Bogen Modosteady Camcorder Stabilizer
The Bogen Modosteady Camcorder Stabilizer is a 3-in-1 tool for improving video with your pro-sumer camcorder. Based on the counter-balance design similar to other stabilizers, like the pro Steadicam gear, Modsteady is optimized for keeping pans and motion steady as you shoot in a handheld mode. Counter balancing is adjustable through removable plates and the whole thing collapses into a compact package. Depending on how you configure Modosteady it also acts as a shoulder stabilizer or as a tripod for flat surfaces.
My biggest gripe is that Modosteady only handles cameras weighing up to 2 pounds (just under 1kg). The Canon HV20 I use regularly seems like a prime candidate for this device, but it simply couldn't take the weight of my HV20 and WD-43 lens attachment. A $185 price point looks steep if you spent less than $500 on your camera, but you might be surprised at how much better your video will look by using something like Modosteady.
It may be tempting to build your own Steadicam-style stabilizer on a budget, but having tried that, I found Modosteady to be a far more elegant solution with better looking video. For HD camcorder owners, Canon VIXIA camcorders should work great with Modosteady, as will the much smaller Panasonic HDC line of high definition camcorders, but many of the Sony HDR line of high def camcorders may be too heavy. Watch the video here to see all the various modes of Modosteady.