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Old July 21st, 2009, 09:57 PM   #1
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Shooting at ground level ?

Probably the info's here, but I can't seem to find the right search terms to bring it up...

I'd like to capture some walking shots with the camera at ground level. A "dog's eye (or cat's eye!) view so to speak. Appreciate someone pointing me in the right direction for such a contraption.

Tim
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Old July 21st, 2009, 10:04 PM   #2
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This can be reconfigured to shoot upside down: $14 Steadycam The Poor Mans Steadicam
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Old July 21st, 2009, 10:11 PM   #3
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Hi Tim...............

Can you be a bit more precise in your requirements?

Static? Moving? Variable height?


CS
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Old July 22nd, 2009, 01:28 PM   #4
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Simple -
Monopod, held inverted, flip video in post - if you need or want the cam right side up, you can make a simple "C" bracket or Bogen has an articulating head that can be re-configured to turn the cam right side up. Once you get it balanced (it may tend to swing a bit, but fiddle with using two hands and you should get usable results), the weight of the camera will tend to give you pretty stable shots.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 09:03 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Soucy View Post
Can you be a bit more precise in your requirements?

Static? Moving? Variable height?


CS

Hi Chris,

For example, walking through a garden with the cam parallel and a few inches above the ground. A pet project I'd like to play around with at some wonderful gardens-- vegetable & flowers-- around here.
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 09:09 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
Simple -
Monopod, held inverted, flip video in post - if you need or want the cam right side up, you can make a simple "C" bracket or Bogen has an articulating head that can be re-configured to turn the cam right side up. Once you get it balanced (it may tend to swing a bit, but fiddle with using two hands and you should get usable results), the weight of the camera will tend to give you pretty stable shots.
re. "flip in post". Now why didn't I think of that?! Too easy I guess. [g] I'll have to give this a try with my monopod. Ideally I suppose it would be desirable to have a small monitor at a viewable position as well to be able to see what cam sees when there's not a clear line of sight-- moving through certain vegetation for example.

I can't quite envision how the articulating head you describe would work on the end of a stick? Have to do some more searches.

Thanks for the input!
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Old July 23rd, 2009, 11:24 PM   #7
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It's a Bogen head - mine doesn't seem to have a part # on it, but it has two "knuckles" with knobs - either one will allow the camera platform to invert when you loosen the knob, saving the flip process - and you can usually see the camera LCD when used this way
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Old July 24th, 2009, 05:48 AM   #8
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Mount the camera to a skate board. Roller skates work as well. It just depends on how much "shake" is acceptable for your work.
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Old July 24th, 2009, 12:30 PM   #9
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as soon as you couple the cam to the ground, you'll get the effects of whatever surface your skatebord or whatever is rolling over... thus why dolly rigs usually have rails to assure smooth travel...

AND you can't exactly go "off roading" in flower beds/grass/etc. If you're doing a dog/monkey/kid cam view, you need to be able to go "there" <wink>, and a little bounce or jiggle shouldn't be a problem... The inverted mopopod is surprisingly stable because the weight is at the bottom of the rig, and your arm will take most of the "bounce" out if used carefully (it helps to have a light gait - no stomping and jumping about obviously - the "steadicam glide" should be practiced...).
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Old July 25th, 2009, 09:55 AM   #10
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AND you can't exactly go "off roading" in flower beds/grass/etc. If you're doing a dog/monkey/kid cam view, you need to be able to go "there" <wink>, and a little bounce or jiggle shouldn't be a problem...
Exactly. What with all the rain we've had here lately I'd need an all-wheel-drive skateboard w/ mud tires!

A lot of the searching I did produced a variety of home made type systems. Too often I tend to search places like B&H when a perfectly workable (and much less expensive) system is possible using mostly existing parts.
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Old July 25th, 2009, 10:42 AM   #11
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This is what I use:

Amazon.com: CAM CADDIE CAMERA STABILIZER: Camera & Photo
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Old July 31st, 2009, 05:24 AM   #12
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use a simple bag of pvc or cotton,make a hole for the lens,use tape to fix the lens and walk like shopping(don`t swing).it works great.

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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:13 AM   #13
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Cam Caddie works very well espeically to shoot angle up. I have some sample clips here

L.A. Color Shop Blog | Test Shooting using Cam Caddie
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Old July 31st, 2009, 11:56 AM   #14
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Taky -
Don't know if the cam caddie has a way to move the camera fore and aft, but the general principle of steadying a camera suggests that the closer you get the center of gravity of the rig to optimal for the angle of the shot, the better. Sounds like you're just a tiny bit "tail heavy" as set up - thus it naturally balances a bit "nose up" (better up angle stability). Moving the cam forward a bit should adjust that.

Achieving stability is a "simple" matter of physics, but isn't always obvious how you have to change weight distribution/gravity/mass/inertia...
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Old July 31st, 2009, 12:01 PM   #15
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That was the first time I use the cam caddie, literally the first time. It gets better after more practice. Another thing is, Cam Caddie is more of a handle than a stablizer. I also have a Merlin so I know how steadicam works :)

Cam Caddie works great compared to holding the camera bare, that's for sure.
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