Yo, Adrian, where’s my Steadicam Volt?

Sylvester Stallone as Rocky. Photo: United Artists

Garret Brown and Steadicam brought us one of the most iconic shots in cinema history: Rocky racing up the Philadelphia Museum of Art steps in 1976. The Steadicam freed cameras from heavy dollies, tracks and cranes. In the years that followed, most major (and many minor) motion pictures benefitted from the invention. Highly skilled Steadicam operators achieved celebrity status on sets worldwide and Garrett taught the necessary skills to promote the art in workshops worldwide.

Garrett Brown with Steadicam and Stallone, 1976

Now some of the skills of Steadicam can be democratized with Tiffen’s new Kickstarter campaign for the Steadicam Volt. It’s also a great tool for scouting and pre-viz.

Volt is not your traditional flashlight-shaped brushless gimbal. It is stabilized on 3 axes, but the big difference is in the pan. Most brushless gimbals are designed to keep the camera pointing in the same direction. That’s frustrating if you want to gracefully move to follow an actor or circle behind the guy on top of the museum steps. Using a joystick that’s sometimes provided on brushless gimbals to control pan is not necessarily accurate or smooth.

Volt is different. It. You can pan intuitively, mechanically, with your thumb. Pitch, yaw and roll are still stabilized. If the rechargeable Li-Ion batteries are depleted after 8 hours of use, Volt continues to work in mechanical mode. Steadicam Volt will accept iPhones and Smartphones (with or without cases) weighing 100 – 200 g, from 58 – 80 mm wide. It is lightweight, portable, and folds easily.

It will come with an iOS and Android app that helps precise balance and tuning. Users can choose beginner and experienced operating modes. Volt is Bluetooth enabled.

This is a Kickstarter campaign. As of today, its initial goal has been quadrupled and there are 47 days to go.

Find out more: tiffen.com/steadicamvolt/

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