Posted 15 February 2011 - 05:11 AM
Depends what you're after.
I watched an action movie yesterday where the gunshots had been spiced up by application of a little camera shake, clearly in post - a very fast, high-frequency judder that would have been hard to do by hand. Alternatively you might be trying to simulate the effect of a moving vehicle, which can, with practice, be done by hand. There are devices which will shake the camera for you, often involving a motor rotating an eccentric weight system. It's not impossible to imagine building something like this in the shed, if that's your thing. I've seen them used in various modes - I think they were used in Saving Private Ryan, with the power to the motors sort of pulsed on and off to give a jagged look to the motion. Then you have to consider your camera settings - Ryan used narrow shutter angles to reduce motion blur and make things look more staccato, which would be particularly visible on whole-frame motion such as camera shake.
The only note of caution with this is that rolling shutter cameras (including DSLRs, and a lot of recent Sony and Canon prosumer gear) can look bad when moved very quickly, with the wobbliness becoming visible - shoot tests.