Filming isn’t an easy task, there are a ton of things one has to ensure are just right in order for the video to come out the way they want. When it comes to video, stability is very important, because unstable video can ruin an entire scene or at the very least make it look unprofessional. While you could use a tripod to help stabilize a camera, a tripod isn’t typically very mobile, so shooting video while in motion is typically out of the question.
That’s about to change, though. A new Kickstarter project called The SteadyWheel looks to solve the camera stabilization problems that you would experience while filming on the move. But how does it work exactly? The short answer is physics.
The longer answer is a bit more complex. The specific physics principle is known as the “moment of inertia.” According to Robert Stone, the creator of the SteadyWheel, “One should think of the SteadyWheel and the camera combined as a rig or system. So, now the weighted inserts in the perimeter of the unit [SteadyWheel] act against or resist movement. The system is harder to move or rotate, and not just because its heavier, but because as a percentage much of the systems mass is at the perimeter.”
In less scientific terms, Mr. Stone says to think of the system as a figure skater, “We have all seen the figure skater wind up spinning very fast. That is a direct result of these principles at work. As the skater extends their arms (increasing their perimeter) they slow down, that’s because the skater is now harder to turn. And when the skater draws their arms inward they speed up as the resistance to rotation is reduced.”
All of this science results in a device that can absorb shock and shaking due to its unique design, therefore making your videos less jittery, even while on the move. And if you couple the SteadyWheel with some good video editing software and techniques, you will have yourself an affordable way to shoot professional quality videos of your own.
According to the team, the product will work well with smartphones, point-and-shoots, and many other small frame cameras, such as the Go Pro or DSLR’s. The SteadyWheel is made out of ABS Industrial Plastic and 316 Stainless Steel, which makes it very durable and great for use in almost any kind of environment (even in snow and underwater). It weighs in at 1.6lbs with a diameter of 11.5-inches and a thickness of less than an inch (.75-inches), so it’s definitely very portable in a backpack or bag.
Robert told me that he plans to produce the SteadyWheel even if it doesn’t hit its funding goal on Kickstarter of $27,000, however he noted that it will take longer for the official product release if the goal isn’t met. If they reach their goal on Kickstarter, Robert believes he will have the product ready to ship in 90 days (around June 2013), however, if they don’t reach the funding goal, we will probably be looking at shipment dates closer to September.
If you’re interested in funding the SteadyWheel, definitely check out their Kickstarter page.