We've seen plenty of video camera stabilizers, from ones aimed at steadying your wobbly smartphone footage to those which hold DSLRs. But while stabilizing rigs can be great at smoothing out your shakes, they're typically difficult to operate if you also want to change direction and pan while shooting. The Supraflux Video Camera Stabilizer aims to solve this problem by adding an electronic pan axis lock.
The Supraflux Stabilizer was recently launched on Kickstarter and quickly sailed past its funding target. But then the team behind it do have a good track record; Karim and Nadim Elgarhy previously scored a success with the Pictosteady video camera stabilzer. The new device differs from other camera stabilizers in that it promises "reliable, repeatable and precise control during panning and turns" without the learning curve and hand dexterity that rivals can require.
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This is achieved through a button operated brake – imaginatively dubbed "The Brake" – which locks one axis of the stabilizer while the other two axes remain free-floating and maintaining the camera balance. The result is complete control of turns … and smooth footage. Most stabilizers require the operator to do this manually with their hand, which can be difficult to master and is a very easy way to ruin a shot.
In addition to this twist (or not) on direction changes, the Supraflux Stabilizer is said to make it easy to capture smooth video footage. A slide-out mounting plate (with a non-slip rubber surface) and counterweights make set-up simple, while top stage micro-adjustment mechanisms make it easier to balance your camera. One turn of the knob moves the stage by 0.03" (0.8mm) and there's an integrated bubble level on the bottom plate.
Made from precision-machined aviation-grade aluminum, the Supraflux Stabilizer uses virtually frictionless ball bearings on all rotating parts and weighs 3.2 lbs (1.45 kg). It has a telescopic tube body which allows for a very precise setup of the dynamic handling of the stabilizer, and can support cameras ranging from 0.25 lbs to 10lbs (113 g to 4.54 kg). That means it's good for anything from a smartphone to a big DSLR or professional video camera.
While all of the early bird Supraflux Stabilizers have been snapped up at US$495, a Kickstarter pledge of $595 will still get you one, which is still considerably cheaper than the planned retail price of $745. The devices are expected to ship in August.
Here's the Kickstarter video about the Supraflux Stabilizer.