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Canon GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon GL2, GL1 and PAL versions XM2, XM1.


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Old January 17th, 2003, 05:17 PM   #1
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How to hold my GL2/XM2?

Hi everyone,

I hope some people can give me some advice about how to hold this camera. I always use both hands (it's to heavy with only one hand), but after 10 minutes of filming, (standing stil) the camera, get's very heavy.

It's not always possible for me to use a tripod, so maybe someone kan give me some tips how to hold this camera for a long time.

The second question is somehow the same as the first.
When filming with steadyshot on, I get nice results, but after looking some results of other people on this forum (who don't always use a tripod) I see that they've got much stabiler movies.

So how to hold this camera (without a tripod) to get the most stable pictures?

Greetings from the Netherlands

Gabriel
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Old January 17th, 2003, 06:02 PM   #2
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Bottom line: Practice, Practice, Practice.

The low-mass and handheld design (vs. shoulder-mounted) of cameras like the GL2 makes them highly susceptible to shakey handheld shooting even with the mitigation of an excellent optical image stabilizing system (such as the GL2's).

Here are two tips that have helped me improve my handheld shooting with these cameras.

1. Don't assume that the "salute" position is the best position for you. Yes, it's the most commonly shown position of use. But the fact is that it's really not a very stable postion for these cameras. The most motionless position on your body is closest to your center of gravity, generally between your navel and below your heart. Try holding the GL2 by cradling it with both hands close to your body near that point, using the lcd for framing your shot. Don't let the camera or your arms touch your body. Imagine that your hands are floating free of your body, holding a shallow pan of water that will spill if subjected to a tip or jolt. In this position you'll have to start/stop your shot with your thumb as well as run the zoom with your thumb. I shoot many, if not most, handheld shots from this position and have found that it works very well for reducing the jitters.

2. Concentrate on framing your shots for anticipating the action. This helps you to avoid reacting to action by making erratic movements. It also lets your brain alert your muscles that a movement is imminent. Even a millisecond of anticipation/preparation can make a remarkable difference in the smoothness of your shots.

Of course most new/amatuer shooters spend most of their time shooting live, unscripted events. So anticipation can sometimes be difficult. In these circumstances assess the scene for the practical shot possiblities. In general don't try to follow rapid unpredictable action; you'll fail. Instead, frame it. That is, use a wider shot that can capture most of the action

As you watch television news or sports start to notice how the camera person is framing the shots and how they follow action. Then mimic that with your GL2. Practice!

Have fun and good luck!
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Old January 17th, 2003, 07:06 PM   #3
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Sometimes it isn't always possible to hold the camera at waist level. The sun can be too bright on the LCD etc. When you have to hold the camera at eye level there are techniques to minimize strain and wobble. The steadiest technique is to hold the camera like normal in your right hand. Then take you left hand and place it across you stomach (chest, abdomen) palm up. Form a cup with you left hand. Now rest your right elbow in the cup of your left hand. Lastly pull both arms tighter against your body. This can provide a very stable and rigid platform for your camera for many minutes, even hours (with some practice).

This technique is not as good for moving subjects as Ken's suggestion. But, it is one more technique for you arsenal.

Jeff
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Old January 18th, 2003, 01:29 AM   #4
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Ya see? That's what makes DVInfo such a great place. I never tried the "Jack Benny" grip that Jeff recommended, but I sure will the next time I shoot with my GL2.

Gabriel, if all else fails you can resort to prosthetics. There are several good shoulder braces on the market that aid in getting a steadier shot.

Let us know what worked best for you.
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