Tiffen sent us in the their Davis & Sanford "Steady Stick" for a review. The Steady Stick is an inexpensive camera stabilizer that easily distributes the weight of your camera making it ideal for TV field reporting.
The Steady Stick comes with an adjustable belt, a handle and a quick release coupler. It's easy to put together and it's comfortable as it gets around your waist for stabilization. The actual slot for the stick can be rotated so if you start walking and shaking, the impact will be minimal and the footage would be stabilized enough.
The Steady Stick can hold a camera up to 30lbs making it ideal for professional cameras. However, it works well even with small consumer camcorders too. The handle allows you to easily drag your camera to pan from left to right, while the rotating main stick can not only capture great vertical pans, but also work as a small crane! Additionally, the handle can function as a shoulder rest if your camera doesn't come with one.
Video by DVCreators.net
A great feature on the Steady Stick is the coupler that let's you disconnect the camera from the stick in one easy move, making it fast and easy if you are in a time critical situation and need to get the right shot. Not only that, but the stick can be extended high above the shoulder, so it helps you capture shots above the crowds.
Overall, the Steady Stick provides a great functionality to keep your body fresh from getting tired while all day in the field. It also allows for camera moves that are not easily done handheld or via a tripod. The product sells for $100 in the retail market and it does the job. Don't expect super-steady shots out of it, compared to a real steadycam, but for the ease of use and weight, it has it's own practical purpose to exist. I would say that it has the same amount of stabilization as a monopod, which is not too bad of a deal considering that it's much more comfortable and easy on your arms than a monopod.