For the last half a year traveling I’ve had multiple occasions where I went out and wanted to take both photos and video, but didn’t quite felt I had the tools to do so. With the growing importance of video in today’s photography “toolkit”, it’s becoming increasingly important for photographers to have the ability to capture film, whether it’s for behind-the-scenes footage or to promote their activities. Including short format videos, and reels.

In my past few months of traveling, I’ve encountered challenges when it comes to capturing video. Shooting with a camera on a gimbal, for example, can impact your mobility and the gimbal can be heavy and time-consuming to set up. Additionally, switching between film and photography modes can be a challenge.

To overcome these challenges, I’ve been experimenting with different “hacks” to capture usable video without a gimbal. Here are a few tips that have worked well for me:

  • Shoot at 60-100 FPS. Slowing down footage in post-production can help reduce the impact of shakes and jitters. Even if this means not shooting in 4K, the difference is small when most people are watching content on their phones anyway.
  • Use a top-handle. This allows you to have an additional handle to stabilize the camera and lens, which can help remove shakes when holding the camera both on the bottom and top.
  • Combine this with a neck strap. This allows you to push out your camera and stabilize it more effectively.
  • There’s the option to to stabilize 4K footage with Catalyst software (for Sony), yet it’s time consuming and often the software crashes.

While these tips have worked well for me, it’s important to note that there are many other factors to consider, such as gear, software, and the sort of production. Additionally, one of the downsides of this approach is that it can be harder to take following or back shots of people walking, which is something that would be easy on a gimbal.

Let me know if this strategy was helpful for you or if you have any other suggestions for capturing great video while traveling.

Completely shot handheld