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.
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!