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For small hand-held cameras, a harness or contoured frame steadies the camera against the photographer's body. In some models, the camera mount is on an arm that protrudes in front of the photographer; beneath the camera is a handle grip. Another variation positions the camera atop a fulcrum braced against the photographer's chest or abdomen.
To compensate for camera instability caused by the movement of the operator's body, a camera operator named Garrett Brown invented a body-mounted stabilization apparatus for motion picture cameras, called a Steadicam, which uses springs as shock absorbers. In 1991, Martin Stevens invented a hand-held stabilizer for motion-picture cameras, called the Glidecam. Some camera stabilization machines use gyroscopes to sense disruptive motion.
Although a tripod can hold a camera stably, stationary platforms are not regarded as camera stabilizers.
Camera shoulder brace
A camera shoulder brace is a camera stabilizer which mechanically shifts the weight of the camera to the operator's shoulder. This allows for smoother shots than might be obtainable by handheld operation. Camera shoulder braces are typically padded for comfort and allow the attachment of zoom controllers, transmitters and other related devices.
The operator generally holds two handles while a third "brace" rests on the shoulder. A remote LANC zoom controller is usually placed on one of the handles.
Most braces are made of PVC, carbon fiber or light-weight metals to keep the weight down. If the brace were too heavy it would defeat the purpose of using it in the first place—reduced camera shake and fluidity of movement.
For low shots, most braces can be used as a mini-tripod by setting the brace on flat surface.
Shoulder braces also reduce stress on the arms which reduces tiredness and muscle cramps during filming.
- "How a Camera Stabilizer Works". Steve’s Digicams. Retrieved 30 March 2011.
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