Sutefoto S40 Handheld Camera Stabilizer Review

Sutefoto S40 Handheld Camera Stabilizer Review

Buy it at Amazon: Sutefoto S40 Handheld Camera Stabilizer [Affiliate Link]

Takeaway: Fairly smooth footage on a budget, bubble levels were useless but simple to balance.

The steady cam stabilizer comes with the gimbal, 2 quick release mounts, and 6 weights on the sled. The body is made of a durable and lightweight aluminum alloy; the weights come in two sizes: four 3.5 oz weights and two 7 oz weights. You'll also receive a basic fabric carrying case. Both quick release plates have bubble levels in them, but since they only work in the horizontal position, they're not actually useful in helping balance the stabilizer. The handle on the gimbal is wrapped in a neoprene sleeve, though because of the way it was packaged, mine has a slight depression in the foam that's permanently flat and doesn't puff back up. The entire assembly without a camera weighs about 4 lbs.

The gimbal is in a fixed position on the telescoping boom but the lower thumb screw allows you to extend the arm from 10.75" up to 15" for additional leverage. The handle is hollow so you can place it on a stand for balancing. I was able to balance both my Canon T3i and Sony a6300 on it without a problem. They range in weight from 0.75 lbs to 1.75 lbs. The weights on the sled slide along a track, so in order to ensure I have them placed in the same spot and opposite each other I like to keep them tightened at the outermost point. Balancing the unit after mounting my camera typically takes about 5 minutes because fine tuning the two quick release plates is a bit tricky. This unit tends to rotate a bit more than more expensive units, but you can counteract the rotation by lightly gripping the boom just below the gimbal with your free hand if it starts to turn.

The resulting footage using this is fairly smooth and cinematic and vastly improved over footage filmed by hand (I keep the image stabilization off when using the steadycam). It performed well within my expectations for an entry-level product and I found that it removes almost all the shake from holding/moving the camera to create nice gliding pans, follows, and fly-arounds. Overall, I think it works really well for a unit at this price point; it's easy to balance and a great tool for those just getting started in cinematography and filming who need better upfront stabilization on a budget.

Buy it at Amazon: Sutefoto S40 Handheld Camera Stabilizer [Affiliate Link]

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