I do get that this is a stupid amount of work to put into improving the video quality of a cell phone, that fact didn't escape me as the nerd haze descended over my eyes, and I started sawing and drilling. But my precious iPhone 4 demanded to get a fair shot at being a real camcorder, and I think it rose to the challenge admirably.
I know that Tiffen is coming out with an iPhone steadicam sometime soon, but that's likely to costs hundreds of dollars, and doesn't come with a modified Nerf gun handle, which I think is a big design oversight. Besides, it's more fun to build these kinds of frivolous things yourself. All you need for this $30-$40 worth of parts from Home Depot and your local skate shop, and thick enough skin to actually take this thing out in public. I've included an instructional video below, as well a short demonstration I did. Keep in mind when watching that you still need to learn how to use a steadicam to get the most out of it.
DIY Instructional Vid:
And just in case the quality sucks on the YouTube version, here's a Vimeo link to the demo video:
iPhone 4 Steadicam from Spencer Watson on Vimeo.
Let me know in the comments if you want more detail on how to build one yourself. If you're looking for parts for it I put them in my Video and Rigging section of my store (the link is toward the top right of the page). And if anyone knows the names of those Portland skaters in the demo vid please let me know so I can update the videos with the credit they very much deserve.
And for the record, I'm not claiming to have invented anything here. So a huge thank you to all the people who posted great instructions on making the different parts. I'll try to post some credits soon, until then hit up Google and YouTube for more great instructions.
And thanks very much Gizmodo, CrunchGear and Make for featuring this How To. I hope people have fun trying this for themselves (and probably making mine look like crap in comparison).