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Old March 8th, 2004, 09:20 PM   #1
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GL2 Stabilization??

I plan on shooting fast boats from a moving boat with my GL2, I have the Variszoom shoulder brace, but have recently heard this actually is more for a comfort than stabilization factors(after purchase ,Ofcourse), Does anyone have any other suggestions that might help in this situation, I understand that most of the factors will center around water conditions and boat smoothness and I have nearly eliminated both those factors but I still NEED MORE STABILITY!!
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Old March 8th, 2004, 09:56 PM   #2
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Welcome Mario,
Spend some time doing a "Search" in this forum on this topic. I recall a thread on the subject perhaps a year ago.

Your alternative will be something like a Glidecam or a Steadicam. Even so, the effectiveness of inertial stabilizers such as these will be limited in choppy water.
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Old March 8th, 2004, 11:30 PM   #3
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Thanks Ken

I appreciate you taking your time for a newbie!
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Old March 11th, 2004, 01:25 AM   #4
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Hi Mario, the only thing that works for me when shooting moving objects as I am mooving is my steady cam jr. your gl is just under 3 lbs. and would work fine. the cost for the steady or glide cam seems a little much but the footage you will get is awesom. I snow ski while videoing my kids snowboarding and we are able to bring it home at night and watch with out that sick feeling you get when trying to just hand hold the cam. Either way it sounds like fun. TL
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Old March 11th, 2004, 02:04 AM   #5
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You need a gyroscope.

Fastly rotating mass will not change its inclination easily and will thus maintain level and achieve stabilization.

I would suggest you do a "camera stabilization" + "boat" search using Google, for example.

This was the first hit it returned:

http://www.motionpicturemarine.com/hydrogyro.html

Good stabilization is not cheap.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 10:31 AM   #6
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Thanks for the info,

I'm currently looking into both of the obove options, thanks Ralf and Terry I will let you know witch one I went with and how it turned out.
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Old March 11th, 2004, 10:55 AM   #7
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Mario,

Also worth a quick peak...we've done a couple custom gyro-based sleds:

http://www.glidecam.com/gyro-ks4.html

http://www.glidecam.com/gyro-ks8.html
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Old June 13th, 2007, 12:49 AM   #8
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Tease

If you are going to add links to the gear how about adding links to the footage so we can see what it does, even the Quicktime movie on Kenyon labs website does not work!
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Old June 13th, 2007, 01:33 AM   #9
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Both of those gyro rigs were custom builds for customers....they are not a regular product we stock and sell, as such any demo video would have to come from those using it in the field. I too would love to have some of the footage to put on the website.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 01:27 PM   #10
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The rigs that Casey links to are actually quite a smart setup to do boat-to-boat shooting (assuming handheld manueverability is necessary) for several reasons. Although the body-pod won't eliminate vertical bounce like a traditional arm (Smooth Shooter etc), this is actually an advantage when shooting in a boat because the water swells cause the arm to pogo substantially as it attempts to level out the waves, which doesn't improve the shot significantly but makes the rig that much harder to handle. The weight of the gyros would make any handheld rig unwieldy to hold, hence the fixed-suspension bodypod.

The gimbal is the real key to making this type of photography work--keeping the horizon level requires the full three axes of isolation. An old-school setup for this sort thing involved a massive pendulum that hung below a gimbal on the tripod that used inertia to maintain a certain amount of level. Current technology used for high-end shooting use three-axes stabilized heads that actively dial out the pitch of the waves (which may incorporate gyro technology).

The Kenyans are still in use in the high-end Steadicam and photography world, but they are essentially the same technology that they have been since they were introduced in the 60's, and are thus pretty inefficient. As you can see, they run on AC and require an outboard inverter which makes them exceptionally power-hungry; they also require 5 minutes to come up to speed and they whine (not an issue for boat shooting of course). It's really a shame that no company has come up with a modern-day version that are more efficient/lighter. And of course they are not cheap either, particularly in the realm of small format video. But they will go a long way in adding needed inertia to this lightweight rig, which is the critical weapon when used in the brutal wind conditions of high speed boat to boat work.

As an alternative, you might try a heavy-duty windblock around the rig--possibly even a large lucite box. You'll still be vulnerable where the box is open to the elements of course. Another trick is to use something like Antlers, where a horizontal pole with weights at the end is attached to the rig, expanding the intertia substantially. This has a similar effect to gyros and weighs about the same, but without the power issues. For a relatively fixed setup like this it is less likely to get in the way physically than it might under normal shooting conditions (banging into the operator when panning).
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