Stabilization of shots is one of the most vital aspects for filmmakers & photographers who are looking to achieve a professional look with their work, making stabilizers & gimbals a filmmaking essential.
There are a vast number of stabilizers used by photographers & film production crews all over the world. To your good fortune, we’ve handpicked the best 9.
Table of Contents
- Best DSLR Stabilizers LIST
- DSLR Camera Stabilizer Guide
Best DSLR Stabilizers LIST
The GNS 100 is the best handheld motorized stabilizer in the lower weight category. That’s a bold statement but is backed by testimonial praise from every filmmaker who’s used it. It has a weight limit of 1.2kgs, so as long as you stick to it, this stabilizer will provide peak performance via its ease of use, comfortability, compatibility, & 360° range. It’s the perfect stabilizer for lightweight DSLRs & mirrorless cameras.
This product features tremendous ease of use through it compatibility, portability, & because of how easy it is to find balance with it. It features a 6-hour battery life, & if you choose to use it for that entire duration, you can do so without having to worry about your own weariness, due to its lightweight.
- Compact Design
- Automotive Encoders
- Motorized System
- Light Weight
- High Price Tag
- Poor Balancing
The DJI Ronin-M is the baby brother of the original Ronin, weighing just 5 pounds (2.3kgs), & allows for much more heavy duty camera work, so this gimbal is perfect for most DSLRs in the market, as well as a select number of other heavy-duty cameras, such as the Canon C100, the GH4, & the BMPCC.
It comes bearing many gifts; the Auto-Tune stability, which enables photographers & videographers alike to take precise shots & provides great balance, the 6 hour long battery life, which proves more than sufficient for a typical day’s work, along with many other little joys such as the ease of use, the ease in portability as well as disassembly, & many other features that all come together to provide one complete package that screams creative freedom. The gimbal stands the test of many different setups and environments, & can definitely take a beating too, as the structure is made of a firm magnesium frame.
- Light and Durable
- Long Battery Life
- Bluetooth App
- New Silent Mode
- Wireless Thumb Controller
- SmoothTrack Technology
- High Price Tag
- Short Battery Life
- No Carry Case
It features a foam-padded handle grip that provides comfortability. The gimbal has 360° rotation, & features a variety of mounting options for versatility. The build is made of black anodized aluminum, which not only looks good but also is very robust.
- Quick Release System
- 360° rotation
- Foam Padded Handle
- Hard To Use In Motion
The Ikan MS1 is a much smaller gimbal, made particularly for mirrorless cameras, which limits the variety of cameras it can be used with. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though, as it simply means it is a product that is dedicated to a specific type of camera, offering that particular range the best support. Its weight support limit is 860g, so it’s perfect for cameras like the Sony A7S, the Samsung NX500, & the RX-100.
Its build features a bottom thread mount, which gives you the option to attach it to a tripod/monopod, or a slider for more range of use. Much like the Neewer stabilizer, it has quick release plates for quick & easy mounting/unmounting. The stabilizer is extremely durable, as the whole build is made up of aluminum. Also, it features a USB charging port, in case you want to charge smaller toys such as GoPros or your phone, we’re not saying this is the main clincher, but it’s still pretty cool.
The Ikan MS1 may be a little difficult to use for beginners & inexperienced photographers/videographers but once you get the hang of it, it will prove to be a great asset when it comes to the quality of your footage.
- Compact design
- Point & Lock
- Auto Inversion
- Long battery life
- Brushless Motors
- Stiff Joystick
- Heavy Price Tag
- Hard to Stabilize
Looking at this model in comparison with the rest, it’s clear that this stands out, in design at least. Although it mainly stands out design & builds alone, that’s not necessarily a bad thing, it simply means that this stabilizer is in line with most of the others on this list, in that it is reliable, in performance, durability, the whole lot.
The handle on this one is horizontal, unlike all the others, & a balance plate pivots. Despite its metal build, the stabilizer is still relatively lightweight. The Opteka action stabilizing handle can be mounted on to a tripod, as well. You can also install other accessories with the shoe mount, a simple process. Due to the unique build & design of this model, it has a weight limit of up to 10 pounds, so it’s very unlikely that camera weight load being too much is going to be a problem.
- Diverse Compatibility
- Unique Build & Design
- Pivoting Balance Plate
- Hard To Understand Initially
Sometimes the little things make the biggest difference, like this little tool here. It’s hard to believe just how much balance the DS1 achieves, considering its size. It’s the perfect gimbal for cameras that weigh 0.75 to 1.7kgs, which makes it perfect for some of the most popular ones, such as the Canon 5D, or the Nikon D800.
It features a 3-axis stabilization, dual sensors, an external remote control, as well as faster response, & of course, better accuracy & stability. If that’s not enough, for even more mobility, you can connect extension rods.
- Amazing Video Quality
- Motorized Stabilizing System
- Long Battery Life
- Light Weight
- Balance Difficulty
If you have a smaller camera, specifically within the 6-pound weight limit, then the GLIDECAM HD-2000 is probably your best option in terms of stabilizers. It’s no walk in the park, using this thing, but once you get the hang of it & begin capturing smooth, stable images & videos, you’ll see why exactly it’s the best, although we will state once again, it’s not for the inexperienced, at least at first.
The stabilizer features weights that will help find balance, countering the light weight of the camera, as well as a sliding screw mounting plate system, which helps achieve quality, smooth, professional looking shots. Like many of the products on this list, it also features a quick release system, which helps save time while setting up & disassembling the stabilizer. Also, it’s worth mentioning that it comes with a microfiber cleaning cloth, just in case you need to clean up your optics, not a clincher by any means, but we won’t say no to it.
- High-Quality Build
- Quick Release System
- Wide Counterweight Platform
- Hard to Balance
One of the more professional options on our list, The Glide Gear DNA 5050 stabilizer comes in three pieces, along with a nylon case that comes with a shoulder strap as well. The assembly won’t take more than a few minutes, which is very generous. What will take time, however, is the process of you getting used to this product, but that’s something that will prove itself more than worth it because once you get used to it, this stabilizer will enable you to take smooth, efficient shots with unmatched performance.
The stabilizer comes with a feature known as the adjustable dynamic balance, which will work well to counteract the light weight of the camera you use it with, as the weight limit is just 2-7 pounds. Like many gimbals on this list, it also features an easy release plate for hassle-free attachment & detachment. Other features include a foam padded handle grip, three-axis gimbal, & the telescoping center, paired with the 12 set counterweights will assist you in achieving impeccable balance.
- Advanced Counterweight Design
- Can Hold Large Cameras
- Super Stabilization
- High Price Tag
Neewer doesn’t sell you the idea that they’re the best brand on the market, & we’re not advocating that either, but what they do have to offer is reliability, & for that, they’ve been commemorated many times. This particular Neewer stabilizer is not only affordable but is also lightweight & gets the job done.
It features a carbon fiber frame, as well as weights at the bottom for balance. On top of that, it features a Quick Release System that allows for quick & easy mounting & un-mounting. This stabilizer is compatible with just about all camcorders, & many SLRs & DSLRs too. Any camera 5kgs & below will work perfectly.
- Easy Assembling
- Compact & Easy to Use
- Slow Release Mechanisms
DSLR Camera Stabilizer Guide
Invented by Garret Brown (a camera operator), The Steadicam was first introduced to the world in 1975. A basic concept in its heyday, it is a tool that now has a vast number of different types to choose from. So many options in fact, that it prompted us to create this article to handpick & showcase some of the best ones, by popular general consensus. This way, you’ll feel less overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options, & also spend less time trying to figure out which one to get, & more time actually using the product to better the quality of your photos & videos.
We believe, as do just about all camera operators, that a camera stabilizer is essential. Without it, it is close to impossible to take footage that isn’t shaky & unbalanced. If you choose to not use one, this will also be a problem because you will need to then look for a camera operator that doesn’t have shaky hands, narrowing down your options, & even if you do find one, it’s highly likely that the footage still comes out looking rather unprofessional. The notion of stabilizers can be explained as the stabilization for any camera system in the process of shooting. The other names for DSLR Steadicams are “the false stand,” “stabilizer,” & “gimbal.” It is interesting to know that Steadicam name has been registered as a trademark of Tiffen company, which is why we’ve stuck with calling it a stabilizer throughout this article.
The stabilizer, for all its assistance in filmmaking, can also prove to be a liability if not used right during filming. It is recommended that whilst using a stabilizer, you pair it with walking or running shoes, in order to have the necessary movability & balance.
Choosing stabilizers for DSLR
Now you know what a stabilizer is, & why it’s a necessity, even so, you still need to make the right choice when determining what stabilizer to use, everyone has personal preference, there is no hard & fast rule as to which is the best, you must choose one that feels right to you personally. Even so, there are, however, a few key factors to remember when choosing; the weight of your camera, that weight mixed with the weight of the stabilizer itself (they should go hand in hand), & the weight of the other array of accessories you use, when the total sum is taken into consideration altogether, it should be a load that you can afford to carry without tiring out too easily.
Types of stabilizers
There are three main kinds of stabilizers for DSLR that you can buy:
Handles Mount or Stabilizing Wheel
This is typically your cheapest option when it comes to DSLR stabilizers. However, obviously being the cheapest, these stabilizers will prove to be the least efficient in terms of balancing your footage & making it smooth.
These are typically the choice for all camera operators in the film industry. We recommend using these if you’re equipped with a large/heavy DSLR or video camera. It is worth noting though, that these are usually relatively pricey, but if you’re actually committed to the quality of your footage, & are working under a typical film budget, then it shouldn’t be too hard finding something in your price range.
These stabilizers are most likely your best bet if you’re looking for a stabilizer for a smaller camera or DSLR. Since the Merlin stabilizer is meant for smaller cameras, it is essential that you make sure to counteract the weight of your camera accurately, with the weight of your stabilizer. These can also be a problem in windier conditions since they are lighter in weight.
Determining the Load
When determining the weight of your camera, it is important that you take out it’s better, & then weigh it on the scale. This is because the batteries of the stabilizer itself will take care of charging your camera, so the camera’s own batteries aren’t required. It is also important that you weigh all of the other accessories you’re going to equip your camera with, then find the total sum, so you know what the all-around load is, minus the stabilizer itself. Once you’ve determined the total load of the camera & all accessories (minus the stabilizer), you should look for a stabilizer that can hold that weight, load limits are typically provided.
Again, it is key that you find out what materials the stabilizer is made up of, upon purchasing one, as it has to be able to hold your camera weight while also maintaining performance & durability. Metal & carbon fiber is what you should typically be looking for in your stabilizer, as they are sturdy, & carbon fiber has an added advantage of being lightweight.
Do stabilizers work with GoPros & other non-DSLR cameras?
Most of the stabilizers we’ve listed have been primarily built for DSLRs. They could work with GoPros if used extra carefully in order to maintain balance for steadier footage, but if you can, it’s more suitable for you to purchase a stabilizer made specifically for the GoPro, such as the Afunta Pro Handheld, made for the GoPro Hero & the ROXANT Pro. There are, however, some stabilizers that have been designed & built to be able to support a variety of cameras, such as Lumix, Nikon, Canon, Pentax, & even the GoPro. Make sure to inquire on what all cameras the stabilizer you’re interested in are compatible with.
What weights does it come with?
In order to achieve smooth footage, your stabilizer has to be balanced right, especially if your stabilizer’s weight load does not match the weight of your camera. Stabilizers come with an array of counterweights that typically weigh 100g & you’re provided a total of four.
Do stabilizers come with quick release plates?
The short answer is, of course. It would seem rather questionable to invest in something with such value only for your work to be hindered by a lack of security camera installation on the stabilizer itself. Quick release plates allow for you to quickly attach & detach your DSLRs on the stabilizer in order to get the best angles.