Supraflux previews a new spin on video stabilization
posted Sunday, March 24, 2013 at 8:51 AM EST
In the middle of last year, a new project debuted on crowdfunding site Kickstarter which promised a simple, compact and affordable way to stabilize video from smartphones, compact / action cameras, and perhaps even a light DSLR or camcorder. Created by brothers Karim and Nadim Elgarhy, the Picosteady stabilizer was a success, reaching its Kickstarter goal and going into production last October.
Ready for a new challenge, the two brothers and their company Supraflux LLC are back, and shake-free video is the goal once more -- but this time with an added twist. Their new Supraflux Video Camera Stabilizer project aims not only to stabilize video, but also to make it simple and intuitive to allow horizontal panning on demand, something that takes experience to achieve on existing stabilizers without adversely affecting stabilization.
This is achieved courtesy of what Supraflux calls "The Brake", a button-activated lock on the stabilizer's horizontal axis. When the lock is applied, turning the stabilizer grip horizontally will turn your camera along with it, and crucially this is achieved without affecting stabilization on the other axes. Let go of the lock button, and the camera is isolated from any subsequent motion on all axes once more.
The Supraflux Camera Stabilizer is also able to handle heavier camera setups than did the Picosteady. According to its maker, almost all cameras up to ten pounds will be supported, and it will be possible to attach an external LCD monitor too, if supported by your camera. To help make maneagable all that extra weight, the device should be compatible with most stabilizer vests and arms. And if you're not into interchangeable-lens video, you can still mount compact /action cameras and even smartphones, though; anything down to 0.25 pounds should be compatible.
Of course, accommodating such a variety of camera styles and sizes means quite a bit of adjustment is necessary to balance them all. That's provided for with a telescoping central column, a multi-position bottom plate with removable counter-weights in two sizes, an adjustable center-bearing, and a dual-axis adjustable top plate. The top plate position is precisely tuned with two adjustment knobs, each moving the platter by just 0.03 inches for each full turn. The plate itself has a non-slip rubber surface to help keep your camera securely in position. The telescoping column, meanwhile, is marked to make it quick and easy to restore your setup after collapsing the device for storage or travel. And only the center bearing adjustment requires tools; other adjustments are tool-free.
The project has already reached its financing goal, and so is assured to reach market. Supraflux currently expects shipments to begin this August, with retail pricing in the region of US$745. A limited number of kits can (as of press time) still be preordered at a cost of US$495. If you don't get in before they're gone, you can preorder at US$595, which is still a discount of almost 27% over the expected retail price.
For more details or to get your preorder in, visit the Supraflux Video Camera Stabilizer page on Kickstarter.