Advice on handheld filming with a DSLR

quinton77 Posts: 1
edited December 2019 in Practical Filmmaking

Hello everyone,

A couple of months ago, I filmed a local wrestling promotion for a school project, following their work at a training and subsequent event. Today they contacted me, asking me to film an event for them this Sunday. I agreed to do so and was asked to bring my own gear.

Now I own a DSLR (Nikon D5200) and a GoPro Hero 7 Black, both of which I intend to use with the GoPro being placed on a tripod as a hard cam while I film the action more up close with my Nikon. However, I'm not very experienced with handheld filming, frequently opting for tripods instead. Does anyone here have some tips for me with regards to filming like this?

Thank you!


  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,219 Expert

    @quinton77 When shooting handheld, I try to stabilize a bit by standing in such a way that I make my body a sort of tripod.  I usually lean my camera arm should against a wall a little behind me with my feet a touch forward.  Not leaning drasticly, just a bit.  Of course that may not be possible in your setting.

  • Stargazer54
    Stargazer54 Posts: 3,890 Ambassador

    Might also look at using a monopod .  That will give u both portability and stability. 

  • Triem23
    Triem23 Posts: 20,278 Power User

    @tddavis you'll like this tip... 

    You'll want to find a good carrying position then shorten your camera strap to that exact length. You actually end up pushing the camera away from your body a bit against the strap. 

    Tddavis has a good tip as well, and I think @Stargazer54 is absolutely correct when he says monopod.

    Either way DSLR style bodies are hard to handheld. The shape isn't ideal for being held farther out, and the weight is often unbalanced. Tddavis  Stargazer and I all give different ways to add stability by creating a contact point to brace the camera against. Tddavis is using a wall, Stargazer the floor  and I'm using my own neck. It's all about reducing the freedom of  camera movement, just a bit, to reduce drift and wiggle. 

  • tddavis
    tddavis Posts: 5,219 Expert

    @Triem23 I do like the strap idea.  I have never read that one before, but I do have a monopod and one of those gimbal floaty things and totally forgot them to mention.

  • Vagabonding101
    Vagabonding101 Posts: 50 Just Starting Out
    edited May 2019


    I can personally testify that the strap trick works like magic. One of my main problems with my old shorts was how unstable the camera was, I had a monopod for photography that I started to use (which helped a lot) and for more mobile shots the neck strap strip worked like magic.