As I enter the second year of owning my GoPro Hero 3+ Silver edition, I’ve been wanting to take video while walking around my neighborhood, but I have one problem and that problem is having a steady video. Owning a GoPro is one of the best camera tech that I have, that is portable, light weight and reliable. Having a suction mount and various attachments that I have available for the GoPro, none of those have the correct engineering to keep a video footage steady, just like watching a movie while the camera man is running or walking.
Now I enter the SteadiCam Curve, a portable, light weight reliable, compact camera stabilizer. The SteadiCam Curve is created by The Tiffen Company, now if you guys are not familiar with this wonderful company; Tiffen makes many accessories for photography. From polarized to UV lens filters, to camera tri pods and mono pods, and stabilizers, but not for the GoPro, until now! I first notice the SteadiCam Curve back in 2014 at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) while walking pass the Tiffen exhibition booth while catching my attention in the same time and I knew I had to go back later on that same day to see! As I return I was captivated as I look onto the SteadiCam and I needed one!
Now let us get down to the nitty gritty of things shall we? As I open the box the SteadiCam is place in between plastic foam to protect it from damage while during the process of shipping, it truly is packed great along with the 3 balance weights. Once I saw the SteadiCam, the first thing that I notice is the quality, the aluminum frame of the SteadiCam is truly top notch and the same go for the black finish. By the plastic handle fits perfectly even if it is made out of plastic, it grips well with having any type of material. By looking at this you may think that this is a small and heavy video stabilizer, but this is quite opposite on the weight side. Now the size of the Curve is very portable, that in some way it can in my back pocket of my pants, the whole entire thing! No I kid you not it fits and it can fit in any small backpacks and camera bag.
Now for the most part finding the balance with my GoPro on top was a straight forward affair, but before I started I did some research. First I looked into camera forums on what tricks others have used to creating an almost steady video, was to follow the instructions that came with the Curve. As I flipped through the instructions I found it to be very helpful on what balance weights to use on what version of GoPro you have. For the Hero3 the recommended weights to use are the small and medium balance weights, for an almost perfect top to bottom weight while it is motionless. Now the hardest part for me was trying to balance out the front to back level, this is achieved by turning the knob on the back of the Curve socket. I just had to slightly turn the knob back that causes the platform where the GoPro is held on to move back, a few people had to turn the knob forward, but it is all different from one GoPro to another. The easiest thing for me that I needed to balance out was the side to side level; this is done by turning the outer weight tube that is placed on the bottom of curve arch. Moving the weight tube can shift the weight either left or right of the balance axis.
The most important thing that Tiffen really wants to point out for all new Curve users, that practice makes perfect. Going out walking around your neighborhood, finding the side to side level to the front and back level is important for taking smooth videos. Thank you Tiffen, they really did their homework on this and I give the SteadiCam Curve a 4.5 out of 5. I will have more reviews on other accessories that work along the Curve.