Unfortunate Purchase: Opteka SteadyVid Pro

I am normally a fan of cheap do-it-yourself or small company redesigns of existing high end professional video hardware. Real professional movie quality gear is expensive. It’s hard to get your hands on. It is pricy to rent. Your friends don’t have it, and everybody wants it. So, when I found the Opteka Steady Vid Pro system, it looked like a good purchase at under $200. A cheaper, but not overly cheap, alternative to something like the Merlin 2 (which runs closer to $800). The Opteka had most of the primary features I would need for doing video. A smooth gimbal, a nice folding design, good counterweights, and quick adjustment knobs for the handle and mounting plate were the main features I was looking for.

Main items:

Unfortunately, due to somewhat poor construction, the mounting plate doesn’t tighten all the way down, and the plate holding the camera slides around. In addition (although excusable if it was the only thing wrong) is that the screw that mounts the camera to the plate has a flip up handle for easier tightening, which came out when I was tightening the mounting plate to the camera.

(You can see the silver metal insert that is only pressure fitted into the main assembly and is pulling away in this picture, it’s come out compleatly once already)

And finally, the mounting screw with the detached little handle:

I’ll revisit this post in the future once I return and hopefully get a replacement that’s in better shape than this one. I know this product has good reviews across the board for most part, so I will be updating this post once I’m able to return, and get a replacement. Hopefully, it will not have the same problems I’ve had with this one and I can give a proper review and demo video of the actual hardware!

7 thoughts on “Unfortunate Purchase: Opteka SteadyVid Pro

  1. Had the same problem with the screw that mounts the camera to the stand. Unfortunate design but I reversed the silver female mount the screw goes into and added a rubber washer on the inside side and it works just fine now.

  2. i already have a opteka steady video pro.
    but I lost the camera plate locking smith knob.
    i would like to order this part.
    Is there a posibillity to order this part?

  3. Hi Paul,
    I had exactly the same fault with the silver insert pulling out of the stage. Seems like a no-brainer design flaw to me but obviously someone in production must have been trying to save money during manufacture :/ I’ve ordered and returned both the Skyler Minicam and the Xcam (essentially a better version of the Minicam) and am now awaiting my second order of the steadyvid pro. Kinda wishing I had just bought a Merlin2 and be done with all this back and forth with returned cheap gear.
    Great post though, certainly highlights a major design-level flaw in the system.

    • It’s really unfortunate. Although I would love to have a merlin-2, I can’t justify the cost at the moment since I don’t have a professional need for it. Some day, I’ll just put up the cost for a better system to just experience it, but for now I’m just going to continue to take stills and I’ve returned this one to the manufacturer.

  4. Same case with me. Just got the packet today, thru UPS couriers. The second time I wanted to mount my Sony a77, the camera plate locking knob would not tighten the plate! I have been trying to figure out how to fix for more than two hours now. Sad. They should do something.

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