The tripod is your best friend when it comes to shooting steady shots. However in the unlikely scenario you happen to have left it at home, here are a few tips to help you shoot well without one.
1. Standing Posture
I cannot stress this enough. Your posture is of utmost importance when taking stable footage with a handheld camera. For stability, place your feet shoulder width apart with your knees slightly bent. This creates a stable platform where your body would absorb any minor movements. Two hands on the camcorder with your elbows pressed to your sides of your chest. Not too tight, more of a relaxed fashion. You can test this by swinging from left to right before the take to ensure the most comfortable position.
2. Staying Still
Simple as it sounds, every movement you make will show up as a rocking motion on tape. Refrain from walking with your video camera if you do not have to move. Take it as a step-wise approach, as once you learn how to take stable stationary shots, you can begin to practice taking while moving. Shift your weight from one foot to another when moving in a gliding motion. Ultimately, the factors causing the rocking on the camera is your hands. As long as your hands are able to compensate for the ups and downs of your bodily motion, the footage will not appear choppy.
3. Zoom Out and Go Closer
After taking either photos or videos, you realize that when the camera is zoomed into the target, any minor movements will cause a drastic shift in the positioning of the camera. Instead, you should move closer to the scene itself and take it from there if possible for a better video experience.
4. Lean On Something
Taking a video while leaning on an object is definitely easier. Nothing in particular, just something stable, a table, wall or lamp post. Even leaning forward and resting your elbows on a fence would do just fine as well.
5. Image Stabilization
Last but not least, in the new day and age, camcorders come with image stabilization. Make sure you have image stabilizer activated. This however does not permit you to move too vigorously. Yes it will cover up minor shakes, however it is not a miracle to poorly shot handheld footage. Using all of the above, coupled with image stabilization, I am pretty sure you will shoot some amazing footages.