I have onset of Parkinson’s, so I have bad hand tremors. Do any round the neck, eye level supports exist which can help me stop camera shakes?

This would be for a bridge (superzoom) style camera with a normal tripod thread.

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    PSA: when answering this question, please try and describe the solution that exists rather than just saying "buy X from Y", as those type of answers have limited value to future readers. For more details, see this excellent answer on Meta. Specific product links may be okay if used as an example of a class of product that is available, but should not be the main content of any answer. – Philip Kendall Aug 28 at 16:41
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    Hi Steve, interesting question. But as written, it's a bit open-ended. Can you edit your question, addressing the following questions: what type of photography do you do, or that you hope such a device might help with? That is, are you primarily interested in general walkabout/"vacation" photographs, or with a superzoom, are you primarily a zoomed-in bird spotter, or plane spotter, etc.? The canonical camera support device is a tripod, or at least a monopod. If those don't help in your situation, why not? – scottbb Aug 28 at 20:36
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    These types of questions, and accompanying answers, often contradict physiology. Please expand specifically on the nature of your symptoms (bradykinesia, tremor, balance, gait, etc), along with whether and how they affect your photography. Specifically how is tremor hindering you? And do you exhibit any balance and stability difficulties? PD has a resting tremor, which should be absent when actively using your muscles, such as when operating the camera. – xiota Aug 31 at 6:58

If your tremors are too severe for existing Image Stabilization systems to compensate, you might want to look into having something made, since I don't know of an existing device such as you describe.

Start with the devices musicians sometimes use to hold a harmonica while they play a guitar with their hands -- those will give you the correct type of body support. To that, you'll add a platform in which the tripod screw can mount. A spacer may be needed to raise the eyepiece to the correct height. You may need to extend the support to run further down your chest (to offset the leverage of the camera's weight compared to a relatively light harmonica), and would likely find it helpful to have an adjustable strap behind your neck to provide the other end of the lever arm.

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  • @xiota Parkinson's doesn't always manifest as resting tremors. Atypical Parkinson's can be similar to essential tremors, which manifest as tremors when trying to perform tasks. – scottbb Aug 29 at 3:58
  • Parkinsonian tremor is a resting tremor. It is absent when actively engaged, such as when operating a camera. The greater issues are rigidity and bradykinesia, which can lead to core instability. The devices described are unlikely to be helpful since they depend on core stability to function. – xiota Aug 29 at 6:10
  • @scottbb Atypical (multi-system atrophy) and secondary (drugs, tumors, etc) Parkinsonism are distinct from Parkinson Disease. In such cases, OP would be in need of improved diagnostic accuracy, since the question specifically states "Parkinson's Disease". – xiota Aug 29 at 6:15
  • @xiota the question isn't asking about Parkinson's or Parkinsonism -- it's asking about a photographic accessory specifically equivalent to hand held operation. I answered that question; no one else has, so far. – Zeiss Ikon Aug 30 at 11:31
  • @xiota The OP clearly states the tremors are shaking the camera. – Eric S Aug 31 at 1:07

Stabilization glove prototype?

I did some Google search about 'mechanical compensating parkinson tremor' which led me to look for 'Wearable Tremor Suppression glove' which led me to http://gyrogear.co/ 'GyroGlove'.
Gyrogear is a company trying to develop a wearable glove which can help to stabilize the tremor. The glove works by using the gyroscopic effect as a stabilizer.
Here is a video that show a prototype https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LbxqNMf97G8
Still, this is not a product that you can buy now... but they say they are working on it.

Other scientific research

From the former research, it seem that there are various scientific papers on the matter, so I hope that someone may come to a practical solution.
Here I list some links to the scientific research I've found:

Try a cinematic camera rig to stabilize the camera

There are a lot of product to stabilize a handheld camera. They are mainly used by videomaker. Maybe you can find something that can suit what you need.

There are various handheld model Google search for 'Camera handheld stabilizer'
There are also shoulder/chest model Google search for 'Camera shoulder stabilizer'

Maybe those could stabilize your tremor.
If something like this could works, probably depend on the speed/almplitude/type of tremor vs. the stabilization capablity of the cinematic rig.

Maybe you could also try a chest/shoulder camera mount, and then click the shutter with a remote control.

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I have had intentional tremors for several years and it is getting worse. I have noticed the time goes by it's more and more difficult to handhold my cameras without help. I've tried different kinds of grips, weights, wrist supports, arm supports, and even handheld gimbals. And as you know, monopods or tripods can be cumbersome or not allowed in some public areas. Here is my last resort: after some bit of research and a couple of opinions from Parkinson's or trimmer sufferers, and a little trial and error, I found that Sony's higher and cameras (a6600 and a7 series) all have 'in-body stabilization' systems. Now combine that with Sony lenses that have OOS optical stabilization feature, And I think you're about as good as it gets. Canon may have an equivalent system but I have not investigated it. And not to promote any special dealership, but I found a Sony alpha 7 Camera with a "OOS" lens For under $1700 by Adorama and BandH How did at the same exact price. As of today (Sept 9, 2020), There was a good price drop by Sony for these cameras. And the only reason why I chose Sony over Canon was that I am already in the Sony system and I've had pretty good success with their products. Extra weights on your camera never will work, they get tiresome so fast, and a gimbal system is best for a video, not for still shots. We can also be grateful for higher ISO ratings that can aid in freezing objects in motion, or hands in motion. If you are traveling, as I do, and take meds for your shakes, remember to plan ahead and maybe you can time is to that you get better results.

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  • General advice is reasonable. Just a few notes... intentional tremors and parkinsonian (resting) tremors are opposite in nature. When you experience tremors is when people with PD wouldn't, and when you don't have tremors, they would. Meds that help your tremors would worsen a parkinsonian tremor. PD also has other symptoms that can be troublesome. For instance, "cogwheeling" can make it difficult to position a camera accurately. It might be mistaken for tremor, and image stabilization wouldn't be helpful. – xiota Sep 11 at 1:54

You could use a mono pod, that will reduce a lot of shaking. They can be quite small and compact when folded down.

What may also help is using a remote shutter (cable or wireless).

A steady cam rig, used for professional handheld video may help. There are several sorts. But I understand some work by adding weights and moving the center of gravity, other work by activly (computer controled) keeping the camera stable.

Finally there is adapting your technique (sorry if you already know this). Put your camera into shutter priority mode and shoot at 1/500 or 1/1000 of a second. This will limit the more dimly lit shots sadly. Using a wider angle lens which can go down to a wider aperture, with good/fast autofocus may help.

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  • Parkinsonian tremor is a resting tremor. It is absent when actively engaged, such as when operating a camera. The greater issues are rigidity and bradykinesia, which can lead to core instability. Monopods will not work well because they depend, at least somewhat, on the stability of the user. Steady cams will not work well because people with Parkinsons develop poor coordination and balance. They have difficulty staying upright, and become prone to falling. Carrying a rig would exacerbate that problem. – xiota Aug 29 at 6:08

Your best bet is appropriate medical treatment to control symptoms. Aside from that, just like everyone else, you should consider a solid tripod. You can also lean against solid objects (trees, walls) to increase your stability.

The tremor in Parkinson Disease is a resting tremor. When you are actively using your muscles, tremor should be absent. Other symptoms include rigidity, bradykinesia (inability to move quickly), micrographia (tiny writing), reduced balance and coordination, tendency to lean forward (and fall over) when walking.

If you have early-onset Parkinson Disease, bradykinesia and rigidity are likely of greater significance than tremors. These could result in both peripheral (arms and legs) and central (core body) instability.

Consequently, the following are unlikely to be helpful:

  • Solutions that primarily address tremor (because tremor is not the primary problem).
  • Solutions that depend on core stability, such as monopods and body braces.
  • Solutions that require carrying rigs around (because of poor balance, coordination, and core stability).

If you have something resembling essential tremor, rather than resting tremor, you may benefit from consulting your neurologist for further explanation. Note that Parkinsonism is distinct from Parkinson Disease, and there are many conditions that can present similarly.

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  • Question does not ask for tripods and the like; seeks "round the neck, eye level supports" for hand-held equivalent photography. – Zeiss Ikon Aug 30 at 11:26
  • @ZeissIkon it's entirely appropriate to answer with other possible suggestions, because often askers don't know the range of tools & techniques available. So a suggestion of tripods, steadicam rigs, etc, could be useful to the OP or other seekers, if their applicability to the situation were explained. My problem with this answer is that it reads a bit patronizing, IMO. – scottbb Aug 30 at 21:52
  • @ZeissIkon These types of questions, and accompanying answers, often contradict physiology. By the time tremor is a significant issue, harnesses will no longer be helpful. Unfortunately, OP does not elaborate on the state of the disease or what other solutions he's tried. Regardless, a solid tripod is the most stable option for photographic use. – xiota Aug 31 at 6:53

You might wish to investigate the professional film making options in this area. There are a number of vest-based ('body mounted') camera stability platforms out there, many now for DSLRs, which have seen use as replacements for dedicated video cameras. Do a quick search for body mounted camera stabilizers or brands like FLYCAM or GlideCam. These are designed specifically to counter body/camera movement so should be of significant help.

Of course if motor control/dexterity becomes an issue, look for a camera system that accepts IR/Bluetooth or wired external triggers, which can make it easier to hit the shutter button without disturbing the camera, as well as put the button in a more comfortable body position.

Good luck and keep on shooting!

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The answers here are quite good and I hope you find value in investigating these venues. In the end a good tripod with a remote shutter release would provide great value. A remote shutter would either be wireless, or it would be wired but the wire would only have limited impact on the tremors that are transmitted to the camera. But for handheld shooting it would offer no solution.

So here's another thought. Not one that truly answers the crux of your question but something I wish to state anyway. Perhaps embrace the tremors. Take the slightly blurred pictures. Your photos are not just the scene you capture, they are an expression of you as a person as well. As tragic as it is, your affliction is part of you. Your photography is an extension of your being. All of us are to some extent limited by our situation in our photography. And it can result in a beautiful insight into our lives. The formidable Ludwig van Beethoven was struck with deafness for much of his life yet continued to compose some of the greatest works of music to grace mankind. Coming to terms with our restrictions and incorporating them into our lives can be powerful.

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