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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old May 9th, 2008, 10:41 PM   #1
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Anyone using HV20/30+35mm handheld?

Most rigs of the HV20/30 + 35mm adapter I've seen are tripod mounted with rails. I'm curious if anyone has built a DIY rig or purchased a cheap rig (cheaper than the merlin) for a hobbyist to use an adapter while on the move? A tripod with head is a bit too bulky to carry in a daily commute. And the fancy steadycams standout too much for casually taking shots in public.

Reason for the question:
http://www.vimeo.com/994253 <-- my hands are terribly unsteady even while braced ... it's the caffiene I tell you!
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Old May 9th, 2008, 11:58 PM   #2
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I've had luck shooting hand-held, but I guess it depends on the application; what you're trying to shoot.

Just DP'd an indie music video shoot this afternoon all HANDHELD w/HV20 and 35mm adapter. Happy to report it went well - no CMOS shake artifacts (shot with steady, even moves). It was a relaxed (as opposed to stressful shoot) so I had enough time to change lenses, get my focus on the actress when she was on her mark, get the ND filters in place (to keep the 35mm lenses fully wide open for shallow DOF). Almost all the shots were dutch or off kilter to some degree.

For steadiness, I cupped one hand onto the rails or onto the 35mm adapter/HV20 at the back, and my other on the focus rings on the front lens. For each shot I stood with my feet in one place, so, didn't take steps, but i'd move my hands/arms/body wherever I needed to have the camera when I was rolling. Yes, rails helped keep the whole unit stiff, but, rails or not, there was no tripod, so it was truly handheld shooting.

Here are some non CC’ed shots (post inverse telecine). I know - doesn't convey motion, but it's the director's call on posting actual video online (still 2 more days of shooting to go).

Musiv video aside, I often walk around the city with a Manfrotto tripod over my shoulder with the HV20+35mm adapter (rails and all) secured on the head - people notice it, but it's never been a problem, and for truly stable shots, can't beat a tripod.

Another very practical option is putting the camera on your shoulder, just butted to your collar bone area. If you have a longer lens, this can work well - brings the LCD screen close to your face, and looks ackward, but again, stabilizes the camera very well. If you have rails, run them a bit back to give you more space between your face and the camera. Does that make sense?
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Old May 10th, 2008, 06:30 AM   #3
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Chris, thanks for the tip! I'll try out your technique. As for walking with the tripod and all, I'd like to do that but some places I happen to go through get less savory near dark. :-)
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