Steadicam is already a well-known name credited for much-appreciated shooting tools. The company just launched Steadicam Volt™, a really futuristic looking handheld electronic stabiliser for smartphone video shooting. At CES 2018, this outstanding product bagged the innovation awards with loud applause of appreciation because of its unique design and most effective features for video shooting with iPhone and Android phones.
Steadicam is well known in the movie industry as the company which played an instrumental role in making those iconic tracking shots possible in famous movies like Rocky and Return of the Jedi. Naturally, when Tiffen the same parental company decided to launch a smartphone stabiliser for a video shoot, there was tremendous buzz and interest about it. After the unveiled of the product with a pragmatic price tag of just $195 Steadicam on Kickstarter the product quickly managed to get $1 million worth of backing and soon became ready to hit the market.
It is rich with effective tools but not easy to master
As far as the effective output in regard to stable camera position is concerned, it is probably a truly ahead-of-Time product for the smartphones. It looks natural for the user and allows fairly robust control for capturing cinematic shots but is pretty portable with no significant bulk or footprint. As an accessory, it is small, cute and portable. But you just cannot master it as soon as you get it out of the box. It takes considerable time for setting it up and involves some learning curves before you know how to use it for a video shoot.
What Volt offers?
Steadicam Volt is loaded with a 3-axis gyroscopic stabilizer that allows you shoot video in 2 distinct modes, respectively “Movie” and “Sport”. As soon as you have balanced it with the phone docked over it, the motorized gimbal which gets its power from a long-lasting rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery will work actively to help your phone remain stable and move smoothly. This movement of the gimbal will happen irrespective of the battery condition powering it. The best thing is, Volt literally allows you to move the camera focus with different types of movements without making your shot quality compromise with stability issues.
Key features and specs of the Steadicam Volt
- It delivers a cinematic movie-like shots while shooting video with your good old iPhone and Android smartphones.
- The entire device is very lightweight and comes with a portable and foldable design to help you carry along wherever you go.
- It is equipped to work with the Tiffen Imagemaker iOS & Android APP that you can download for free in the app stores.
- The device is also equipped with control with haptic feedback to make use of Simulated Inertia™ and two different operating modes.
- It recharges itself through a long life rechargeable Lithium-Ion battery.
- It is capable to accommodate a variety of smartphones across different sizes whether with or without a case.
- It typically supports Bluetooth enabled smartphones weighing 100 – 250g with.
- It still works without battery power through manual mode in case the battery has run out of power.
How it really works?
According to the parental company Tiffen, this hybrid gimbal/gyro mechanism was introduced to deliver optimum control. When you give gentle pressure on the control surface above the grip, it flips around gently changing focus to another subject. For perfect balance, you need to set the phone by perfectly adjusting on the platform. This balancing may take some time. After its done, you need to learn using it for different camera movements.
The Volt offers two modes, respectively as sport and cinema. While the first one is always on by default, the second one needs to be activated by pushing twice the front button. While the first type of mode offers a more static and rigid operation without much complexities in controlling the gimbal, the Cinema mode actually helps you get more versatility of control and selection of shots.
The best thing is Steadicam Volt always helps to point it to the place where you want it to point, irrespective of directions. Just by pressing the control stalk a little you can easily change the angle. Though using both hands, respectively one for the gimbal and the other for the camera you can control the device and camera movement better, with practice over a period of time you can also manoeuvre it single-handedly.