Shoulder mount or Stabilizer system for shooting Real Estate tours using 5D MkII? at DVinfo.net

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Old May 9th, 2009, 08:37 PM   #1
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Shoulder mount or Stabilizer system for shooting Real Estate tours using 5D MkII?

Would it be better to use a shoulder mount system or a stabilizer like the merlin/glidecam with the 5D MKII for shooting real estate tours similar to that of MTV cribs?

Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


-Frankie
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Old May 9th, 2009, 09:27 PM   #2
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If you want the MTV cribs look you would be better off with a regular video camera and deeper depth of field than the 5dmkII. A steadicam will be OK if you can do a few walk throughs, otherwise i would go for a shoulder rig.

Dan
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Old May 10th, 2009, 02:41 AM   #3
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Are you going to be filming Real Estate Tours or tours of celebrity mansions a la MTV Cribs? I am guessing from the web site in your signature that it's the former. There is a lot of difference. For a start there is an awful lot less room to manoeuvre in a normal house as rooms & corridors are so much smaller. Will you be using someone to present the tour who is in shot or will you be using a voiceover? If it's just a question of following a realtor around while they give their sales presentation then a regular shoulder mount or similar e.g. MultiRig Pro is ideal. Unless you have a skilled Steadicam operator & have time to practise moves then the shoulder mount will be far better.

Another big issue for you will be lighting. If as I surmise the idea is to do quick run'n'gun shoots with minimum prep then you will not want to be lugging lighting rigs around so will have to use ambient light. The 5DII is great for this as you can use good lenses at wide aperture plus there is remarkably little grain even at high ISO however the downside is the shallow depth of field. The 5DIIs DOF is great for arty filmic looks but needs more work to keep in focus what you want to keep in focus.

As Dan says you may be better off with a regular video camera if you want to do a simple realtor walkthrough of the property. However if you aspire to a higher quality more impressionistic & interesting style of property video like those that we are developing then the 5DII is just great.

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Old May 10th, 2009, 05:38 AM   #4
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5d mk ii

I can't imagine doing a real estate property tour with the 5D. It's a great camera and shoots amazing video, but not for this purpose, unless you're just wanting to throw your camera on a tripod and shoot in circles. I would invest in a real video camera.

I would strongly suggest a steadicam. Just panning around a room is definitely better than the old 360 spin around tours, but it really doesn't give much information. People want to see the FLOW of the rooms, how they connect, etc. That can only be accomplished by a legitimate walk through, and that can only be accomplished usually by using a steadicam (unless you want to make people sick). A shoulder mount would probably work, but I don't think you would get quite the same effect.

Last edited by Fred Light; May 10th, 2009 at 05:41 AM. Reason: add sig
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Old May 10th, 2009, 11:42 AM   #5
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Thanks for the comments and informative opinions everyone! Let me share some additional background information to my original post.

My reference to the MTV cribs type of video was to erase the immediate thought of boring panning/360 degree shots which are common and quite frankly boring. The ability to see the interior of a home from a walking eye is much more powerful. - I know Fred Light can attest to this as I have seen his excellent work all over the net.

The reason for using the 5D MKII is to leverage equipment that was already in possession and to reduce the amount of equipment needed to be carried around. I was also challenged to use the 5D MKII for this project. At this time there are no plans to use additional lighting, going to stick with what is available at each location to present a true look and feel.



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Old May 10th, 2009, 12:08 PM   #6
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I'm wondering if a steadycam is really needed if you're using the 16-35mm f/2.8or the 15mm fisheye. The 24mm f/1.4 L would be the best for low light and might benefit from a steadycam, but the wider lenses are much more forgiving. There's a snowboard video on the net where they guy simply holds the fisheye pointing at himself as he goes down the mountain, and it looks great!
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Old May 11th, 2009, 12:48 AM   #7
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Using a Steadicam requires a lot of practice if you are to achieve the smooth 'flying' look rather than the rolling 'drunken sailor' look. The DV Multirig Pro with the shock absorbing support pod is much easier to use than a Steadicam & does allow you to produce very good footage while moving around a house. DV MultiRig

A fisheye is interesting for the occasional effect shot but I think it would look just too weird for filming the whole tour around a property.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 02:27 AM   #8
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Curious

I'm curious Frank, how exactly do you make it a wise investment for a seller to use a Steadicam, a MII, some decent lighting, a DP, a Gaffer, and a grip? Then flip the bill on Post?

That was tried here by a firm and failed.

Just curious.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 07:47 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Miraglia View Post
At this time there are no plans to use additional lighting, going to stick with what is available at each location to present a true look and feel.



-Frankie
Keep in mind if you are only using available light you may need to open your iris quite a bit to get a good exposure. That will cause a low dof which, in turn, isn't conducive to a real estate tour.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 08:02 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
A fisheye is interesting for the occasional effect shot but I think it would look just too weird for filming the whole tour around a property.
Very true. Unless you are making a first person film about a fish!

That said, wider lenses will help somewhat with the shallow DOF problem as well as stability.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 08:13 AM   #11
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I have a Steadicam Merlin and the 5D2... I've used the Merlin with various camcorders and just have to forewarn you that it will look nothing like MTV's Crib. It takes A LOT of practice and even then the Merlin is so light with these smaller cameras that it is difficult to get REALLY smooth shots... And the videos on The Crib are probably shot with professional Steadicam operators. That said, as long as you are willing to invest A LOT of time into learning this skill, it could be very fun and rewarding... Hope this helps some... (I'm no professional, this has been my personal experience with the Merlin...)
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Old May 11th, 2009, 08:15 PM   #12
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To Stabilize 5DMK2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Frank Miraglia View Post
Would it be better to use a shoulder mount system or a stabilizer like the merlin/glidecam with the 5D MKII for shooting real estate tours similar to that of MTV cribs?

Any suggestions or recommendations would be greatly appreciated.


-Frankie
Frankie,

If you are seeking a finished product that looks impressive, the utilization of a light weight professional tripod (Gitzo G1128)with a small quality fluid head ( Miller Junior) would be my choice. The 5dmk2 has the capacity for interiors with minimum light levels, provided it's on a stable platform. My lens choice would be F2.8 16/35 mm, F1.4 50 mm, perhaps a F1.8 80 mm, or a swing tilt could be handy.

For a variety of compositions, use 50 mm with a slow pan, in post combine with a subtle zoom. When panning go both left and right to maintain interest.

The beauty of this combination is light weight, easy to move, quick set up.. A professional result.

Ron.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 08:22 PM   #13
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A little imagination and I think you could get some really great shots with a wide angle lens
and the pocket dolly....

YouTube - Pocket Dolly? Promo
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Old May 11th, 2009, 08:57 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron Coker View Post
...My lens choice would be F2.8 16/35 mm, F1.4 50 mm, perhaps a F1.8 80 mm, or a swing tilt could be handy.

For a variety of compositions, use 50 mm with a slow pan, in post combine with a subtle zoom. When panning go both left and right to maintain interest.
An 85mm is a bit tight. It's great for people, but tight for interior home shots. What I'd recommend instead is a 100mm macro, so you can show fine detail and craftsmanship. Put it on a slider, and you've got dynamic macro shots. It can also work for tight interview shots.

I agree with the 16/35. You might also consider a faster wide, like the 24mm f/1.4 L. Being able to shoot in available light is great, and at 24mm the DOF isn't all that bad.

One caveat on both the Canon and Nikon 50mm f/1.4s is that they have some barrel distortion - and that isn't a good thing with architecture. You'd want your 50mm to give a more neutral look. The Nikon 50mm f/1.8 is a straighter lens. I've read that the Canon 35mm lenses are straight, but I haven't used them.
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Old May 11th, 2009, 09:57 PM   #15
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Another lens you might consider is the Canon 10-22mm
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