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How to reduce camcorder vibrations



I am currently using a G50 to film trains, and like the R800 I used before, I have found that if I stand less than 40 feet from the tracks, the footage is hard to watch, due to the camera vibrating from the train passing over joints on the track. I have upgraded my tripod several times, and my current tripod is close to 10 pounds, and has daratically cut down on these vibrations. I still cannot find a way to remove them completely (I have made them less noticable recently by stabilizing them in a video editor, but that takes alot of time). I was wondering if anyone had suggestions to easily correct this, without having to sacrifice my current video qaulity/ frame rate, and without having to replace a piece of my current equipment. I have included a link to one of my YouTube videos to demonstrate the issue I am experiencing. 

Thank you for your time,

~Lucas L. 



I'm assuming your tripod is carbon fiber?   While I haven't used it for videography, my RRS TVC-33 has really beefy legs and is extremely solid.   Still, with that amount of vibration, I'm wondering if it's inevitable to be picked up.


Apart from the tripod though and doing post work to stabilize the footage, I'm wondering if a gimbal would be useful?   Maybe you could rent one first to try it out.


Side note: there's a decent amount of wind noise in your footage, so you should also invest in a wind screen for your microphone.   I use an Azden SMX-30 with my G50.


Camera: EOS 5D IV, EF 50mm f/1.2L, EF 135mm f/2L
Lighting: Profoto Lights & Modifiers

My tripod is aluminum, and has a fair bit of weight to it (12 or 15 pounds) and is a improvement over the last one I had whch was around 8 LBS. I have sent emails to several of the larger railfan youtube channels, but have yet to get a response. As for a gimbal, a friend of mine has one, so I could potentially test that out first. As for the wind noise, I am saving up for a good external microphone (I am currently in college so I am waiting for summer break to make the purchase). 

You can gain some benefit from using vibration dampers as the feet of your tripod, they won't completely remove the vibration but will greatly dampen it if properly chosen and mounted.  They will act much like the struts/shocks in your car greatly reducing the amount of motion transferred from the surface to your camcorder. 


You will have to fine tune by adding additional weight to your tripod  (sandbags designed to stabilize photographic light stands work well for this) to fine tune the damping properties.


McMaster Carr has an extensive selection of damper/isolators in their online catalog.



EOS 1DX M3, 1DX M2, 1DX, 5DS R, M6 Mark II, 1D M2, EOS 650 (film), many lenses, XF400 video

Rising Star

You could try wrapping foam (like a ball) around the feet of your tripod to help absorb the vibrations. 


 I definitely wouldn't have the camcorder in Dynamic IS stabilization mode as it will likely make matters worse. Ideally image stabilization should be turned off on a tripod.


Edit:This has come up on the forum before:


Regarding the last post in that thread, quote "Post editing software is the best method to stabilized the video".


Well yes you can use software to stabilize shaky footage in-post, but you will loose image quality. Better to address the cause of the shakiness and apply appropriate physical measures to avoid or minimize it. Same goes for wind noise.