as well. Here’s the deal. You don’t need expensive gimbals or stabilization tools to shoot smooth footage. It can all be done handheld. How? Well, here are my five best tips for shooting great looking handheld footage. Number one. Shoot with the widest possible lens that you can. The wider your lens is, the less noticeable the shakes of handheld shooting will be. I’m currently shooting with the URSA Mini Pro for the most part and my go to handheld lens on this camera is either the Rokinon 16 mil T 2.2., or if that’s a bit too wide, I’ll grab the Rokinon 24 mil T 1.5. I’ve even been known to grab the Rokinon 35 mil and throw it on there, and perhaps the biggest handheld tip I can give to you is to shoot with a wider lens, but of course, there are others. You see, the second tip is to shoot in a high frame rate. Four out of five times when I’m shooting handheld, I’ll be shooting in 60 frames per second, and similarly to shooting with a wider lens. While shooting in a higher frame rate doesn’t do anything to eliminate shake, it does de-emphasize it. Shooting in slow motion takes emphasis off the shakes and jitters of shooting handheld by slowing them down, making them almost look purposeful and elegant. And we don’t stop there. Thirdly, let’s talk about shooting handheld video with proper form. When I’m shooting with the URSA Mini Pro, I’ll often bend my knees a bit and cradle the camera near the center of my body. This creates a strong center of gravity, foundation, and allows for multiple points of contact between me and the camera, and generally, the more points of contact you have with the camera, the steadier the footage will be. What’s more, if you’re shooting with a smaller camera, not a cinema camera but maybe a DSLR or a Micro Four Thirds camera, one of my favorite stabilization techniques is to attach a strap to the camera, put the camera around my neck, and then use the strap to create tension. I’ll push the camera as far away as I can in front of my face and the tension in the strap will stabilize the camera and eliminate a lot of the shakes and jitters that plague lighter, more compact camera setups. That’s not all. Let’s take a look at my fourth tip. We’ve talked about better form to eliminate shake, different camera settings and lenses to minimize shake. Well, let’s talk about some technological help through image stabilization. Many new cameras like the Panasonic GH5, Sony A6500, have image stabilization directly built into the camera. In lieu of that, many lenses have IS, as well. Both options, whether in the camera itself or as part of the lens are great in helping minimize the small shakes that accompany handheld shooting. And if that’s not enough, one more handheld shooting technique that I have for you is warp stabilizer. If you follow the first four tips that I’ve shared with you in this video, you should have some pretty good looking footage, but if it needs just a little extra smoothness, I recommend using warp stabilizer. It comes free inside of Adobe Premiere so you don’t have to pay extra for a third party plugin, and it does a great job at taking footage that may have a little shake to it and making it buttery smooth. Here’s an example. This shot was taken inside of a bumpy airplane from my window seat. I’m holding my URSA Mini and pointing it out the window. The footage was pretty all right, but I wanted it to look perfectly smooth, so I threw warp stabilizer on it in post, and look at that. Perfectly smooth. Sometimes I’ll even go as far to shoot a stationary clip handheld, throw warp stabilizer on it in post for the purpose of making it look like it was shot on a tripod. Pretty cool stuff. Wanna know the best part, though? Well, if you liked the look of the clips that we used as examples in this video, including the aerial clip from the airplane that you just saw, you need to know that these clips can be downloaded instantly by you, along with thousands of other clips and used royalty-free in any of your creative projects. It’s all part of a platform we built for you called Storytape. Storytape.com. It’s a stock footage site that gives you unlimited access to thousands of cinematic video clips shot in 4K pro-res and we add more than 1,000 new clips every month, and like I said, there’s no download limit on our unlimited plan. Other stock footage sites are gonna charge you anywhere between 200 and $500 for just one 10 second 4K clip, hundreds of dollars for just one clip. Storytape.com, it gives you access to thousands of 4K clips shot with our high-end cinema cameras for an affordable monthly cost. So go to Storytape.com, check out all that we have to offer. Again, that’s Storytape.com, where finally you can license unlimited video downloads on a single subscription, including every single clip that you saw in this tutorial. Thanks for watching this video. We’ll see you in another one.



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