Nikon D90 Mod – Steadycam from Hollywood

Couldn’t resist this Gizmodo post today… This little jobber turns video dSLRs like the Nikon D90 and the Canon 5D into cheapo movie steadycams. Not unlike the Redrock “cinematizing” kit featured last week also on the Giz, this new rig features light controlling barn doors, fine focus and zoom controls, plus a monitor, a structural beam that goes past the user’s shoulder, an adjustable pad, and counterweights. Rumors abound that this little dealio was hot news at the Photo East tradeshow last week. The travesty for amateur filmmakers? No price announced yet. Said to be going on sale November 1st. Who will be first to get one fall down the stairs wearing it? Now THAT’S video I want to see…

Thanks Ben, via Gizmodo.

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Jason says:

Yet another incredible looking rig announced for these new DSLR/Video capable cameras.

Check out the cine-style focusing knob. Sweet!

Andrew says:

WOW! Attenuated, modern, sleek and gorgeous. What’s that thing she’s holding?

Steven Pam says:

@anonymous – Thanks for your reply. But you’re kidding, right? A standard video camera (however nicely balanced) steadier than a rather cumbersome, expensive, patented device which is specifically designed to allow steady handheld shots? If it were so, why would anyone (while shooting big budget sporting events and feature movies in particular) bother to use the real thing?

Don’t get me wrong – I see nothing wrong with this product. It looks very nice and certainly a huge improvement on trying to hand-hold a DSLR for video work. But a Steadicam it ain’t. Not by a long shot.

So my criticism only relates to the use of that term in relation to this product – not to the product itself.

Anonymous says:

@steven: isn’t it steadier just by virtue of being on your shoulder and having a counterweight on the other end? Most of us know what a “real” steadcam with gyros n whatnot look like, but I think this would actually be a good bit steadier (is that a word?!)

It’s shallow and mysogynistic to use a skinny blonde model to advertise this product but it’s understandable considering possible demographics (but hey, maybe women would like to use cameras too!). I’m impressed with the focus controls, and this is an excellent and necessary step in the video/still convergence. I’m not of fan of the d90 “wobble” as previously mentioned by Kramon. I use Canon, but won’t be dropping $2500 on a new camera if it wobbles too.
Like Neil Armstrong, this is one small step for camera, one giant leap for camerakind. Next we’ll have digital technology’s version of of freeze-dried ice cream and velcro. woot!

admin says:

Honestly, I only see users that have a a load of cash sitting, burning a hole in their pocket actually purchasing this. When you take in consideration of the cost of a Nikon D90 or Canon 5D along with a decent lens, plus the pretty penny that this rig is going to set you back…….isn’t one better off just buying a video camera with steady-shot or VR?

I just don’t see this being a hot item and see load of them sitting on the close-out special. I’ll plan on buying mine from

Steven Pam says:


This sure looks like a sweet gadget – but just because Gizmodo used the word “Steadicam” doesn’t mean you have to!

I guess it sounds more impressive, but this isn’t really anything like a Steadicam. Where is the articulated iso-elastic arm that makes a Steadicam “steadi”?

This device merely turns a video-enabled DSLR in a shoulder-mountable video camera. A very useful mod indeed, but definitely no comparison to a Steadicam.

Whew, that feels better :-)

Staley says:

I would love to check this out… Or something like it. I shot this little thing a few weeks ago.

In The Bunker

The D90 video mode is a lot of fun to play around with but still has serious limitations. I love that it’s being embraced and “improved” with products like this.

Adam says:

Ephing Awesome.

kramon says:

as a profressional tv-director and photographer (and I love to combine these 2) I am extremely interested in this rig!

imagine the possibilities with this lightweight combo!! if you travel internationally and you have to carry tons of video equipment… this combo is like Satie; light as a feather!

to Jbone: (standard and many professional) videocameras can NOT do what the D90 does because of the lenses you can use on it. the optical quality of photo-lenses is unbeatable. only film-prime lenses come close (and will cost you your house…)

i see 2 big disadvatages though:
- the “wobble” effect the D90 generates when panning too fast
- as I saw on tests people posted on vimeo; it seams that the camera autocompensates exposures during filming. I am not sure whether this is actualy a fact, but my nikon-dealer couldn’t answer me on that-one (he wasn’t that deep into the video-function of this DSLR)

so Chase (as THE D90-hands-on-expert !o):
does the D90 autocompensate during filming? or can you manualy control/block exposure (be)for(e) filming?

’cause if one can not control/block the exposure, it’s a big nono for professional film-use…

still: magnificant results can be achieved with this -$1000 machine of wonders!

I can’t wait to see what the next generation of DSLR’s will bring!


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C$ says:

I believe I read that this bad boy will set you back $1800 clams.

I wonder what the cost comparison is between an HD camera rig and this one.

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but you’re right, both are still hot.

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Videonerd that chick is definately hot, cannot wait till some one produces some work on this.

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Mark says:

Man, that never came with my D90, I got ripped.

Shelby White says:

I think all I can say is that I agree with videonerd.

I wonder when they’ll make one for the g9?

VideoNerd says:

That chick, er I mean that camera rig is hot :D

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