Tag Archives: Stedicam

How To Build a DIY Steadycam Camera Stabilizer Under $50




How To Build a DIY Steadycam Camera Stabilizer Under $50 from Jay Shaffer on Vimeo.
How to build the JayCam MkII Merlin-type camera stabilizer. Jay Shaffer demonstrates how to use inexpensive parts to build an versatile stabilizer for camcorders like the Canon HV30.

JayCam MK2 updated

I added a couple things to my DIY camera stabilizer.

Detail of the inexpensive Tripod head mounted on the camera stabilizer

Detail of the inexpensive Tripod head mounted on the camera stabilizer

First, I figured out how to mount a cheap tripod head as a camera mount. This gives me a much more precise control of the cameras front to back balance and it also significantly raises the center of gravity of the rig. Secondly, because of the raised center of gravity, I now have to use counter weights on the bottom of the arm. This gives me a little more control of the rig’s roll characteristics. I also optimized the weights for the Canon HV-30 so it takes a lot less time to balance out the rig now.
Overall the design is evolving and improving and as I practice a bit more my shooting technique is improving. I would like to get a more experienced Stedicam operator to take it out for a spin.

Wing nut holds four fender washers as a counterweight

Wing nut holds four fender washers as a counterweight

$50 DIY “Merlin-style SteadiCam” Camera Stabilizer

JayayCam mk2

JayayCam mk2

This is my attempt at a DIY Camera Stabilizer. I call it the JayCam MK II. It is a Merlin-like design that utilizes a gimbal. The entire rig cost less than $50 and with a few more tweaks and some practice you won’t be able to tell the footage from stuff shot with much more expensive gear.


$50 DIY “Merlin-style SteadiCam” Camera Stabilizer from Jay Shaffer on Vimeo.