By Chris Scott Barr
Anyone who’s ever taken a picture can probably understand how much of an effect movement can have on your camera. Of course the longer your exposure time, the less movement it takes to create a blur. Tripods are good, but even they are still not perfect. Sure, there are several forms of built-in image stabilization in modern cameras, but what if you’re taking pictures from something a little more bumpy? That’s where it gets especially tricky. There are advanced camera stabilizers out there, but they can be rather expensive. However, if you have a couple of old hard drives and some ingenuity, you can build one yourself.
One Instructables user discovered that a pair of spinning hard drives can create the same gyroscopic effect that professionals use to keep a camera steady. The parts list isn’t too exotic, with most of the parts being easily found in your house or garage.
- Needed: 2 discarded harddisks (HDs)
- Some old discarded computer, or parts
- The part in the old computer which holds floppies en HDs at a 90 degree angle…
- A wooden box or plywood etc..
- A hand grip
- One or two strips of aluminum
- A camera screw
- 3 or 4 car USB phone chargers
- A 12 V power source (lead acid cell, a discarded NiCd cell, or (rechargeable) batteries)
- Some rubber washers and a piece of inner tire
- Contact glue
The actual work to construct the device looks to be a little advanced, so you’re going to need to know your way around a soldering iron. In the end you’ll have an awesome image stabilizer that can work with most cameras. Sure, it won’t look the prettiest, but it gets the job done for around $50 or so in parts.