What Is A Phone Stabilizer?

What is a phone stabilizer?

What is a Phone Stabilizer?

Using a phone stabilizer or a gimble is essential if you are filming from a phone. Holding a mobile in your hand whilst recording makes poor-quality videos. You can spot them right away; even with a steady hand, the video is jerky and unstable.

Using a phone stabilizer (known as a phone rig) and holding it with both hands keeps the phone much steadier, giving you ten times better video quality and giving your viewers a better experience. In addition to this, with the stabilizer, you can add many different types of equipment, such as lights, a microphone, and additional cameras.

If you have one of our full spectrum converted cameras, you can quickly and easily switch between night vision and standard lighting. You will need to have a standard light and an IR light side by side. All you have to do is flick one on and the other off. You can add more lights to improve your lighting. You can add a wind-resistant microphone to reduce that pesky wind noise whilst filming outdoors. Which we know from personal experience can be a real problem.

How to Use a Phone Stabilizer

Using a phone stabilizer is a game-changer for ghost hunters. It allows you to capture high-quality video evidence on mobile devices. A phone stabilizer, or gimbal, reduces shaky footage. It provides a smooth and professional look to your videos. We always recommend beginners always learn how to use ghost-hunting equipment before putting it to use. Here’s a step-by-step guide to getting the most out of your phone stabilizer.

Benefits of using a phone stabilizer

Using smartphone gimbal stabilizers during filming has several benefits, including:

  • Improved video quality: A phone stabilizer helps keep your smartphone camera steady, ensuring your videos always look smooth and professional.
  • Customisable set-up: A gimbal stabilizer can be used with various recording equipment, such as lights, microphones and additional cameras, to enhance your footage and audio. When recording outdoors, attach a wind-resistant microphone to your camera set-up to reduce outside noise and improve your audio quality.
  • Enhanced visibility in low light: A phone stabilizer allows you to attach full-spectrum converted cameras, so you can switch between standard lighting and dark vision easily. This is handy when surrounding lighting changes suddenly, giving you an uninterrupted recording experience.

Jim Fisher from PC Mag is just one expert who has given these devices his stamp of approval –“Gimbals balance your camera, using brushless motors to keep it in place with smooth motion and no additional noise”.

Types of phone stabilizers

There are several types of gimbals available, including:

  1. Handheld stabilizers: This is the most common, user-friendly, and affordable gimbal type that helps you obtain high-quality, stable video footage.
  2. 3-axis motorised stabilizers: These advanced gimbals use built-in brushless motors to stabilize your phone. They are slightly more costly than handheld stabilizers but provide a better, “cleaner” recording experience.
  3. Electronic handheld stabilizers: Similar to 3-axis motorised stabilizers, these smartphone gimbals use electronic sensors to stabilize your phone. More expensive than other gimbals, they ensure stable, crisp, and quality video recordings.

Fitting Your Phone into the Stabilizer

  • Adjust the Grip: Start by adjusting the stabilizer’s grip to fit the width of your phone. Most stabilizers come with adjustable clamps to accommodate different phone sizes.
  • Secure Your Phone: Place your phone between the adjustable clamps and secure it tightly. Ensure it’s evenly balanced to avoid any tilt or imbalance during recording.
  • Check for Comfort: Before proceeding, make sure you can comfortably hold the stabilizer with your phone mounted. Adjust the grip or the phone’s position if necessary.

Add Your Extra Accessories

Adding accessories to your phone stabilizer can enhance your video quality and overall ghost-hunting experience. By customizing your set-up with specialized gear, you’re prepared to capture high-quality evidence. And you’re equipped to document your investigations under many conditions. You can improve audio clarity for EVP sessions. You can extend visibility in low light. And you can ensure uninterrupted recording with additional power sources. Each accessory plays a role in enhancing your ability to detect and document paranormal phenomena.

External Microphone

An external microphone improves overall audio quality. It may increase your chances of capturing EVPs (Electronic Voice Phenomena). By capturing clearer sound, you reduce background noise. And it makes it easier to detect and analyse potential spirit communications. An external microphone can also be directional, focusing on sounds from a specific direction. Or for just minimizing wind and irrelevant noise.

Extra Cameras (e.g., GoPro)

Extra cameras offer more angles and perspectives. And it allows for a more thorough documentation of paranormal investigations. GoPro’s cameras, known for their wide-angle views, can capture more of the environment in each frame. The wider angle is helpful in large spaces or when trying to document simultaneous occurrences.

Standard Light

A standard light enhances visibility in low-light conditions. And it’s essential for most ghost hunts in the dark. Proper lighting can reveal details otherwise hidden in shadows. And it ensures no subtle movements or anomalies go unnoticed.

IR (Infrared) Light

It allows night vision ability, enabling you to capture video in complete darkness. Night vision is vital for ghost hunts, as many phenomena occur without visible light. IR light can reveal unseen entities or anomalies not visible to the naked eye.

Full Spectrum Light

Full spectrum extends your camera’s ability to capture beyond the visible light spectrum. It allows you to capture ultraviolet (UV) and infrared (IR) light. It can reveal evidence of paranormal activity not detectable by standard cameras or the human eye. Full spectrum lighting can uncover unique visual anomalies linked with hauntings.

Battery Pack

A battery pack extends the operational time of your devices during lengthy investigations. Ghost hunts often occur over several hours, frequently in locations without access to power outlets. A battery pack ensures that your phone, along with any attached accessories like lights and cameras, remains powered throughout the investigation. It’s crucial not to miss any potential paranormal activity due to a dead battery.

Tips for a Phone Rig in Ghost Hunting

Maximizing the potential of a phone stabilizer in ghost hunting not only involves fitting your phone and attaching accessories but also employing best practices to ensure you capture compelling and credible evidence. Here are some tips to enhance your ghost-hunting experience with a phone stabilizer:

Practice Before Investigating

Spend time getting to know your stabilizer and accessories. Practice attaching your phone and accessories. Familiarize yourself with the stabilizer’s controls and features. Learn how to operate it more efficiently in the dark or under the pressure of a live investigation.

Optimize Your Set-up

Ensure your phone and any attached accessories are well-balanced on the stabilizer. An unbalanced set-up can lead to shaky footage or even damage to the stabilizer. Experiment with different accessory configurations to find the best set-up for investigation scenarios. This might mean adjusting the position of lights or microphones to optimize your ability to capture video and audio evidence.

Enhance Audio and Visual Quality

Position your external microphone to minimize handling noise and capture the best sound quality. And aim directional microphones at the primary area of interest. Use your lights judiciously. Too much light can wash out important details or create harsh shadows. But, too little can leave your footage too dark to analyse. Adjust the intensity and direction of your lights based on the environment.

Power Management

Always have a fully charged battery pack ready. Consider how long you’ll be investigating and have enough power to cover your needs, plus some extra as a buffer. Regularly check the battery levels of your phone, stabilizer, and any attached accessories. Running out of power suddenly can cause you to miss crucial evidence.

Recording Techniques

Even with a stabilizer, abrupt or rapid movements can blur your footage. Move slowly and steadily for the clearest video. Ghostly phenomena can occur unexpectedly. Keep your camera rolling as much as possible to increase your chances of capturing something significant.

Advanced Features Of Gimbal Stabilizers

Many gimbals come with features that can enhance your ghost-hunting experience:

Dolly Zoom

This cinematic technique creates a disorienting effect by zooming in while moving the camera away from the subject. Some gimbals allow you to create this effect with your phone, adding a special layer of cinematic magic to your recordings.

Wrist strap

Some gimbals come with a strap for you to secure it to your wrist. This feature is useful if you’re filming in a crowded area or worried about dropping your phone when you get spooked.

Battery life

Battery life is an essential consideration when choosing a smartphone stabilizer. Look for a stabilizer with a long battery life, so you don’t have to worry about running out of power during an investigation. Note, however, that not all stabilizers require batteries.

Gimbal apps

Some gimbals come with companion apps that allow you to control the stabilizer’s settings and features. Look for a stabilizer with a user-friendly app that’s easy to navigate.

Gesture control

This feature allows you to control the stabilizer’s movements with hand gestures. This feature is useful if you must adjust the stabilizer quickly without using buttons or putting the device down.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if the rig will fit my phone?

We only sell the best quality universal phone rigs, which are adjustable and will fit any type and size of the phone. If you have a tablet-sized phone, it will likely not fit. And any regular phone will fit just fine. They are fully adjustable, and where the rig grips the phone is padded, they avoid doing any damage. We do offer 30-day refunds on all of our equipment. So, if for any reason it doesn’t fit your device, you can return it if needed.

Can I use the phone rig for holding my camcorder?

Most likely not; the phone rings are only designed for holding your mobile phone. The rigs do have 1/4″ threads and hot shoe mounts for mounting things, but you would not likely want to mount your camera to it in this way as they are designed for holding your phone. If it’s something small like a Go Pro Camera, and you want to attach it via the hot shoe or 1/4″ thread. This should be fine as they are small and light and should not cause any issues.

Do I need a phone stabilizer for ghost hunting?

While you don’t need a phone stabilizer for ghost hunting, it’s highly recommended.

What is the best gimbal stabilizer to use for ghost hunting?

The type of phone stabilizer you use for ghost hunting depends on your needs and budget. Handheld stabilizers are the most common and affordable. If you’re looking for even better stability, consider a pricier but more effective 3-axis motorised stabilizer or an electronic handheld stabilizer.

Conclusion

A phone stabilizer is an excellent tool for ghost hunters, improving the quality of your ghost-hunting videos. By fitting your phone securely into the stabilizer and attaching essential accessories like external microphones, extra cameras, and lights, you can create a robust recording set-up. Remember to test your set-up before going on an investigation to ensure everything is working together.

Sam Ashford
Sam Ashford - Author

Hey, I'm Sam Ashford! I'm a ghost-hunting expert, writer and founder of SpiritShack. My mission is to help people like yourself learn about spirituality and how to hunt ghosts!