Take the 2-minute tour ×
Video Production Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for engineers, producers, editors, and enthusiasts spanning the fields of video, and media creation. It's 100% free, no registration required.

I have a Canon EOS 60D camera. I want to use this to take some video by moving the camera smoothly in horizontal and vertical axis. For example, if I want to take video of the bezel of a TV, I'd like to be able to smoothly have the camera move down on the vertical axis with the lens facing the bezel in the same angle the whole time.

Something like this, but not this expensive

enter image description here

Here is an example at 3:40 when the camera man slides through the keyboard horizontally.

share|improve this question

1 Answer 1

up vote 1 down vote accepted

Unfortunately, there aren't really cheap options to do this. You can approximate it using a crane or a stabilization rig (like a SteadiCam Jr), but both of those is still going to cost you hundreds of dollars.

For horizontal movement, the cheapest option is probably to use a more basic track and roll it by hand. You can use a motion control unit to get smoother motion, but a motion control unit itself is going to be over a grand normally.

For pure vertical, you need something called a camera pedestal. Unfortunately, this is probably the most complex movement to perform in a controlled manner, so there simply are no cheap options. There are some DIY approaches out there, but you're looking at expensive hardware if you want to do a pure vertical movement with good control. (The cheapest commercial pedestal I know of is over a grand.)

That is just the way the market is for being able to do advanced moves. They are all specialized, limited use devices and the cost rapidly multiplies with the weight of the camera. That's why rigging costs so much, because the market is so limited and specialized. It requires careful design, tight tolerances and a very limited market, that all adds up to big costs to the consumer.

share|improve this answer
Thanks for your answer. I did some reasearch on this subject and came to the same conclusion: these cost a lot. Well, I have the ability to build something myself here, so I'm going to make something myself and use a microcontroller with a stepper motor to make it move automatically. –  MikkoP Dec 30 '13 at 19:11
@MikkoP - I'd be interested in hearing more about whatever luck you have making something yourself. You could probably make a self-answer about how you built one yourself if it works out well since it would be a cheaper solution to the problem. As I understand it, the big trick will be getting it to move smoothly without shaking as it moves. You pretty much need a precision track with a controlled motor, but it should be able to be accomplished if you are decent with electronics and machining. –  AJ Henderson Dec 30 '13 at 19:56
I already started modeling the system. sharepoint.peltoset.fi/1388433406842-slaideri2.PNG I will be using some ball brushings with oil lubrication for smooth movement. I will make an Arduino software for controlling the motor I'll put there and have some buttons and a dot matrix screen for that. –  MikkoP Dec 30 '13 at 19:59
@MikkoP - so primarily going for horizontal at the moment? I'd expect some movement issues if you try using that design for vertical due to the track being able to twist and any play between the track and the bearings becoming an issue. –  AJ Henderson Dec 30 '13 at 20:05
Horizontal movement is the primary goal. I'll add some support pieces there for better stiffness. –  MikkoP Dec 30 '13 at 20:12

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.