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Old May 27th, 2009, 01:50 PM   #1
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need stabilization help....

I'm in need of some help, hopefully someone will be able to point me in the right direction. I'm looking for a way to stabilize my 5d for hand held shoots. I've been looking for either a shoulder mounted rig or a steady/glide cam of some sorts. I'm wondering what other people have found to work well with the 5d. I'd say I'm more on the budget end of the spectrum but would probably spend $200 to $400 on a setup. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated. Thanks
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Old May 27th, 2009, 10:18 PM   #2
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good question.
I have a glidecam 4000
but it's too heavy for long use (I had a vest a few years back and sold it as it was too cumbersome, but it might be the way to go)

I just got a Hoodman Loup and it helps stabilizing it with my eye a bit

I also use a monopod sometimes and this can help carrying

haven't found a perfect solution


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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:21 AM   #3
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No one method is ideal & finding the perfect solution within your budget will be difficult.

A decent steadicam is expensive, needs a lot of practice & is great for that smooth flying steadicam look but really cannot be used for general video work.

A monopod is fantastic for stills & while it takes away the shaking of hand-held video it is still difficult to keep it perfectly still. It will not look like either a hand-held shot or a tripod shot. It can work if there is movement as panning can be done smoothly. Again it isn't the solution for every shot.

Some sort of shoulder mount is going to be of most use to you it is after all what professional broadcast cameramen have been using for years. You can get these quite cheaply & even home made mounts are possible. The more points of contact with your body the better anything to get away from holding the camera at arms length in both hands while looking at the screen.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:45 AM   #4
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Some sort of shoulder mount is going to be of most use to you it is after all what professional broadcast cameramen have been using for years. You can get these quite cheaply & even home made mounts are possible. The more points of contact with your body the better anything to get away from holding the camera at arms length in both hands while looking at the screen.
I built myself a shoulder rig, but even that needs practice. I can stand and turn, but when I walk it's all ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump...

I think a SteadyTracker-type approach is better for walking. Also, you can turn it upside-down and walk it through the grass. Sure, it's not a SteadyCam, but it's affordable and more flexible than dollies, sliders, and jibs.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 12:45 AM   #5
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check out

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Old May 28th, 2009, 02:22 AM   #6
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I built myself a shoulder rig, but even that needs practice. I can stand and turn, but when I walk it's all ba-dump, ba-dump, ba-dump...
The OP didn't mention walking just hand held:-).

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jon Fairhurst View Post
I think a SteadyTracker-type approach is better for walking. Also, you can turn it upside-down and walk it through the grass. Sure, it's not a SteadyCam, but it's affordable and more flexible than dollies, sliders, and jibs.
That looks interesting as a monopod with a rigid foot so that it is self-supporting. However they make some extravagant claims for how great it is & better than a Steadicam JR or GlideCam 4000. Leaving aside the fact that the JR has been replaced by the Merlin the SteadyTracker costs only a fraction of either the Steadicam or Glidecam. Is it really that good for just $185?

Last edited by Nigel Barker; May 28th, 2009 at 06:44 AM.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 06:39 AM   #7
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Stabilization For 5DMK2

As the camera has no included stabilization your support options are limited. Hand held is possible with the addition of a mono pod. This combination is further assistance by bracing yourself against a fence rail, pole, lamp post, building, tree, any thing that's rock solid. Pan shots with this set up will only be fair.

My standard routine, a light weight trekker type tripod with fluid head. I mount camera, set the pod partially extended with legs folded in. I would then pick up the rig, and walk off. When I find a video opportunity, I place the thing down on the best available foundation, and go to work.

For a wobble cam effect, try a shoulder brace. No need to purchase an expensive trendy brand, the budget model out of India is fine, as both yield about the same result .... very average.

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Old May 28th, 2009, 06:45 AM   #8
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I have used the Fig Rig with the mk2 and it works very well. It is easy to view the lcd screen. It can be used in many different ways.

It is also good for mounting extra mike/recorder light etc.

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Old May 28th, 2009, 08:10 AM   #9
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It's outside the $400 budget but the 24-105mm F/4L IS USM lens that came with my wife's 5D does have a stabiliser & this makes hand-held shooting much, much easier.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 08:37 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
It's outside the $400 budget but the 24-105mm F/4L IS USM lens that came with my wife's 5D does have a stabiliser & this makes hand-held shooting much, much easier.
+1 I'm glad the forum members talked me into adding this to the kit when I bought the 5D2. There is a significant difference with an IS lens.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 08:41 AM   #11
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...the SteadyTracker costs only a fraction of either the Steadicam or Glidecam. Is it really that good for just $185?
It's not perfect, but definitely better than handheld, and more free-form than a shoulder rig. Personally, I think it's easier to learn than a Merlin or other gimbal-based solution.

The SteadyTracker works by simply increasing the polar moment of the system. It doesn't remove your unwanted motion, but it damps it. You still have to work at being smooth, but I find it to be fairly natural - you just hold a pole and move it. With a gimbal solution, you hold the handle and use your other hand to delicately point the camera. Two problems here: that "delicate" thing needs to be learned, and you just moved your hand from the focus control.

Actually, that's a challenge for a one-man shoot with the SteadyTracker as well. With a normal camcorder, you can hold the SteadyTracker with one hand, and the other operates the controls. Focus isn't critical, and you can extend your arm and control the zoom. With the 5D, if you want a hand on the lens - and if you want to use a loupe - you need to hug the thing, and your legs will likely bump into the lower supports - at least on the long version that I homebuilt. As I recall, the small version of the SteadyTracker drops down around the level of the hips, so it's not prone to kicking.

Maybe I'll build a prototype that is shaped like a partial hoop skirt somehow. It would have a high polar moment, let you hold it at the center of gravity, and would let you hug the camera without bumping the rig when walking/moving...

The biggest challenge for builders is that we need a plate that slides left/right and fore/aft, as well as a grab-point that slides up/down. You adjust all these aspects to balance it (which isn't hard.) They make a garage-version more of a challenge - and makes the official version's price look even more attractive.
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Old May 28th, 2009, 10:38 AM   #12
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This chap Hans Dampf on Vimeo did this with an ABC Handyman and I have something similar called the uFlyCam from Cine City

EOS 5D MKII & ABC HandyMan on Vimeo

Here's one that someone did with the UFlyCam

test u-flycam with 5d2 on Vimeo

hope this helps.

I'm out and about this weekend to try the UFlyCam for the first time and see if I can get the hang of it.
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Old July 3rd, 2011, 07:05 PM   #13
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Re: need stabilization help....

I am still getting used to shooting handheld with the 24-70

can someone confirm if IS lenses give a noticeable advantage for handheld shots?
I've read they also have cons like IS noise and some people even say IS is not that effective for videos...

I decided to go for the 24-70 over the the 24-105 IS for it's a (much) faster lens and i think it's fabulous , but shooting without any kind of stabilization is trickier than I thought
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Old July 4th, 2011, 03:14 AM   #14
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Re: need stabilization help....

It is possible to handhold the 24-105mm with IS without any sort of rig or shoulder mount. Likewise with the Canon 17-55mm F/2.8 EF-S lens on the crop sensor DSLRS. It's not ideal as your arms get tired after awhile but can be very effective especially if you use the trick of bracing your arms by pulling hard against the strap.
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Old July 4th, 2011, 03:34 AM   #15
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Re: need stabilization help....

thanks. my point is that because I bought the 5D primarily to shoot videos, does the IS on lenses work effectively for that?
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