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6 Best Steadicams For DSLR in 2021 [High Stabilization]

If you move around a lot while shooting videos on your camera, good stabilization is necessary to avoid shaky, blurry, and unusable footage. As you’re here, it’s safe to assume that you either faced or are aware of this dilemma and want to make it right with the best steadicam you can get for your DSLR.

If you shoot your footage handheld, it can be really hard to keep the camera properly aligned with the subject and avoid all those accidental movements that can completely ruin your video. Gimbals can help in this too but, they generally cost more and you will have a tough time doing the faster camera movements.

That’s why getting a good Steadicam is necessary but, you also need to ensure that it works well for your workflow. Choosing the right one can be confusing and if you end up with the wrong one, it ain’t gonna help you at all. But, I have listed out the best Steadicams, you don’t have to make that mistake.

Best Steadicams for DSLR in 2021

To make the selection process more efficient I’ve evaluated a bunch of steadicams from a variety of budgets and after eliminating all of the irrelevant & unworthy options, these are the top 6 options that made it to the final list:

  • Max Capacity: 10 lbs
  • Expandable Range: 14-25 inches
  • Weight: 7.9 lbs
  • Counterweight Plates: 16
  • Warranty: 1 Year

When it comes to Steadicams, one of the leading players in the game would be Glidecam. The HD-PRO is actually one of the successors of the popular HD-4000. Alongside some of the signature HD series features, the company has also thrown in some professional-grade camera sled features on board.

Build & Expandability

The Glidecam HD-PRO is made out of Aluminum and it is definitely one of the more sturdy Glidecams out there. It has a length of 14 inches that can be expanded up to 25 inches and it weighs around 2.87 lbs without the counterweight plates. There are 16 total counter plates each averaging 0.272 lbs.

Features

As far as functionality goes, it has a 3-axis mechanical gimbal to ensure free & stable camera movements while panning, tilting, walking, running, etc. The top has a high-end camera base with quick release, brass alignment, control knobs with side-to-side & front-to-back movement of the camera base, drop-in camera plate, and more.

The expand/retract height control is located at the base where the counterweights also go using a pair of ¼ inch mounting holes. As mentioned earlier, there are 16 total counter plates and you can use them in combination depending on your camera’s weight. The upper limit for camera weight is 10 lbs. The base itself is also expandable.

Should you buy it?

When it comes to Steadicams, the HD-PRO is the best camera stabilizer you can get. It provides a lot more controls for precision & ease-of-use compared to some of the competitors. So, if you don’t have an issue with the slightly higher price, definitely go for the Glidecam HD-PRO.

Pros
  • Spring enabled quick-release mechanism
  • 3-axis mechanical gimbal
  • Expandable length up to 25 inches
  • Can balance up to 10 lbs cameras 
  • Control knobs for side and front-back movements
Cons
  • A bit too pricey for a Steadicam
  • Max Capacity: 10 lbs
  • Expandable Range: 14-25 inches
  • Weight: 7.7 lbs
  • Counterweight Plates: 18
  • Warranty: 1 Year

If you want something to handle even beefier DSLR cameras but, want the same flexibility while sticking around a similar price segment, the FLYCAM Redking would be a better option for you compared to Glycam’s XD-PRO.

Build & Expandability

Flycam hasn’t compromised on built quality as the Redking is made out of sturdy Aluminum and it does feel premium. It can expand longer starting from 21.6 inches all the way to 32.2 inches. There are 16 counterweight plates in total averaging at 0.2 lbs each. There is also an ¼ inch mounting hole for external LED monitors.

Features

As you may expect, Flycam has also included a 3-axis gimbal and an excellent 360-degree rotation system. This allows you to move the camera around freely and make faster movements. The head does have a quick-release mechanism in place and it even includes a measuring scale and placement mechanisms.

It also has a similar height adjuster just above the base and the base itself is expandable. The counterweight plates come in a single size only which may or may not be a huge deal to you. It has a max capacity of 15.4 lbs, so that is definitely a huge advantage if you want to mount heavy camera setups on it.

Should you buy it?

To be fair, the Flycam Redking has a bunch of flagship features for a price that seems more than reasonable. The extra load capacity is a nice bonus on top of that. So, if you don’t mind going for the Flycam Redking instead of a Glidecam, you won’t be missing out.

Pros
  • Quick-release mechanism & measuring scale
  • Load capacity up to 15.4 lbs
  • 3-axis mechanical gimbal
  • Expandable base
  • Up to 32.2 inches in height
Cons
  • The retracted length can still be pretty long
  • Max Capacity: 15.4 lbs
  • Expandable Range: 21.6-32.2 inch
  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • Counterweight Plates: 16
  • Warranty: 1 Year

In case you liked the HD-PRO but it was well beyond your budget and you’d still like a good Glidecam for your DSLR, the Glidecam XR-PRO has a bunch of the same high-end features for almost half of the price.

Build & Expandability

Just like its premium sibling, the XR-PRO is also made out of Aluminum, and although it isn’t as well made, it still has an excellent build quality. The length does range between 14-25 inches and it is slightly lighter at 2.1 lbs. There are 14 large, 4 small counterweight plates, and also 4 large camera platform weight plates.

Features

The mechanical gimbal does support panning & tilting and is still 3-axis, so that’s a major win. But, the 360-degree rotation does work flawlessly and you won’t have any issues with faster movements either. The top is a bit more basic on features but, it does have movement controls and an easy mounting mechanism.

The height can be adjusted using the control knob located above the base. However, the base itself isn’t expandable in this case but it does support large & small-sized counterweight plates to balance your camera. The camera’s upper weight limit is still 10 lbs so, no compromises there.

Should you buy it?

As a high-end Steadicam, the Glidecam XD-PRO does miss out on some of the premium stuff from the HD series but it still packs a bunch of features including 3-axis movements, fast 360-degree movements, heavyweight camera support, and more. So, in case you’re limited on budget, definitely get the XD-PRO.

Pros
  • 3-axis mechanical gimbal
  • Both heavy & light counterweights available
  • Heavyweight camera setup support
  • Expandable length
  • Easy mounting system
Cons
  • Base is non-expandable
  • Max Capacity: 11 lbs
  • Expandable Range: 21.6-28.7 inches
  • Weight: 11 lbs
  • Counterweight Plates: 16
  • Warranty: 1 Year

If you did like the Redking’s approach but need something even cheaper, you can go for the Flycam HD-5000 instead. It has a lot of the same features, in a toned-down manner in some cases and the price is significantly lower.

Build & Expandability

Thanks to the Aluminum construction the HD-5000 does feel pretty sturdy. It does not extend as long as the Redking does as it can only go from 21.6 inches to 28.7 inches but it’s still pretty tall. This one also comes with 16 counterweight plates that come in three sizes with 1/4 inch mounting holes.

Features

The HD-5000 also comes with a 3-axis mechanical gimbal so movements are independent and the 360-degree rotation works really well. The head isn’t as cool as the Redking but it does have fine-tuning knobs with side & front-back movement adjusters, DSLR install holes, and quick release.

It does have a height adjustment knob but, you cannot adjust the base itself. It can support up to 11 lbs DSLR setup if you’re using all of the counterweight provided. So, in case you have a heavy setup, it should be a non-issue.

Should you buy it?

If you do have a slightly tighter budget and you don’t necessarily need the extra load support and the measuring scale of the Redking, you can surely go for the Flycam HD-5000. It is really good value for the money. You do miss out on the more advanced head features but, that isn’t going to bother most of the users out there.

Pros
  • Great build quality
  • 3-axis mechanical gimbal
  • Fast 360-degree rotation
  • DSLR install holes
  • Heavyweight camera load support
Cons
  • Downgraded head compared to the Redking
  • Non-adjustable base
  • Max Capacity: 6.6 lbs
  • Expandable Range: 15.1-23.6 inches
  • Weight: 3.5 lbs
  • Counterweight Plates: 6
  • Warranty: 1 Year

In case you are even tighter on budget and you can live without some of the premium stuff, then the Yelangu S60T might just be the perfect option for you. It has all the necessities, so you can take advantage of all the basic steadicam stuff and it costs under $100.

Build & Expandability

The build is where the S60T differs from most of the premium competition. The company claims the material to be carbon fiber but, considering how expensive real carbon fiber is, it is more likely hard plastic with a carbon fiber-ish material on top. It doesn’t go as tall at around 23.6 inches max and there are 6 total counterweight plates.

Features

Just like the bigger players out there, it also has a 3-axis mechanical gimbal and it freely rotates 360-degrees for fast movements. Now, although these look really similar to the premium players out there, the mechanisms aren’t as fluid or convenient. The head does have a quick-release mechanism & a measuring scale in place.

Although the length is extendable, you can’t really extend the base and the S60T isn’t as easy to balance as the others. You can mount DSLR setups up to 6.6 lbs and balance that using the provided counterweight disks. However, heavy setups just aren’t gonna work on this one.

Should you buy it?

The Yelangu S60T is definitely way more compromised compared to something like an HD -5000 but, considering the affordability if you don’t have a beefy setup, the S60T is an excellent value for the money. For the seekers in the budget segment, this is the one you should go for.

Pros
  • Good build quality for the price
  • Quick-release mechanism built-in
  • Decent stabilization
  • Supports p to 6.6 lbs DSLR setups
Cons
  • Base is non-expandable
  • Movements aren’t as fluid
  • Max Capacity: 2.1 lbs
  • Expandable Range: 8.07 inches 
  • Weight: 2.4 lbs
  • Counterweight Plates: 3
  • Warranty: 1 Year

In case you do want the convenience of a Steadicam but, you want something smaller & compact, the Roxant Pro might be the best option for you. It comes in a different and most importantly smaller form factor and it is also pretty affordable.

Build & Expandability

The metal construction makes it sturdy and you do have some height adjustment but, it won’t go as much as a traditional steadicam and that’s kinda the point here. There are 3 counterweight plates in total and they can handle lighter camera setups just fine. As far as build quality goes, it does feel well made.

Features

Thanks to the different design approach, there is no mechanical gimbal or 360-degree rotation system in place. So, the stabilization system doesn’t go as well with free movements. However, if we only take the stabilization into account, it does handle shakes and motion really well. There is no quick-release mechanism though.

The extension works using a screw-dial that also keeps the top and bottom metal pieces in place. The counterweights can be attached directly at the bottom as you don’t need a base to support the device. You can use up to 2.1 lbs camera setup with all the counterweight disks attached.

Should you buy it?

If you need to shoot into cramped or crowded spaces, the Roxant Pro provides the compact form factor and the necessary convenience of being a good handheld stabilizer. However, you have to get your work done with smaller setups, and if that sounds doable to you, I can recommend the Roxant Pro without hesitation.

Pros
  • Fits easily into crowded spaces
  • Decent stabilization for the price
  • Compact & easy to carry around
  • Good build quality
Cons
  • No rotation mechanism in place
  • Can’t support heavy camera setups

Frequently Asked Questions

How does a Steadicam work?

A Steadicam helps to create stabilized video footage with the help of multiple parameters. You need to attach your DSLR camera (other cameras also work similarly) on top of your Steadicam and balance it by adding proper counterweights at the bottom.

The mechanical gimbal ensures free movement while retaining stability. You can use one hand to hold onto the handle and keep the other hand on the 360-degree rotation control area just below that, so you can rotate the camera as you like.

Are Steadicams better than electronic Gimbals?

Electronic gimbals generally produce way more stable footage as they can compensate for your movements really well, even if you’re not being careful enough. Steadicams on the other hand can mess up in situations with too much movement or even if there is a lot of wind.

But, they are way better if you want to change the orientation of your camera, really fast. You can just use your hand and move the camera around but a Gimbal will need further adjustments. So, there are both ups and downs of both but, you need to make the choice depending on your specific requirements.

How much practice is required to film with Steadicams properly?

Steadicams do require a bit of practice before you can start shooting actual footage with them. You will need to learn to put proper counterweight for your DSLR (camera setup) and you need to spend some time to get a good grasp on balancing while shooting.

Are expensive Steadicams worth it?

If you have a use for the advanced head, balance, and base mechanisms or the extra features provided, then an expensive Steadicam might make sense for you. For most users, anything around that $200-$300 point will do more than enough.

Verdict

Many professionals choose Stadicams over Gimbals for shooting their footage, and that’s indeed for good reasons. If you came here looking for the best one fitting your workflow, I hope you already have a personal favorite by now. But, in case you are still confused, let me make the selection process even simpler for you:

  • If you are looking for the no-compromise, best of the best Steadicam, get the Glidecam HD-PRO.
  • In case you want something similar with a lower price tag and you don’t mind a compromise or two, get the Flycam Redking or the Glidecam XR-PRO.
  • If you are looking for something under that $100 price segment the YELANGU S60T is the best option for you.
  • In case you’ll regularly need to shoot footage in cramped spaces or areas with a lot of crowds, get the Roxant Pro.

Depending on the categories mentioned above, check out which Steadicam matches the most with your specific requirements and go for that without any further second thoughts. If the price is a major concern or you’re just starting off, get something on the budget side of things.

In case you also want to get a good camera for your new Steadicam, there is a boatload of articles on the website exploring different types of cameras based on their capabilities and different budgets. So, maybe check those out next.