How-To Geek

Dirt Cheap Camera Stabilizer Banishes Photo Blur

This extremely cheap and portable camera stabilizer is a great way to stabilize your photos without resorting to lugging around a tripod.

All you need for the ultra-portable hack is a large washer, some nylon string, and a properly sized bolt. It’s no substitute for a well-machined and weighted tripod but for simple setups where you just need a little extra stability without hauling heavy gear it’s pretty awesome.

Check out the above video to see the entire build process plus some video of the stabilizer in action. Have a favorite, and preferably cheap, camera hack? Let’s hear about it in the comments.

Easy Image Stabilizer for Any Camera [via DIY Photography]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 09/12/11

Comments (20)

  1. Dee B

    ingenious! one of those “why didn’t i think of that?” things.

  2. jeffeb3

    I tried this a few years ago and it didn’t work well because most of the motion blur is due to noise in the rotation of the camera. This doesn’t do anything to keep the camera from rotating.

  3. keltari

    I remember showing this video to a photographer friend about 5 years ago, he said it works.

  4. Worksafe

    Won’t work on 360’s when not working with a tripod.

  5. leslie

    Allways someone crabbing about what it does not do , I think it was a great suggestion to help people with the shakes to take a few pics . you crabbers lug around a tripod and quit bashing he said it eliminated VERTICAL shake try to think of something cheaper and better you (insert derogatory descriptor here)

  6. Xmooth

    Now, that…. was very clever indeed….

  7. Marjorie

    How did I ever live without this? !!!!!

  8. Ari

    GOLD, and leslie you tell him! ;-)

  9. 3ddraft

    I’m a professional photographer and one of my jobs is chasing search dogs on their training. This would be great when I’m on the run to just drop and shoot. And the best part is it’s cheap.

  10. Kevin

    This resurrects a great tip I used more than 40 years ago. I probably saw it in Popular Science or Popular Mechanics. It works great by the way.

  11. bullgtor

    How do you know what type/size bolt to buy so it will not damage the threads in your camera?

  12. Duey

    He said 1’4 in. bolt with course threads.

  13. Max B Corrigan

    the thread is 1/4 whitworth or 1/4UNC if if that is any help

  14. Sam

    Looks good works well

  15. Juan

    Amazing how every generation “discovers” the same thing over and over.
    Another variation uses two strings coming from the mounting screw and
    finished with two small chain hooks, cut the strings to the required length
    and attache them to your belt loops with the hooks. I’m sure this is been
    around for decades too but it still works!

  16. Jbonj

    Fantastically clever!! Kudos and thanks…

  17. Evan

    Go to a hardware store or big-box store and find a ΒΌ-20 bolt about one inch long.

  18. Fighting Monk

    Kevin now we know how old you are LOL

  19. Frank

    I just love simple creativity

  20. Pascual

    I think you can improve stability by using two strings with two washers attached to the same bolt and using a foot for each washer.

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