7D + Merlin Steadicam - Page 3 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD

Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD
APS-C sensor cameras including the 80D, 70D, 7D Mk. II, 7D, EOS M and Rebel models for HD video recording.


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 17th, 2010, 05:34 PM   #31
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Steadicam Merlin & Canon 7D (Test Video)

Here you go!


First time test with the Steadicam Merlin and Canon 7D with Canon 10-22 EF-S (mostly set on 10 or 14mm), B+W Rotating Polarizer and Canon 83E lens hood. All shot in Manual at 1080p25 and converted to 720p for quick web uploading.

Video is in 2 parts. Initial test shots in my back garden and then much tougher "running alongside" type shot's as my little girl learns to ride her bike (only her second try at that - did n't she do well!). This part was on Palace Green in front of Ely Cathedral (with some very bemused onlookers...)

You'll see lots wrong with this (very) quick rough edit of these test clips in Final Cut but the odd moment of magic that only a Steadicam can give. You'll spot my sometimes futile attempts to control the Steadicam, including an unplanned shot of the cameraman early on, numerous shots with my shadow/reflection in shot and quite a few pendulum/angle errors etc. But it was great fun and bear in mind was my FIRST TRY (with only an hour's flying experience under my belt with some settings I derived only yesterday). It was also a little breezy today here in England as the volcanic ash cloud heads our way from Iceland!

Music is 'African Hero', a royalty/copyright free purchase from AKM Music.

Whilst I'm sure my Steadicam Merlin settings need improving, I post them at the end of the video as they might prove a suitable start point for anyone with a 7D and Canon 10-22mm. If you have this set-up and have better settings I'd love to know them - thanks!
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 18th, 2010, 06:04 PM   #32
Trustee
 
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: Thousand Oaks
Posts: 1,095
Your certainly getting the hang of it. Nice footage.
Chuck Spaulding is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 03:06 AM   #33
New Boot
 
Join Date: Apr 2009
Location: Greece
Posts: 8
what lense you suggest to have maximum range of focus.?
John Skiadas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 03:22 AM   #34
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Thanks for the encouragement Chuck!

All that was done one handed (because I did not feel confident fast walking/running on uneven ground/risking a trip/heavy fall with camera or more importantly onto my little girl). The manual/DVD clearly states that 2 handed is easier and I'll try that next time. I can see I'm using a little too much over control and need to learn the ever so light touch needed - there is a lovely shot - about 3.40 on - where I'm following her and I keep overcorrecting as she weaves (with the almost inevitable resulting collision course between her and the two blokes walking ahead!)

John, regarding the depth of field, most skilled in the DSLR/Steadicam art (and I certainly don't count myself in that clan yet!) recommend a wide angle focal length of around 20-30mm - I see 24mm mentioned often as the sweet spot. On the crop body 7D (1.6x) this would be a setting of around 15mm on my Canon 10-22mm, the lens that was used here. Many shots were done close to this, mostly 14mm. I set the focus to about 4-5 ft on most shots. F stop was about F8-F9 (yes I know, a bit high but I don't have any neutral density filters yet, just the polariser that cut a little light) with ASA at 100, shutter at 1/50th. This set-up, as you can see, gave a very deep depth of field and so was very forgiving in the practice runs in the film. Extreme wide angle shots (some of the 10mm ones in the film, 16mm effective focal length) obviously give the greatest depth of field but will look very unflattering in any close up facial shots - the unplanned shot of myself early on in the film is a very good example of that!

Hope this helps.
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 19th, 2010, 10:03 AM   #35
New Boot
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Hollywood, CA.
Posts: 16
I am About To Try It!!!

Being that I just got my rig complete for the 7D, I am about to break out my Merlin and give it a whirl. Balancing the thing can be tedious, but with what I have seen, it should be worth the time.
__________________
Thomas L. Phillips - Director/Editor/DP - www.tstreetfilms.com
Canon 7D, Canon 50mm f/1.4, Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8, ULTRAcompact Rig, DFocus V2
Thomas L. Phillips is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 27th, 2010, 06:57 AM   #36
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Hi Thomas. How's it going with the 7D and Steadicam Merlin?

I used my set-up for some non-critical factory shots on a corporate job last week (most of it was shot on my EX3) and, despite the fact that 90% of the stuff was junk (the 7D Merlin stuff that is!) the shots where everything went right/I managed not to screw up looked absolutely stunning - they are in the Rough Cut I've just sent the client this morning - so we'll see what they think! (can't post them as it's currently client confidential).

So, bouyed up with seeing that, after 5 days day & night editing, I took a break this morning (lovely weather here in England!) and tried the 7D & Merlin again with some different settings to see the effect.

Similar type shots to the previous video in my back garden but in this case the settings were:

7D, no strap, Std Canon battery in it.
Canon 10-22mm set on 10mm,
B+W Circular Slim Polariser
In Full Manual at 100 ISO this needed about F8.0 at 1/50th shutter speed (for 25fps PAL) because it's a nice sunny day - I don't have any ND filters yet.
Canon EW-83E lens hood
Merlin Plate hole M (i.e. battery compartment accessible)
Merlin Plate at +2
1 Start and 1 Mid weight at the Elbow
3 Mid and 1 End weight at the end of the Spar
Re-trimmed to level - took 2 minutes max! L/R Blue Thumbwheel still over to almost the extreme right and Front/Back Blue Thumbwheel forward of centre - but not as far as is needed with my first posted set-up.
Spar unmoved at 12.5 inches - for now.

This set-up is surprisingly a lot heavier to hand hold, especially one handed, but at times seems much more stable so I may try a few times with this to see if it's a better way to go. Starting to get the hang of two handed and the 'oh so light' touch needed but still a long way to go.

If I get time I'll post another short clip in the next day or so...my wife will be horrified as all our washing is hanging out to dry in the back garden and "features".
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2010, 03:30 PM   #37
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
I've got some Steadicam work coming up Wednesday and Friday, so I thought it would be a good opportunity to try it out with the 7D. I have the Merlin with the arm/vest package.

I worked with it for 2-3 hours and never could get it balanced properly. I get a good balance and I get way too much yaw as well as fore and aft movement. I think one problem is that the camera body is so light and my lens is so heavy (16-50 Tokina f2.8) that my balance is moved all the way to the extreme just to get rid of the nose heaviness. If I had something like that Zeiss 18mm, it might be better. Widest angle prime I have is 35mm and that won't do for my shoot.

So I went back to the XH A1. Took me about 15 minutes to rebalance everything. When I get more time I'll try out that setting above and a lighter lens and see what happens. For the upcoming shoot I'll stick with the XH A1 for Steadicam work.

The Tokina lens is probably as heavy or heavier than the Canon 17-55 S lens. This experience today made me lust after that Zeiss 18mm even more.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 3rd, 2010, 08:35 PM   #38
Trustee
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Pembroke Pines, Fl.
Posts: 1,842
Like Bill, I haven't had much luck with my rig either. I have an Indicam, which works great with my A1, but not with the 7D. I get it balanced ok, but the minutest movement makes it jitter and creates that "boating" effect (yaw?).
On another thread, Charles Papert reccomended more weight up top, but I haven't figure out the solution yet.
Bruce Yarock
Bruce S. Yarock is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 4th, 2010, 10:23 AM   #39
Contributor
 
Join Date: Jan 2003
Location: Kansas City, MO
Posts: 4,449
Back in my 2/3" camera days I had a Hollywood Lite (now marketed by Varizoom, about $6500). I bought it for use with a DSR500, but occasionally I wanted to use it with a lighter weight camera, a DSR250. When I bought it, direct from the manufacturer, I gave him the weight of the 250 and he cut me a bolt-on plate that sat on the rig's top plate and, in effect, made the 250 weigh the same as the 500. I think that's what I need for the Steadicam. I don't know if they have anything like that or if I might be able to come up with something on my own. A simple plate with some 2/4"-20 threaded holes ought to work. I weighed the 7D with lens and battery and it's right at 4 pounds. The XH A1 with what I have mounted on it is just over 7 pounds. So about a 3 pound weight should work.

I haven't given up on it yet, but my second thought was that using a smaller chip camera on the Steadicam is a lot easier then the 7D if you don't have a wireless follow focus setup and focus puller. Also, the tilt LCD is better for the Merlin, which doesn't allow for a monitor. My Steadicam shots are always so different from whatever comes before and after that I can get by with the quality difference.
Bill Pryor is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2010, 11:42 AM   #40
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Canon 7D and Steadicam Merlin (My 2nd Test Video)

This is where I'm at with this.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odznQorFctU

Shot a few hours ago on a glorious hot Saturday afternoon, this is my second time out really testing the Steadicam Merlin and Canon 7D with Canon 10-22 EF-S (set on 10mm), with a Tiffen 0.9 ND filter and Canon 83E lens hood. All shot in Full Manual at 1080p25 and converted to 720p for quick web uploading after a very quick edit in FCP using ProRes files ex Compressor.

Shots of my little girl riding around (on her scooter this time) on Palace Green in front of Ely Cathedral. Second half of the video is a long run (and I mean run!) down the obstacle course that is Ely High Street/through part of the Market as she goes to meet one of her friends. This part of the video is basically unedited so you can see exactly how my Steadicam set-up behaves, warts and all. Despite the fast pace as I try to keep up with her, I managed to (more or less!) keep control of it as we both weaved through the crowds. I'm pretty pleased with how the Market place bit came out at the end of the video in particular.

Unlike my first Steadicam test video (see earlier in this thread), most of this was done with both hands on the Merlin. I'm starting to get the hang of the ever so light touch needed to guide the camera direction - still lots of practice required though. Whilst I'm sure my Steadicam Merlin settings need improving, I again post them at the end of the video as they might prove a suitable start point for anyone with a 7D and Canon 10-22mm. I've experimented with other Steadicam set ups (more weights etc.) but have gone back to these settings, the same ones used in my first test video. Music is 'Green Light Alternative', a royalty/copyright free purchase.

Lot's I'm still not happy with/trying to improve on but it's just starting to come together. It's going to take a lot of practice before I'll be totally happy with it...good job I like challenges!
__________________
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2010, 12:30 PM   #41
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Andy:

The old saying "you have to learn how to walk before you can run" is never more appropriate than with Steadicam.

While it's undoubtedly fun to run down the street chasing someone with a stabilizer, the basics of control are best learned with more methodical practice without a subject. The "line dance", where you run a length of tape or chalk along the ground and walk towards/away from an x at a slow and controlled speed, will allow you to develop the basics of control as you have much more opportunity to focus on the nuances. Yes, it's boring and repetitive, but it's critical for the beginning of your journey.

If you can master the slow and steady walk, you will find the other stuff will fall into place.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old May 22nd, 2010, 01:27 PM   #42
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Location: Cambridge UK
Posts: 2,835
Thanks Charles for the excellent advice.
__________________
Andy K Wilkinson - http://www.shootingimage.co.uk
Cambridge (UK) Corporate Video Production
Andy Wilkinson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 21st, 2010, 08:57 AM   #43
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2009
Location: Norwich, Norfolk, UK
Posts: 3,445
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy Wilkinson View Post
I used my set-up for some non-critical factory shots on a corporate job last week (most of it was shot on my EX3) and, despite the fact that 90% of the stuff was junk (the 7D Merlin stuff that is!) the shots where everything went right/I managed not to screw up looked absolutely stunning
Be careful! Playing golf is supposed to be addictive because every so often even the biggest duffer is able to hit a brilliant shot by accident. So ever afterwards he thinks "If I could only get a bit more consistency & hit the ball like that every time then I could soon be giving Tiger Woods a run for his money" Likewise with the Steadicam because every so often when you manage to get it balanced just right & there is no wind & you are travelling in the direction that the Steadicam wants to point then you think "If I could only get a bit more consistency & fly the Steadicam like that every time then I could soon be giving Charles Papert a run for his money"

I actually got my Merlin out the other day & was surprised at how easy it was to balance & fly with my Canon 5DII & 24mm F1.4L lens. It was much easier than with my Canon XH-A1 & not only because it is lighter & easier on the arm & back but because the camera is more compact & the weight more evenly distributed so the rig balances much easier. Now if I could only get a bit more consistency...:-)
Nigel Barker is offline   Reply With Quote
Old June 21st, 2010, 10:08 AM   #44
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Well, at the point at which you do achieve consistency and produce great results every time, you have indeed arrived! (and thank you Nigel for comparing me to Tiger Woods, but in comparison I've still got plenty of duffer in me...plus I don't have quite as many stripper mistresses).

The Merlin is in some ways the hardest Steadicam to master--such a light touch is required. Those of us who are used to much heavier (=inert) rigs tend to have a hard time mentally dialing down to the featherlight control needed with that setup.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old July 6th, 2010, 05:21 PM   #45
New Boot
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 14
Just wanted to chime in regarding the 7D and Steadicam Merlin. I own both, and have been able to balance it fairly well! Flying it is another story but...

anyway, I use the 7D with a Canon 17-55mm. I noticed that it was easier for me to balance this lens, which is considerably heavy and long, rather than my 50mm 1.4. I dont know why, but the extra weight seems to keep me much more balanced.

Here's the requisite Steadicam Merlin test with the setup listed above... just remember, I never said I was any good!


Nik

PS - Help, I'm new to embedding. Not sure why the video isn't appearing!
Nik Kuo is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon EOS Crop Sensor for HD

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 01:29 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network