Newton and small video cameras

Just to be clear, Newton probably didn't have a portable video camera. I do. I have one of these Flip Mino pocket cameras. Very nice. You can put it in your pocket. However, there is a problem with cameras like these (think of video from camera phones). The problem is the mass, it is too small.

Video from a camera phone or small portable camera looks too jerky (unless you are careful). Sometimes it is jerky to the point that it makes me feel barfy. The reason this happens is that with a small mass, a force can cause a significant acceleration. Let me draw a picture (you know I like to do that):


You can fix this problem. Try taping your camera phone to something with a large mass and making a video. With a large mass, you just can't make it jerky (but don't drop the phone). Of course, the trick I use is to prop my elbows against my torso. This effectively makes my whole body the mass of the camera. Also remember to pan slowly.

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