Of course there’s no substitute for using proper camera stabilization tools. Tripod, steadicam rig of some sort, whatever your choice, budget or needs call for. For the shot below, and quite a few others, I was hanging out the back of a truck while the talent walked down the street singing his tune. I did not have anything quite as fancy as this, so I was just holding the camera, a Canon T3i, and using my arms as shock absorbers of sorts.
I normally and for a long time have steered well clear of software image stabilizing tools. And for the most part, still do. For this project, and for these shots though, Final Cut Pro X and the built in Stabilization tool work like magic. It looks like the camera is on rails. Really super impressed. Does it work like this for all shots that need stabilizing? Most definitely NOT. In fact, most other shots that I’ve tried it out on have that characteristic wobble and bounce that is typical of software stabilization. And so I’m just not using it
So the take-away here; these tools have come a long way over the years. Adobe Premiere and After Effects Warp Stabilizer tool has some magic sauce in there that defies the very laws of nature, the space/time continuum, etc. Final Cut Pro X has some decent stuff going on as well. But by all means, USE A TRIPOD!!! And use the software stabilizers with caution. Don’t rely on software to fix what should have been done correctly in production. In other words, don’t just assume you’ll fix it in post.
Now go shoot something.