5 Best Steadicams for DSLR

Sometimes your hand is just not steady enough to capture the video that you want. That’s where you experience the importance of a good stabilizer. But finding the best stabilizer for your DSLR can be tricky, as there are various factors to consider such as weight, compatibility, and budget.

Hello everyone! My name is Lavelle and I am a professional photographer and a long-time photography enthusiast. Since 2009 I have been assisting clients with full-scale photography and videography needs. During this time, I have also experienced the advantages of using a steadicam.

In this article, I will go over some of the things that you should look for in steadicams and share with you my list of the best steadicams for your DSLR camera. Additionally, I will answer some of the most frequently asked questions.

Key Takeaways

  • The steadicams take some practice to use effectively but are a great option for many users.
  • The payload capacity is one of the key features of a steadicams. Consider the size of the DSLR when choosing the right steadicams.
  • Steadicams come with different advanced features, balances, and base mechanisms. You should consider the one that best fits your shooting preference.
How does a steadicam work?

A Steadicam is designed to help to create stabilized video footage. The steadicam balances your camera using counterweights and the mechanical gimbal allows free movement of the camera while keeping it stable.

Steadicams allow free movement and depend on the user to balance the object. Electronic gimbals, on the other hand, compensate for movements automatically. Electronic gimbals are typically considered to be more stable, however, steadicams can be effective when you learn how to use them effectively.

It does take some practice to use a steadicam effectively. The user needs to learn to put the correct counterweight for the specific camera that is being used. Users also need to get used to balancing the camera on the steadicam while shooting at the same time.

What Makes the Best Steadicam for DSLR

There are several important factors to consider when looking for a steadicam. Here are some of my suggestions.

  • Stability: Your steadicams must have a good stability system so that your videos will be smooth. 
  • Capacity Payload: Another important quality to have in a steadicam is the payload capacity. I suggest a minimum payload capacity of 10 lbs that will handle a normal DSLR camera easily.
  • Quick Release: A quick-release button or lever is another useful function to have on a stabilizer. The quick-release function allows you to operate your DSLR more efficiently and is much easier to use than steadicams without this feature.
  • Ergonomics: Consider a steadicam that is ergonomically built. Since most people hold steadicams with one hand for a while, it is advisable to get one that is designed to lessen the impact of holding a DSLR and steadicam for long periods.

The Best Steadicams for DSLR Reviewed

Here are the best steadicams I’ve found for a DSLR camera.

1. Glidecam HD-PRO (Best Overall)

  • Payload: 10 lbs
  • Extended Range: 14-25 inches
  • Weight: 7.9 lbs
  • Counterweight Plates: 16 

The best option for your DSLR camera is the Glidecam HD-PRO. Glidecam is one of the industry leaders in steadicam development and they do not disappoint with the HD-PRO. 

This option is made of durable aluminum, has great extension length, and is relatively lightweight. It is quite steady, using the 3-axis mechanical gimbal to stabilize itself as you maneuver through functions with your camera.

The control knobs that you can use for front and back movements are great. It makes it very easy and convenient to use. The Glidecam HD-PRO holds a good weight capacity and works with most DSLR cameras.

The one drawback to this steadicam is the price tag. It is an expensive option but delivers a good value for the price. As far as functionality goes, there is nothing negative I can say about this item.

My Verdict: It is a durable, steady, and user-friendly option. It functions well in nearly every condition and works well with nearly any DSLR.

2. Flycam Redking (Best Durability)

  • Payload: 10 lbs
  • Extended Range: 14-25 inches
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs
  • Counter Plate Weight: 18

When it comes to exceptional durability, the Flycam Redking is king. It is remarkably stable and excellently designed to withstand adverse conditions and circumstances.

The Flycam is an excellent choice when you want to hold heavier DSLRs but still want the same flexibility as the HD-PRO. It is made of sturdy aluminum material and has a longer extension to handle larger cameras.

The best thing about this steadicam is the 360-degree rotation system. With the 3-axis gimbal stabilization and the ability to rotate, pan, and adjust to a full 360-degree radius, this stabilizer is versatile and durable.

However, even at its fully retracted position, it is still quite lengthy. This can cause it to be bulky and somewhat difficult to handle at times. 

My Verdict: This is a good option at a lower price point than the Glidecam HD-PRO. It has similar functions and is a very durable option.

3. Glidecam XR-PRO (Best Capacity)

  • Payload: 15.4 lbs
  • Extended Range: 21.6-32.2 inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • Counter Plate Weight: 16

Coming in at the number three position is the Glidecam XR-PRO. This steadicam is the best in its class when it comes to payload capacity. It has notable functionality and is comparable to the top two choices on my list, at half the price.

The XR-PRO is made of aluminum, like its counterparts, and while it may not be quite as fancy as the others, it is still a viable, quality option. The payload capacity of 15.4 lbs and the extended range out to 32.2 inches, makes this steadicam a great choice for larger DSLR cameras.

14 large and 4 small counter plates combine to effectively handle large DSLR cameras. It also has an easy mounting system which comes in handy.

The one drawback of this steadicam is that it is difficult to adjust. You have to move the slider slowly to make small adjustments. Without adjustment knobs, as the other steadicams have, it can be a cumbersome task to make adjustments.

My Verdict: This is a great steadicam if you need to handle a large DSLR camera. The payload is very good and it is a stable option.

4. Flycam HD-5000 (Best Stability)

  • Payload: 11 lbs
  • Extended Range: 21.6-28.7 inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • Counter Plate Weight: 16

The Flycam HD-5000 is a good option for those who want functionality at an even lower price point. It is well-built, with the same aluminum frame as the others on this list.

The Flycam has a decent payload of 11 pounds and can extend out to 28.7 inches. It has 16 counter plates and a 3-axis mechanical gimbal. It also offers a 360-degree rotational radius and a height adjustment knob.

The most appealing thing about this steadicam is its stability. Even though it has the 3-axis gimbal stabilization as the other steadicams here, it feels sturdier. The design of the stabilizer, along with its weight and payload, combine to make it a good choice.

Unfortunately, this item is a non-adjustable head that makes it difficult to move. It also has a downgraded head, which limits its usefulness in some ways.

My Verdict: This steadicam is a good option at a lower price range and still offers good functionality. It is durably designed and has an excellent stabilization factor.

5. Roxant Pro (Best Budget/Compact)

  • Payload: 2.1 lbs
  • Extended Range: 8.07 inches
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs
  • Counter Plate Weight: 3

The last choice on my list is the Roxant Pro. This compact stabilizer is relatively small but still delivers excellent productivity. It has a sturdy design with a metal frame that provides good stability and is easy to use.

The Roxant Pro doesn’t have a stabilization feature or 360-degree rotation but it still handles well and does not shake much when used. This is a convenient option for those who want to use a smaller DSLR.

It is easy to carry, lightweight, durable, and easy to set up. Given its small size, it is still quite dependable and is fairly stable. When there are tight spots, this steadicam is a perfect go-to option.

The most concerning thing about this option is the lack of any rotation ability. This limits the way you can use the steadicam and makes it somewhat difficult to move your camera.

My Verdict: If you want a less expensive option and don’t have a heavy DSLR, this is the right choice. It works very well in small spaces and is easy to use.

Final Thoughts 

A steadicam is a great way to add stability to your footage when shooting by hand. With a steadicam, you can achieve professional-looking shots without the need for bulky or expensive equipment.

The choices listed here give you some great options depending on the size of your DSLR camera and your shooting needs and preferences. 

Have you ever tried steadicams that are on this list? Share your experience in the comments section below.

As always, enjoy capturing the best moments of your life!

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