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Old December 14th, 2008, 01:01 PM   #1
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Other ways of mounting the 5D?

It seems with such a small camera there should be other ways to mount/hold the camera other than

1) On a tripod - video or still, rails or not
2) On shoulder with rails

For documentary I like the still camera look, as it draws less attention. (Can I be on Teee Veee?) But is there some way to not use the tripod and not make the setup huge with a rail shoulder mount?
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Old December 14th, 2008, 01:54 PM   #2
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For stealth shooting, use the Manfrotto monopod that has feet that spring out the bottom. You can even mount a small fluid head on it.

Otherwise, all the same ways you can run a video camera apply. Do whatever you want with it, it's small and light, there's a ton of opportunities.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 01:07 AM   #3
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It's not totally stealthy, but doesn't scream VIDEO either... the SteadyTracker reduces camera shake by increasing the moment of inertia. My son owns one and we've used it a lot.

The SteadyTracker has three benefits (I have no ties to the company, BTW):
* It helps stabilize passively by increasing the moment of inertia,
* When properly adjusted (a one time deal), it puts your hand at the center of balance, and
* It lets you set the camera down on the ground, like a short tripod.

SteadyTracker UltraLite™

You could also build one yourself. It's basically a fixed camera mount that can slide fore/aft for balance, a vertical rod (about a meter long), a couple of cross bars at the bottom with small weights at the ends, and a padded disc that goes above your hand, when properly balanced.

We've found that with practice, you can set it on the ground for a low shot, then pick it up smoothly to follow the action.

They've got larger models, but the UtraLite would be the right choice for this camera.

Later this week my son will come down, and we'll mount the 5D MkII to the thing to see how it does.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 03:11 PM   #4
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Jon, let us know how it works with the 5D. I have been considering a steadicam.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 06:34 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Don Miller View Post
Jon, let us know how it works with the 5D. I have been considering a steadicam.
My son will drive down on Tuesday - and my 70-300 IS lens arrives on Wednesday. :) I'll give a report, if not some footage.
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Old December 15th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #6
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One steadicam/glidecam limitation off the top of my head would be that many zooms out there extend when you change the focal length, which would completely destabilize the rig.
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Old December 16th, 2008, 12:00 AM   #7
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many zooms out there extend when you change the focal length, which would completely destabilize the rig.
You're right about the physics. How often do you zoom a lot when you're using a stabilizer?
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Old December 16th, 2008, 01:34 AM   #8
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Yeah, I didn't really mean zoom during the take, but the inconvenience of having to balance the thing each time you choose a different focal length. :) Plus, some zooms have weak zoom rings and will extend/collapse by themselves if tilted.

Having said that, I do own a glidecam and definitely plan on trying it with the 5d soon :) (using primes and no neckstrap)
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 01:23 PM   #9
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update?

Hi, did anyone end up testing out the mk II with the glidecam, steadytracker or other stabilizer? Definitely curious about the results. Thanks.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 02:25 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Krishna Narayanamurti View Post
Hi, did anyone end up testing out the mk II with the glidecam, steadytracker or other stabilizer? Definitely curious about the results. Thanks.
I've used my 5D MK II with a steadicam merlin. I haven't done a lot of shooting with the merlin but I managed to get acceptable results. It's probably better to use it with prime lenses but you can get it balanced with a tele if you want. If you wish to use a specific focal length besides the end points on your tele, you may want to "lock" that point with some gaffer tape or something because the balance is so delicate.

Also, I normally keep a battery grip on my 5D because I'm accustomed to shooting with my 1D bodies and it's more comfortable for my large hands. You pretty much have to remove the battery grip to use the steadicam merlin. It's not a gigantic deal unless you're switching around a lot.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 03:09 PM   #11
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Originally Posted by Krishna Narayanamurti View Post
Hi, did anyone end up testing out the mk II with the glidecam, steadytracker or other stabilizer? Definitely curious about the results. Thanks.
We had planned to do an analysis, similar to our Shutter video, but never got around to it.

FWIW, we did two steadytracker shots in The Last Outpost. ~ The Murder of Dirk Snowglobe - Article: Short Film "The Last Outpost" Released ~ The shot of the cold hands, and the one just before it used the device.

These aren't ideal, as my son was filming while walking in foot deep snow! The over the shoulder shot is pretty wild, but the hand shot is fairly controlled, considering the circumstances. Both were with 50mm lenses.

Sorry, that this was not a better test. Having a camera operator walk in deep snow is about as bad as it gets.
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Old January 23rd, 2009, 03:16 PM   #12
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You can see a video here of the 5D2 on a HandyMan Camera Stabilizer

EOS 5D MKII & ABC HandyMan on Vimeo
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