April 30, 2015 at 11:02AM


Cheap shoulder rig, or cheap gimbal?

I need a handheld option for the microbudget movie I'm shooting. I'm going to be using a tripod or slider for the most part, but sometimes shooting handheld is going to be unavoidable. I'm trying to avoid shakycam as best I can. I need something small and cheap and stable... for roughly $100. I've no experience with this sort of thing before and I'm not sure if I should go with a shoulder rig or a gimbal.
I've been trying to decide between these options:

This $70 with the accessories for $120: http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-CXS-1-Shoulder-Stabilizer-Camcorders/dp/B00...
This $40 rig: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00LF0QN0K?psc=1

or is a gimbal a better option?

There's this one for $60: http://www.amazon.com/OFFICIAL-stabilizer-construction-stabilization-sta...
and this $130 option: http://www.amazon.com/Opteka-SteadyVid-SV-HD-Stabilizer-Release/dp/B00DR...

I'm shooting on a Nikon D5300 using prime lenses. I'm going to be using separate system audio, although I might get around to buying a Rode Video Mic Pro to plug into the camera so I've got a back up. It's a light camera and a light lense, there's not going to be a lot of weight riding on this thing. I'm also planning on shooting in rough neighborhoods at night, so I'm trying to draw as little attention to myself as possible.


I have the Opteka and I like it. Be sure to get the added weight accessory, you will need it. (if you go that route that is)

May 2, 2015 at 1:35PM, Edited May 2, 1:35PM

Luna Videography

Thanks for the feedback. I was planning on getting the extra weight if I bought the Opteka. Do you find it easy to get a steady shot while walking?

Philip Hawken

May 3, 2015 at 3:12PM

One other option (you said you'd need to be handheld, but didn't specify exactly why) would be a monopod with a fluid head. I've got the $200 Benro s4 monopod, and it's my go-to for b-roll. It's a nice balance between handheld and tripod; fairly stable but really light and portable.

May 4, 2015 at 10:33AM


I did think about a monopod, someone else suggested it to me before. I've never actually tried using one, does it really manage to keep the shot steady while moving?

At the current moment, $200 plus the extra for the fluid head would be a bit too far out of my price range.

May 5, 2015 at 12:09PM


If you are a student (or have a freind with an .edu email), you can get the benro s4 monopod at http://www.photovideoedu.com/ for $150.

May 11, 2015 at 4:05PM


I really like the Manfrotto Fig Rig. It preserves that hand-held aesthetic while being more stable than just holding the camera. You can get 'em (or knockoffs) used for a hundred bucks or so.

June 12, 2015 at 3:52PM, Edited June 12, 3:52PM

Minor Mogul

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