I was able to attend the recent NAB to get caught up on some of the changes taking place in our industry (drones and IP video) and besides, Vegas is always interesting and a lot of fun.
I had the opportunity to capture some interviews on the NAB floor using a VERY nice rig, which included the SteadyTracker Extreme. The Steady Tracker Extreme is a simple counter balance device designed to eliminate shake, roll and yaw when doing handheld shots. The Steady Trackers eliminates the yaw and roll tendencies that usually happen with handheld shooting by providing a counter balance on the bottom of the Steady Tracker.
I had used a variety of stabilizers in the past, but never the SteadyTracker. Assembly and balancing this unit is a breeze: Dana Smith of SteadyTracker brought a new boxed unit onto the show floor, assembly and balancing was done in under 5 minutes. I provided a car key used to tighten the Philips screw that holds the camera to the top plate. Extra screws are conveniently provided on the base – no need for that Ziploc bag of screws, hex keys and screwdrivers I used to travel with.
I took the assembled rig back to the hotel that evening to practice – since I had never used this combination of equipment before. The rig I used, along with wireless mic receiver, snake light and my Sennheiser headphones is seen in the adjacent image.
The SteadyTracker isn’t a bulky unit and navigating the cabs and shuttles with the fully assembled rig was no problem. The dimensions and weight are given here:
Filming with Steady Tracker was easy – while most of my work was stationary (there really isn’t much need for pans or tilts capturing interviews), the freehand shooting was very easy to keep steady. I know from my personal experience that those shots would be easy with this unit. I used this unit for capturing an entire day of interviews and can report that it performed well, with no problems or issues at all.
Something that I really appreciated about this unit after walking the floor of NAB for two days was the ability to set the rig down while I spoke with various exhibitors and we developed the plan for capturing the interviews. The author filming one of the interviews is seen in the other image with this review. This ability to stand on its own allows it be used as a tripod when the filmer has to get it the shot or a table is present to rest it on while panning of zooming.
To sum it up: the SteadyTracker is a very affordable, full featured stabilizer that is sturdy, easy to use, and incredibly easy to assemble and balance.
For more information, visit CobraCrane at www.cobracrane.com