Bolts and shafts end might be dangerous for people surrounding SturdyCam while shooting. It’s highly recommended to cover them with soft materials such as paper and foam.

We’re not responsible for any damages caused by inappropriate employs

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Balancing the SturdyCam in few easy steps

1) Weight on the horizontal shaft

Before starting it’s important you to understand that steadiness is directly proportional to:

a) Weight on horizontal shaft b) Distance of this weight from central pipe

…so choose how many washers you want to add on the SturdyCam extended horizontal shaft depending on your shooting needs!

2)Weight at the bottom

Fix camcorder on the SturdyCam plate and add weight at the bottom of the SturdyCam until the system leans over to just one side. Try to push the system to different sides, if it indifferently leans over to all side, that means you have to add some weight at the bottom! Add weight at the bottom until the system leans over to just one side!

Click here if it’s not clear!

3) SturdyCam Static Balance

Now let’s achieve static balance little by little: you might need to work on left-right balance and front-back balance in the meantime. In order to find left-right balance choose the proper hole and move washers along the horizontal threaded shaft. Keep in mind that you’ll get bigger effects as you move a same weight far from the aluminum pipe. In order to achieve front-back balance move your camcorder along the hole and move washers along the foot bolt (again: bigger effect as soon as you get far from the pipe). If you add/remove weight somewhere, please restart from point 1!

4)Drop Time

Let’s get a 2 seconds drop time. Learn more about Drop Time (Then you might need to achieve a bit static balance).

Your SturdyCam is now well balanced! Mark with tape X-Y positions who work with your camcorder and write down how many washers you added for future fast balancing.

Isn’t that clear? Watch the tutorial recommended for your camera weight!


Lightweight DSLR-Camcorders


Medium DSLR-Camcorders


Heavy DSLR-Camcorders

Setting Handle

Yout SturdyCam is now well balanced, you can now mount it on the handle. Before placing the handle’s shaft into the universal joint, be sure to remove the black O-ring from the steel shaft (the O-ring is there just to hold the bearing when not shooting).


The handle’s unique steel shaft is designed to reduce up-and-down heaving movements as it rests on the cushions beneath it. To do this, the shaft must have room to travel up and down. To insure that the steel shaft has not been pushed down inside of the handle too far to prevent it from working properly, pull until the thinner portion of the shaft is visible beneath the portion that is to be inserted into the universal joint. For a proper setting, the bottom edge of the wider portion of the shaft should align evenly with the opening of the universal joint, leaving the thinner portion visible below it. If the shaft is pulled out too far, you may push it down into the handle a little as well.

Now let’s set the safety lock bolt. Screw it until it touches the u-joint and make sure that the handle can’t fall down and can spin freely like in this vid.

Now you’re done and ready to enjoy shooting with SturdyCam!

Training!

Gettin’ best results!

Steadiness is directly proportional to:

1) Weight on horizontal shaft

2) Distance of this weight from central pipe

For best results, add more weight on the SturdyCam horizontal shaft (far from pipe)

(Every time you Add/Remove weight check again Drop-Time!!)

 Steadiness is in inverse proportion to Focal Lenght (Use a Wide-Angle lens at the beginning!)

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Left-Right Steadiness

1) Keep handle vertically!

This is really important to avoid left-right swaying. If you don’t keep the SturdyCam handle vertically, the golden bearing under the universal joint won’t work properly. On the contrary, if you hold the handle vertically all your wrist mouvements will be absorbed by golden bearing under the SturdyCam universal joint!

2)Add some lubricating oil drop in the universal joint hole.

So even if you forget to keep it vertically, lubrication will help you

3)Add counterweights on the horizontal shaft far from pipe (then check again drop time)

4)Make little steps keeping your legs as closed as possible

5)Add/Remove friction under/on the SturdyCam golden bearing. To do that you have to test different materials (steel, such as nylon, rubber or both) to set your friction degree:

 

steel

frictionless

Recommended for heavy cameras

nylon

really low friction

rubber

low friction

Recommended for lightweight cameras

and for heavy cameras (just for running shots and shooting in windy conditions)

rubber+nylon

medium friction

 

 just for running shots and shooting in windy conditions

Each time you add/remove washers under/on the bearing, check that steel shaft is in line with the universal joint opening like in picture below!

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Front/Back Steadiness

If you feel your system sways to much Front-Back you might:

1)Slow your drop time as much as system keeps a good Static Balance

2)Walk backright (don’t lean forward) trying to keep a constant speed

2)Sourround the SturdyCam U-joint with the provided foam roll

(this will help to keep static balance)


Also good for wind!

Shooting Tips

1) Always hold handle vertically

2) Relax wrist and forearm: they’re just supposed to hold vertically. Think you’re carrying a glass tray holding it in its center. So keep wrist and forearm relaxed and tense biceps, latissimus dorsi and your shoulder.

3)When walking and running, make little steps keeping legs as closed as possible. Think you’re walkig on a straight line!

4)Keeping your elbow attached to your side helps to reduces back stress: the SturdyCam “weighs more” if you hold it far from you.

5)To tilt and pan just tilt and turn the upper section of the u-joint using your other hand.

6)Holding u-joint also help you to smoothly counterbalance unwanted movements, such as tilting up/down when brusquely decelereting/accelerating. Sourrounding u-joint with foam will give you more control and help absorbing unwanted mouvements.

7)In case of strong wind increase a lot weight on top (then recheck drop-time)

Watch our VideoTraining!

:) Have fun and show us your steady footages with the SturdyCam :)