Steadicam's camera stabilizer is legendary in Hollywood, and now the famed video technology is making its way to an even more portable form factor: smartphones.
The Steadicam Volt Smartphone Stabilizer is a new Steadicam device from parent company Tiffen that's currently looking for funding on Kickstarter. It's a handheld device similar to DJI's Osmo stabilizing system, but unlike the purely motorized Oslo, the Volt uses Steadicam's traditional mechanical gimbal in combination with an electronic motor system to steady tracking shots. The Volt was built in partnership with Yuneec, the drone company, though the extent of Yuneec's involvement here is unclear.
Steadicam claims that the dual system allows for superior tracking than systems like the Osmo, which feature a lag in catching up with camera movements that the Volt's mechanical components don't have, as seen in the GIF below. Steadicam also is touting the ability for the Volt to simulate the inertial movement of an actual full-sized camera through haptic feedback to make the Volt feel more like a traditional Steadicam rig.
Tiffen has released a smartphone camera stabilizer before with the Steadicam Smoothee, but that simply relied on a manual counterweight system to smooth out shots, unlike the Volt. If the Volt's battery dies, though, it can still also function as a fully manual stabilizer like the Smoothee.
The Steadicam Volt is available for backing on Kickstarter for an early-bird price of $139 — $60 off the planned $199 retail price. The first batch is expected to ship later this year in June, and while the crowdfunded nature means that there’s always some risk, Tiffen is a well established company, making this one of the less riskier Kickstarter projects we’ve seen when it comes to the likelihood of actually receiving the item you backed.