Help Me Get Rid of the Shakes!!!

Real Estate Attorney

I put a post up the other day of a real estate walk-through video done by a local real estate agent.  I felt that the agent did a good job getting across the basic feel and major features of the house and wanted to show you that you too can create a walk-through video.  

The post generated some conversation about ways to stop your video from being shaky.  I felt that the information was very valuable and it required its own post.  If you've had questions about this issue, please read through the entire post.  Thanks and good luck.


 Eric Daigle, who recently video taped a testimonial for and owner of Daigtech Videography commented:

     "First rule, 

     Don't walk with a video camera without proper equipment. No videographer would do that because of camera shake no matter how great you are. If you want the camera to be steady the use a tripod or if moving, then purchase a glide cam.

     I would record the house first then later using a computer microphone add my voice to the footage that I recorded and during the editing process put them together. This is voice over work.

     As for camera shake here's software that you can purchase to correct this problem if need be.

     The important thing to remember is that with every new technology out there, it cost money and  takes time to practice and learn. You can't expect to be great after a few weeks. If I was a chef and you wanted to make a fabulous dish, you couldn't without the right equipment, knowledge and experience."


Sandra NaroianSandra Naroian, COO at commented:

     "Thanks for offering your help!  I was wondering if you could weigh in on the use of a glidecam, they are quite expensive and if an agent is not going to be using it frequently it may not be worth while .. is there another way to stop the shakes?  ;)

     I did see this camera recently when I was searching to buy another, what are your thoughts on the built in movie stabilizer?

     Movie Stabilizer Movie Stabilizer technology digitally processes video footage while recording to minimize the effects of hand movement. Stabilizer processing is also performed during playback, to ensure that movies always look great.

     Anti-Shake DSPAnti-Shake DSP (Digital Signal Processor) minimizes image blur caused by shaking hands or moving subject matter

     Maybe something like this would be a more affordable solution?"


 Eric Daigle answered:

     You're correct the glidecams are expensive and really not worth spending the money on. I didn't mean to come across hard on my last post, I simply meant that walking with a camera in your hand should not be done if you're filming a home and you're on a budget. There are other creative and less expensive ways of filming a home with techniques that will look just as good and professional.

     For example using a tripod and zooming in and out of each room. Zooming in or out of a room gives the illusion that you are moving, but without the physical walking and camera shaking that goes along with it.

     To answer your question about the built-in movie stabilizer. This feature is pretty much standard in any digital camera now a days. Its function when tuned on basically prevents normal hand support of the camera from shaking so easily and stabilizes the footage from that shaky camera syndrome we sometimes see. Some people don't even realize that their camera may have this function built in, but it needs to be turned on. You should read your owners manual under stabilizer to enable this feature.

     I understand that many of you have questions and may feel intimidated or even excited about filming and editing your own video. Regardless of the reason i'll be here for you if you have any questions. Think of me as your friendly Videographer. I enjoy what I do and I enjoy helping others.


You CAN created your own real estate walk-through videos.  Once you get past that initial nervousness and start practicing, your videos will get better and soon you're homes can get potential buyers from all over the world walking through.

Good luck!

Comments (38)

Mike Norvell Sr
Morris Williams Realty - Leesburg, FL
Norvell Consulting Group
Martin..I use my SOny digital with a tripod...occasionally I use a broom stick to just keep it level and even...I think we will see more of the bad stuff for a while
Jan 29, 2008 11:23 PM
Brian Schulman
Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage, Lancaster PA - Lancaster, PA
Lancaster County PA RealEstate Expert 717-951-5552
Martin, after seeing the complexity of doing good videos, I think I'll do what I do best and let a professional do the video...
Jan 29, 2008 11:28 PM
Amy Hunter
Hearth & Home Videos - Sudbury, MA

Video Tours should be viewed in their quality and usefulness as you would photos - show only what is flattering to your listing, and have it be high quality.

Buyers use photos and video tours to ELIMINATE houses to look at.  If there are small rooms, dark rooms, dated rooms, narrow hallways, stained carpets, don't show them on the listing photos/video if you don't have to.  When you do a thorough walk-through you risk showing all the warts in a house as well as the pluses.  To put it bluntly, you want to tease the buyer into visiting the house, not give them a reason to pass on it. 

There's a reason why agents use professional videographers.  Aside from the experience and skill level, a professional has professional equipment - yes, it does make a difference. 

How do you feel about FSBOs?  I thought so......  So just because someone can put up a sign in front of their house and walk a buyer through doesn't qualify them to handle a complex real estate deal?  A homeowner should use a professional Realtor for the best results?   Well, that's how I feel about video tours.  If you want quality, hire a pro.

Amy Hunter       Hearth & Home Residential Videos 

Jan 30, 2008 01:34 AM
Melina Tomson
Tomson Burnham, llc Licensed in the State of Oregon - Salem, OR
Principal Broker/Owner, M.S.
I think the video was very distracting and hard to watch. The focusing in and out and shakes, but I thought her commentary was pretty good. I think I'll hire a pro for mine.  I'm planning on using them this year.
Jan 30, 2008 01:54 AM
Gayle Balaban
The Best Spot Realty/Waterfront Real Estate/Ooltewah Real E - Chattanooga, TN
E. TN Waterfront Real Estate
Martin  This is a very good post indeed.  You earned your star!!!
Jan 30, 2008 02:37 AM
Fred Light
| Nashua Video Tours - Nashua, NH
Real Estate Video Tours for MA and NH

There are only TWO ways to eliminate the shakes:

1)  Use a tripod.  Whether it's a still photo OR a video, your pictures/ video will ALWAYS look better and sharper.  I use a tripod for ALL still photography I do on a home, without exception.  You can buy a cheap tripod for under $30.  If you're not going to at least to do, I wouldn't bother.

2)  Use a stabilizer.  There are many plans on the web for creating your own for very litte money.  My personal experience has been that the cheap ones don't really work all that well - fatigue sets in pretty quicklly. I even bought one for about $300 which was garbage and a total waste of money. 

I find the built in stabilizer that many cameras have are nearly worthless.  If you shake (and most people do), that won't really solve your problem at all.   

I use the Steadicam Merlin, which sells for about $800 and works like a charm.  However, (BIG 'however')... the learning curve for these tools is quite steep.  After filming over 300 videos with this little contraption, I STILL feel like I'm learning.  It takes a LOT of time and patience.  It takes a good hour or two just to balance it properly. If you're looking for a quick fix, you will be very disappointed in using this Steadicam or most any stabilizer.

If you're a fan of the Blair Witch Project or Cloverfield, then go for it!  You'll have a video that looks like THIS or THIS - or God forbid THIS.

If you're promoting a home, you are doing a huge disservice to the seller by presenting a property in anything but the BEST light. It's best to hire a professional who has the equipment and knows how to use it.  

Jan 30, 2008 04:06 AM
Amy Hunter
Hearth & Home Videos - Sudbury, MA

Fred,  LOVE your three examples in your comment!!!!!   lol


Jan 30, 2008 05:35 AM
Robert L. Brown - Grand Rapids, MI
Grand Rapids Real Estate Bellabay Realty, West Mic
Good post and good information. I just use still photos. One day(soon) i may graduate to videos.
Jan 30, 2008 05:57 AM
Cherimie Crane
Cherimie Crane & Associates - Beaufort, SC
This is a great post. Thanks for the helpful tips.
Jan 30, 2008 09:20 AM
Dick Betts
REALTOR® The Villages, Florida
Thanks for the great tips!  That is why we blog to share and learn.
Jan 30, 2008 10:29 AM
Lola Audu
Lola Audu~Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI Real Estate - Grand Rapids, MI
Audu Real Estate~Grand Rapids, MI ~Welcome Home!
This was very helpful information and I've bookmarked it for future reference.  I know that video is going to be a very important aspect of real estate marketing. 
Jan 30, 2008 10:30 AM
Monika McGillicuddy
Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices Verani Realty - Hampstead, NH
Southern NH & the Seacoast Area
Excellent post. We've been experimenting with video...practicing but not on our listings yet.
Jan 30, 2008 11:57 AM
Nancy Brenner
Referral Associates of Georgia, Inc. - Roswell, GA
Roswell Georgia Real Estate Agent
For the moment, I am but a buyers listings.  I'll save this info for when I do start to take listing and need to video for marketing them.  Thanks, Martin!
Jan 30, 2008 06:16 PM
Boston, MA

Dan - Ah!  THAT's the problem!!!

Latonia - And the way to do that is practice, practice, practice

Brian - Grab the camera and get started!

Mike - As with almost anything, you'll get the full spectrum of really good to really bad.

Brian - Do what works for you..... but get those videos up there!

Amy - Good points.

Melina - Do what works for you.... but the important things is to start getting the videos up there.

Gayle - Thanks

Fred - Thanks for the input

Robert - Do it!!!!!

Cherimie - Thanks

Dick - Thanks... I agree.

Lola - Glad to help. 

Monika - Time to start getting those video listings up there!

Nancy - Thank YOU!

Jan 30, 2008 10:16 PM
Christy Powers
Keller Williams Coastal Area Partners - Pooler, GA
Pooler, Savannah Real Estate Agent grandma used to video a lot of our functions when we were little. When we would watch them after, it looked like we were on a ship being tossed abroad. In one, I could have sworn she must have fallen. We looked at the ceiling for a good couple of minutes. I promised myself, my kids videos wouldn't look like that! 
Jan 31, 2008 03:55 AM
Eric Daigle
Daigtech - Tewksbury, MA

I'm very happy that this post helped a lot of people. Please feel free to post any questions you may have when it comes to filming and or editing your video. I'm here to help you on behalf of 



Daigtech Videography

Jan 31, 2008 01:18 PM
Jan Wood
None - Gallatin, TN
Martin:   I haven't taken the leap to video yet.  I am still using the camera and tweak with another software program so that it resembles a video.  I getting the urge though after reading your post.  Congratulations on your feature!
Feb 02, 2008 02:30 AM
Boston, MA

Christy - Ah shaky childhood videos.... I think almost all of us had them!  My dad tried to film footage going down rapids on a rafting trip.  Almost made us all sick!

Eric - Thanks!!!  You have been very helpful.

Jan - You can do it!!!!  Take the leap!!!

Feb 04, 2008 07:25 AM
Jay Groccia - Boston, MA

My feeling is this: If you don't have access to a crew that can properly light the home, sound people that can make the audio perfect and mad shooting skills, your video will do more harm than good.

In addition to my architectural and portrait work, I work on films as the Still Photographer and see just how difficult it is to get nice, clean motion when moving the camera. The rigging is expensive, laborious to set up, and nothing works as well as a REAL Steadicam(r) rig or a Kenyon Labs camera stabilization rig.

 Quality still photographs that are expertly lit, composed and properly edited can be used to create a very compelling presentation that will really get a viewer excited about visiting the home. 

Here are some examples:

Colonial Home 

Granite Manor 

Tudor Mansion 


If you really need to shoot video, put the camera on a tripod - a GOOD tripod - the $30 ones wiggle way too much.

A final thought

My philosophy on real estate photography is this: The camera doesn't make the photograph, the photographer makes the photograph. There is no substitute for experience and skill and shooting your own photos is about the same as a homeowner popping a For Sale sign on their front lawn.

Nearly every house that I photograph was staged by a professional staging company and then I'm brought in to capture it.  

Feb 11, 2008 12:29 AM
Dave Sullivan
Real Estate One - Birmingham, MI
Michigan Realtor with an investor viewpoint

nice Job Dave I love the Video tour no need to drive all over it must save you a ton of time fyi I like the google editor for brighting my videos... 

Jun 04, 2012 03:30 AM