Richard Sibley takes a rock-steady smartphone mount, the Steadicam Smoothee, to task
If there is one brand that is synonymous with keeping movie cameras steady, it is the appropriately named Steadicam. Like Photoshop for image editing, Steadicam has become a catch-all term for any device that stabilises a movie camera, but the original is still by far the favoured product for filmmaking professionals – and now there is a Steadicam for your smartphone.
The Steadicam Smoothee is designed for use with a small, light camera or a smartphone, and the latest version has a mount that is specifically designed to hold every iPhone model that has been made, while adapters are available for GoPro cameras as well as other light, tripod-mounted cameras.
The Steadicam Smoothee relies on basic physics. The camera sits on top of an articulated handgrip, with a sweeping metal curve at the front of the device counterbalancing its weight. This means that any movements are smoothed, which is especially useful when you’re walking and filming. The result is floaty footage rather than erratic and jerky.
At a glance:
- For use with smartphones or small cameras
- Adapters available for GoPro cameras
- Counterbalance smooths out movements
- Optional counterweight for heavier devices
Attaching an iPhone 6 was relatively straightforward. Making small adjustments to the tilt-and-roll adjustments on the mount allowed us to achieve a perfect balance. There is a slight learning curve to getting the best from the Steadicam Smoothee, particularly when turning corners, but there are plenty of videos and online guides ready to help you out.
For aspiring filmmakers the Steadicam Smoothee is a great device that works well. It’s better than many similarly priced items that don’t have anywhere near the same build quality and ease of operation.
You can find out more about the Steadicam Smoothee here: www.tiffin.com/steadicamsmoothee