DSLR Stabilizers are used to add additional support for long, demanding camera shots, as well as adding flexibility and dynamism in your work. With this article, we’re going to look at the best DSLR stabilizer and list some of our favorites.
Imagine the first person effects used in a movie like Requiem For a Dream, where stabilisation plays a large part in the camera movement and helps elicit the emotional reaction of the characters in times of tragedy.
That’s just one example. There are plenty of other films that use stabilisation successfully in helping to tell their stories. If you’re looking to use stabilization in your own projects and you have a DSLR, then there are a number of things you need to consider.
Here I will review some of the main models on the market and list what we consider the best stabilizer for DSLR.
The Top DSLR Stabilizers
Here are a selection of stabilizer rigs. All are of a high standard of manufacturing and effective stabilization to support for your shots.
Roxant Pro is a well known make and offers a high quality build with good stabilization, for flexible and compact shooting areas, especially.
This is a budget priced model that appeals to an entry-level filmmaker who’s looking to get started with a stabilizer for a very reasonable price. This makes for a good first stabilizer purchase.
It’s not a beast of rig, but it will add stability and varied angle camera positioning and cover difficult shot positions, when needed.
The smooth rotation adds a fluid feel to panned shots, whilst the single arm position keeps a little shake in the shot keeping it organic and rustic. It really maintains that human feel to the shot.
It has weighted balance, with great aerodynamic design. This design is all about budget, smooth pan, organic professional stabilization. An easy to use, budget priced rig that adds control with mobility for cameras, pro shots with Smartphones or a GoPro action cam.
This is a great bit of kit for a starting filmmaker to experiment on and at a highly accessible price.
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DJI Ronin-M is a quality designed piece of kit from one of the most trusted manufacturers in the game.
With dual handle design, cradle support for most model DSLR cameras, it offers x2 panning motions and also has a very stable tri-legged base.
The design is very robust and at the forefront of image panning and stabilization rigging. The price is firmly aimed the professional market. However, this is high-end, remote controlled and most certainly at the top of its field.
You also get a Bluetooth module, 3 modes of operation – Underslung, Upright and Briefcase. A USB connection is also handy when computer connectivity is needed. It also has an 8lb load weight.
If you can afford this and have projects where where remote panning and extreme stabilization is needed, this equipment will keep returning on its investment for years, if not decades.
Professional grade DSLR stabilization and highly recommended. This is our favorite out of all the stabilization gear listed here.
- Ronin-M Transmitter (Controller)
- Ronin-M 4S Battery
- Battery Charger
- Handle Bar
- Turning Stand
The Glide Gear DNA 6001 Vest is a useful stabilizer rig. With a 19 lb (video camera 2 to 7 lbs) load capacity, this highly useful camera vest improves mobility and is fully adjustable for varying body types.
The arm mounts add a further dimension, with adjustable tension mounts, this is professional grade equipment suited for shooting on the go and also self-action shots.
It comes in at a medium price point and is very accessible for most users. The 3-point axis gimbal stabilization keeps the camera level and allows for easy adjusting.
It even arrives in a useful carry case and is made of Anodized Aluminium, so it’s guaranteed to last for the foreseeable future.
All the accessories fit neatly into the carry case, which makes it easy to transport and look after. This is good because the parts are professional grade and machine CNC produced.
Again, this rig will provide a smooth free-form floating base for all kinds of shots that require stabilization. The vest really takes the trouble out of the camera support and lets you focus on the composition of the scene and further technical requirements.
Whilst in use, including the counter weights (up to 3.3 lbs), the frame feels supportive and an extension of the camera’s natural shooting ability. The foam grips feel padded enough for extended use and the connections allow for fast amendments.
If you need a shooting vest support, the price is good and the manufacturing quality here is professional.
This rig supports DSLR and most video cameras, like the C100 and Sony MC2500 for example. A top-notch vest support product, indeed.
A nice feel and form of function to the Glidecam HD-2000, makes use relatively easy and fun to use. This rig supports up to 6 lbs load and is made of high grade aluminium. The platform is sturdy and it has solid footrest features, which is great.
The handle is foam padded, which is great for outdoor use and this rig provides excellent support and has counterweights, if required.
This kind of rig enhances your panning ability and shot balance whilst moving and shooting. Like others, this piece of kit offers great quick release and bolt on connections for in-action use. The package also includes a useful microfiber cleaning cloth, which is useful.
Obviously, this is a different type of support system compared with the previous gear types mentioned here. It’s a glidecam that acts as a sort of monopod as well.
Compared with other rigs, I like the compact size of this simple setup, which is well constructed and offers high stability and precision. Highly recommended.
- Designed for compact cameras weighing from 2 to 6 lbs (0.9-2.7 kg)
- Fine adjustable dynamic camera mounting platform
- Adjustable convergence, precision, three-axis gimbal
- Adjustable dynamic balance and inertial-control base platform
- Comes with manual, counter weight plates and mounting hardware
Free Movi M5 is a compact design, high function professional grade rig. Firmly aimed at serious filmmakers, it comes in at a more advanced price point. However, it is well designed and offers excellent stabilization and an ultra lightweight frame construction. Super helpful when you consider travelling and carrying your equipment around on-the-go.
It is a rig aimed at DSLR cameras, but will work well with slightly more weighty cameras, too. It offers smooth scrolling shots, which is comfortable and easy to use.
It weighs 2.15kg and supports a load range of the same value or typical DSLR weight (2.27kg).
The pan / tilt switch controls (3 axis gimbal) are easy to use and has a constructed base which supports the camera well and stabilizes the shot nicely.
Due to high outlay, lots of studios rent out rigs first, to assess viability and once you are confident with the equipment, take the leap and purchase it to be used in-house. This to me seems like a sensible option when equipment gets more on the expensive side.
Big recommendation from us here. Give it a whirl!
- industry-leading stabilization technology
- Highly refined software and ultra lightweight construction
- Tuned for the latest DSLR video cameras and lens packages
- Supports camera and lens combinations up to a total of 5 lbs.
- Delivers amazingly smooth footage in even the most demanding situations
Added this at the last minute, it looks like a simple rig extension and particularly useful for difficult DSLR shots. The handle is well padded and lightweight.
It also works well with a GoPro, but supports up to 4kg DSLR equipment, perfect for production needs.
At a very reasonable price point, just remember this is made out of plastic (ABS), not metal like the others reviewed here. At the price point, you can confidently use for action projects (skate films, for example), where there’s a strong possibility of kit getting damaged.
- Fits most compact cameras and camcorders with a standard 1/4-20 thread
- Cushioned NBR padded handle alleviates the stress of lengthy filming
- High-grade ABS impact-absorbent plastic
- Shoe mount (removable) for video lights, flashes, or microphones
- 1 Year Opteka Warranty
Let’s take a moment to look at some of the features of a quality DSLR stabilizer.
Features of a good DSLR Stabilizer
Stabilizers come in all sorts of shapes and sizes. Used for all kinds of use cases and for all sorts of shot requirements, from compact shots to open outdoor environments.
What makes a stabilizer effective and how do I know what I’m buying is good enough? Here are some key components which define a good stabilizer rig and justify a good value purchase.
Good price and support
For a good quality, effective rig you need to see the purchase as an investment. This isn’t cheap, despite there being some budget versions available. However, the industry leaders know they have a good quality / needed product and charge a premium for it.
Look at this as a long term investment to your studio equipment and when opportunity arises this useful device can help you pull off smooth, stabilized shots for years to come.
The expansion of creative uses and depth of the shots that you can create with a stabilizer increases dramatically, added improved options and value for clients to take advantage of.
High quality construction
With a mixture of plastic and metal build, stabilizer rigs can vary in performance and build quality.
Go to specialist shops and try some models to see which brands are suited to you and you feel comfortable using. This is always a good idea, no matter what type of production equipment you’re looking to purchase. Research is essential when buying this kind equipment.
Good quality rig support
Different manufacturers offer different levels of guarantees and support if something goes wrong. Going through trusted online retailers helps, as these sites offer an extra level of protection
DJI are an experienced manufacturer that have a reputation for making quality equipment. They also offer good coverage of its rigs and usually replace models, where they happen to be faulty or become easily damaged.
Best DSLR Stabilizer – Summary and Conclusion
Unless you’re working in a compact environment, the multi complex stabilizer rigs offer more support and the mobile wearable rigs are super easy to use and offer good body support for easy operation.
All the construction here is good quality and it is difficult to choose an overall recommendation. However, on price alone, the DJI Ronin-M 3-Axis Handheld Gimbal Stabilizer is great value for the quality of the rig.
If you need this for projects required professional stabilized shots, it’s a good investment to add smooth, controlled shots to your films. Aside from DSLRs, we’ve found it works especially well with the Sony a7S.
If you’re starting out, start small and build up to the bigger rigs to enhance your professional shots slowly and improve overtime. This way, you can’t go wrong.
We’ve explored a number of options here that cover all kinds of price points and use cases. Remember to consider things like price, use case and adaptability whenever you consider purchasing any kind of DSLR stabilisation gear.
If you want to use your DSLR to the best of its range and capabilities, then you need to invest in some quality stabilization kit.There’s truly an option for everyone and I think I’ve explained that pretty thoroughly in this article.
You might find our sister article on DSLR gimbals pretty useful, too.
We hope you’ve found this article on the best DSLR stabilizer useful. Did we miss out your top stabilization kit? Let us know in the comments below.