In June, product designer Alex Kalogroulis, who last year launched the A-Bike, brought to Kickstarter a supremely cheap steadicam. Its answer to a decade of crap iPhone videography proved extremely desirable, raising £140,000; 93% more than its target.
As someone who is excessively unstable and too cheap to spend more than 20 quid on a steadicam, Smoovie was the perfect solution. What’s more is that I have enough heavy camera equipment to lug around let alone adding a weight to the collection. With the quality video phones can provide it makes sense to use them.
Smoovie is designed to be compact. It folds down into a neat package that can fit in your bag or slip in your pocket. Setup was as simple as unfolding the whole thing and attaching my phone.
I use the Google Nexus 6P. It’s a big phone and probably the maximum size Smoovie can handle. I suspect more weightier phones will have some trouble with stabilisation, being more top heavy.
A rubber tongue helps prevent the camera wandering left or right, which is helpful. I also discovered that gently turning the camera via the weight is a good way to influence its direction, otherwise its a case of turning very very slowly. With a bit more practice I’m pretty sure I could eliminate any unwanted movement.
An extreme of using it would be a brisk walk (check out the video below for an example). However I see myself finding it really useful with static videography as lack of stabilization there can be obvious and hard to remove with software.
If you have the budget for a £100+ steadicam, of course buy the best. But if you’re looking to get some better video out of your phone or GoPro I’d highly recommend Smoovie.