5 dirt cheap ways to stabilise your smartphone

Wallet-friendly ideas for stable photos and videos without expensive tripods

That was such a great shot, if only it wasn’t so blurry.

Smartphone cameras are getting better than your typical point and shoot - Phase detect autofocus, optical image stabilisation (OIS), dual lenses, image processing tech like Dual Pixel and some even can shoot in native RAW. Plus it’s always ready to go anytime - when’s the last time you didn’t carry your smartphone with you?

But shooting steady is just as important as a good quality smartphone camera. No amount of tech is going to compensate your 42MP rear shooter when the video’s all shaky or the photo is blurrier than wearing your grandmother’s pair of glasses? Not even OIS will help when you’re moving your smartphone all over the place to nail the perfect shot.  

If you aren’t going to spare some change for a proper tripod (especially if you aren’t shooting videos professionally in the first place), here are some dirt cheap smartphone stabiliser ideas for stable looking stills and videos. 

1. Lean on me

Get some extra stability by leaning on something sturdy, like a tall tree when you’re shooting in a park, or by a wall when you’re in the concrete jungle. Even a mailbox, as long as its big and solid enough you should have that extra leverage without creating camera shake.

Try to keep the camera close to your body to increase stability. Keep your shoulders tucked in and your smartphone as close to you as people, both hands holding onto the phone. You should be able to pan your smartphone right and left relatively straight without shaking the phone, but this stone age move isn’t as perfect as...

2. Get down, soldier

Laying flat on the ground makes shooting photos and videos much more stable, and you’ll probably explore a whole new perspective that you didn’t see before. Like, a street shot of people’s feet crossing a busy road, or your friend doing an Ollie trick over a step ledge. It’s an unusual look that could net some unique shots.

Either keep your elbows on the ground with both hands holding tightly on your smartphone, or go a little higher by holding the phone with your elbows upright. Fair warning, it might hurt a lot if you’re on a bed of rocks, if your body hasn’t burnt from the scorching sun first.