Steadicam has used Kickstarter as the platform for their latest product, the Steadicam Volt. It is self-proclaimed as The Best Electronic Handheld Stabilizer, with original inventor Garrett Brown saying it offers “the inertia and the feel of large cinema systems”. Its use? Smartphones.
Yes, the latest revolutionary product from industry giants Steadicam is a Kickstarter campaign for an electronic handheld stabilizer for your smartphone. The response on Kickstarter alone is testament to just how relevant this product could be, smashing their $100K pledge within 3 days of release.
The Steadicam Volt is an electronic stabilizer for smartphones, but differs from handheld gimbals like the Osmo in that it doesn’t rely on motors for stabilization all: its counter-weight system allows you to perfectly balance the Volt without any batteries.
The impressive thing about the Steadicam Volt is this “inertia and feel” that Steadicam legend Garrett Brown talks about. The responsiveness of the Volt really is really quite impressive, just check out the video below where it’s compared to a handheld gimbal system.
A trade-off is that you’re now competing with the poor read/reset timing of the CMOS sensor on most, if not all smartphones, so you may suffer from rolling shutter artefacts. Steadicam may have a solution for this, however, in the Volt’s dual Sport and Movie modes. I assume the latter decreases response time for user input to allow a slower move:
Sport Mode assists in capturing fast moving moments more easily and professionally.
Movie Mode gives you more freedom in creating cinema like movements.
The Steadicam Volt is compact, folds down to fit into large, over-sized pockets, has 8 hours of battery life and takes any smartphone with case-combo from 100 – 200g in weight and 58 to 80mm wide.
Steadicam Volt – Tech Specs
- Lightweight folding design that enables easy storage and transportation
- Accompanying iOS & Android APP allows for precise balance and tuning
- Haptic control utilizes Simulated Inertia
- Dual operating modes for beginners and experienced users
- Uses long-life rechargeable Lithium Ion batteries
- Accommodates phone sizes with or without case from 100 – 200g in weight and 58 to 80mm wide
- Bluetooth enabled
- Works in manual mode even after your batteries are depleted
Pricing: Current available Kickstarter rewards get you a Steadicam Volt for $139. A higher pledge includes a workshop experience to increase your stabilization operation knowledge.
I see this as getting most of its use in the consumer world, working with an existing device that everyone already carries around in their pocket. People will just need to bother to take the Volt out with them also. From this point of view, ease of use and setup time will be critical.
In the professional world? That’s a question for how seriously the industry takes Phonematography (I’m coining that, lolz). It could prove useful for reference videos on recces and location scouts, and hassle-free Behind the Scenes footage where the “instant share” nature of the smartphone content is coupled with an easy-to-use and stable system like this.
Sound useful? Let us know in the comments section below!