what sort of stabilization for on the go shots? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 6th, 2005, 02:18 PM   #1
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what sort of stabilization for on the go shots?

I have a fairly light setup, vx2k + beachtek box, but i do plan to take a lot of shots on the go. I was looking at this
http://www.adorama.com/PMSTX.html?se...reme&item_no=3

Got info about it from dvcreators.net and they say its a great buy, would you guys recommend something like this? perhaps better? keep in mind, my budget is low, around 300ish USD. Would this do the job? What about the tiffen steady stick ??
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Old May 6th, 2005, 02:31 PM   #2
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If I were you, Id try to find something like a Steadicam JR or a Glidecam 2000. These devices have gimbals, unlike the system on the link. You should be able to find one pretty cheap off ebay.
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Old May 6th, 2005, 02:34 PM   #3
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thanks for the response. Do you guys have any links as to how these things work? I don't quite understand, its just a stick with counterbalances on the bottom? Pls help thanks
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Old May 6th, 2005, 03:03 PM   #4
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Take a look at "THE STABILITY OF BALANCE"
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Old May 6th, 2005, 03:29 PM   #5
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Lots on info about this online.

But the basic idea is that a shake is much more noticable when the camera turns (like a pan or tilt) slightly when bumped, you don't notice as mcuh if you just move the camera a little without turnign it. (try it, look out the window into the distance, take a step to the side (not much change) but turn just a few degrees and what you see changes dramticly.
If you move an object at it's Center or Gravity (CG) then it wont' turn, only move. try picking up a broomstick and hodl it losley at the end, if you move it will tend to swing. but if you move it from the middle (the CG) it wont' tend to swing about.
That's the idea between camera stabilizers. they just use a counterwieght to bring the CG out form teh center of the camera to a point where you can control it.
With a gimble at this point it can eliminate all of the movement of the camera becauase a any turngin will be taken by teh gimble and not transfered to the post.

some furthur reading:
www.howstuffworks.com/steadicam
www.wikipedia.com/steadicam
and the manuals on the www.steadicam.com website -especially the JR manual.

- Mikko
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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:37 PM   #6
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Frankly, Spike, you really won't be happy with either of those devices with a XL2 with a Beachtek box. Way too heavy for the low end units. When you say "on the go," do you mean you want to do tracking shots, ala Steadicam, or can you get by with a good shoulder mount, which is more in line with your budget?

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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:41 PM   #7
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Frankly, Spike, you really won't be happy with either of those devices with a XL2 with a Beachtek box. Way too heavy for the low end units. When you say "on the go," do you mean you want to do tracking shots, ala Steadicam, or can you get by with a good shoulder mount, which is more in line with your budget?

I almost forgot, you might want to take a look at this for the XL2: www.spiderbrace.com Not bad for sixty bucks.

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Old May 6th, 2005, 06:49 PM   #8
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Wayne, I'm using a vx2k!!
what I mean by on the go shots, is:

The host is walking through a busy city. The camera is directed towards the host face, and the camera man is walking backwards with the shot of the host (as host is walking forwards, talking). The shot in view would be starting from the host's head, and cut out about 4 inches below the colar bone. Its more of an upclose and person kind of style. Another example I can think about is following the talent walking through the city. These are just some examples I can think of . However, there are points where we will be indoors and recording segments where chefs are preparing food. So that would include smooth steady movement around the kitchen, etc.

I'm not sure what would best fit thats why i was asking you guys. I'm thinking we need a shoulder mount type deal for on the go footage, and a steady stick, or glidecam for indoors footage? Thanks for the response fellas, i really appreciate it.
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Old May 7th, 2005, 01:33 AM   #9
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Spike,

I have a number of stabilizers going on ebay. Send me an email and I'll let you know about them. I don't want to violate any rules of this forum. I live near Sacramento.

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Old May 8th, 2005, 05:46 AM   #10
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Spike, I have the unit that your link points toward. Since it does not have a true gimbal, it does take some practice to use. It is simple to set the x,y,z balance. The fluid motion for the x and y plane require a skilled operator. I can do it with my xl1 on there, but it is an acquired art.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 01:42 PM   #11
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Spike, here are a few thoughts on what you want to do. Sorry I confused your camera with the XL1, but basically these comments still apply. By the time you add a wide angle lens to the VX2K it probably weighs the same as an XL1.

The shot you describe will be very difficult, if not impossible to execute with any of the devices mentioned, and you may want to rethink your concept. The big problem is being so tite on your subject while walking backwards on a crowded city street. I am wondering why you want to be on a close-up, which will eliminate seeing much of the street scene. To be on a shot this size means either a) you have to zoom in with the wide lens to get that tight, or b) you have to physically move the camera lens to within a few inches of the subject with a wide lens, or c) you have use the normal lens on the VX2K.

When you are learning to use a stabilizer, be it $14 homemade variety or a full-blown Steadicam, you want to use a wide lens which will help disguise some of the unwanted movement in your shots. As you gain skill, you can use longer lenses, but this takes quite a bit of practice, and also depends on the sophistication of the device. So for now, the best suggestion for you would be to use a wide angle adapter on your VX2K. You do have one don't you? If you use the normal lens, all the camera movement will be underlined, even using the optical stabilizer, which you should do.

The weight factor. Using the device that Jimmy mentions, with your camera, will give you a total weight of at least ten pounds. Think you can walk backwards with your arm bent at the elbow holding a device that weighs ten pounds while keeping a camera framed in a close-up on your subject? For how long? Try this. If you have a brief case available, fill with stuff till it weighs around ten pounds. Now hold it with your arm bent at the elbow, with the briefcase perpendicular to the ground (versus parallel as is normal). Now try walking around this way for awhile. How long can you hold it under control in this position? Each time it gets heavier, and your hold time gets shorter. This will give you an idea what you are in for when your talent blows a take, or you trip over a curb. BTW, when walking backwards you are extremely vulnerable to hazzards that could put you in physical danger, so you need a "spotter." That person will lead you by holding on to you and alert you to upcoming problems, like that curb. Also, hopefully keep people from bumping into you.

My suggestion is to use some sort of shoulder mount device, a wide angle lens, loosen your shot, turn on optical stabilization, and go for it (after lots of practice). Sure, the shot won't be rock-steady, but it should be quite usable, and with interesting things to see in the frame with the wider shot, the viewer won't be distracted by the camera movement. And you will be able to do as many takes as required.

My final suggestion is to RENT the gear, if at all possible. And try it out at the rental house to see if you think it will really do what you want it to do, with some practice.

Good luck. Let us know how it turns out.

Wayne Orr, SOC
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Old May 8th, 2005, 01:47 PM   #12
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thanks for that information. Puts everything into perspective. I dont' have a wide angle as of now, am looking into it. As for shoulder mounts, any recommendations? Should I just look through BH photovideo's shoulder mount section and pick one that'll fit me/my camera?

I'm thinking a combo of shouldermount + a glidecam will be the best. THanks for your input, really helped.
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Old May 8th, 2005, 02:53 PM   #13
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Hi Spike,

I agree with Wayne.

The shots you described that needs lots of practise even for thousands of dollars stablizer setup. And these shot were initially what Steadicam invented for in 70s.

>>Another example I can think about is following the talent walking
>>through the city.

I made a video several days ago which I think will match your description. Only need to add a talent in front of the lense. ;-)

wmv format
file size around 92mb

http://www.salenz.com/movie/2005_5_1.wmv

Regards
Leigh
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Old May 8th, 2005, 06:29 PM   #14
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Bloody hell Leigh, 92mb!!!!!!

COMPRESS!!!
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Old May 8th, 2005, 07:09 PM   #15
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Leigh, I don't think you are listening to what everyone has been telling you about keeping your video to reasonable size. You have to, otherwise people won't be bother to look at your video clips any more. 92mb is outragious
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