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Canon VIXIA Series AVCHD and HDV Camcorders
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Old July 5th, 2007, 08:07 AM   #1
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My HV20+Digital Camera Portable Rig

Hey everyone, I got a bit creative this past weekend when going to a friends informal wedding reception and wanted to be able to capture both video and still images (from my digital camera)...so I put together a portable rig that I affectionately call "The Silver Surfer" (yes, the movie commercial influenced the name - LOL!!!)

Here's some pics of the rig.

http://vettaville.com/photos/CanonHV20/hv20_rig.jpg
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Old July 5th, 2007, 08:38 AM   #2
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dude.

that's sweet. how much did it cost in parts?
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Old July 5th, 2007, 09:04 AM   #3
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that's sweet. how much did it cost in parts?
The handle that the rig is mounted on (which is a camera flash arm) cost $17.00 and so I can still mount an external mic on it's shoe. This is actually a foldable arm that could be used for other configurations. Here's a pic of the handle arm. http://vettaville.com/photos/CanonHV...rig_handle.jpg The other good thing about this rig is that the screw holding the HV20 to the handle is also threaded, so you can still attach the entire rig to a mono/tripod. I brought my monopod with me but found I didn't need it.

The adapter atop the HV20 for the camera cost $12.00

The adapter mounted underside the digital camera I already had for years and have no idea how much it cost, but probably about $5.00 (would be an average guess). You wouldn't necessarily even need this adapter, you could attach the camera directly to the adapter that's atop the HV20, but I wanted the digital camera more to the left, so that's why I used this additional adapter.

The hood on the HV20 is a used one one I found at a used camera store for $8.00 and is actually for a regular 35mm camera. It has 49mm threads and is attached to a UV filter which is attached to a 43mm-49mm adapter. I painted it silver to match the Canon. Also notice that it is small enough to not obstruct the auto-focus sensor. The downside to this hood is that I cannot attach any additional filters to the inside of it, so I'm still searching for the perfect hood that will not obstruct the auto-focus sensor and still allow me to attach a circular polarizer filter and adjust it with the lens hood on. Ultimately, I'm thinking of perhaps a large rectangular lens hood that completely covered the auto-focus sensor and flash and then just CUT OUT a hole for the sensor to see through.

The rig is still a work in progress because I was in a rush to throw something together quickly for the wedding reception. All the men at the reception were impressed by how the rig looked and was put together, whereas the women kept trying to avoid being captured by both cameras. LOL! I would bet that most of these parts could be found for much, much less money but I had to buy something that afternoon, otherwise getting stuff online (and in advance) would be the cheaper way to go.

Last edited by Nathan Shane; July 5th, 2007 at 09:49 AM.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 10:47 AM   #4
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Now that's my kind of thing, Nathan.

I assume you just didn't shoot the still out of the HV20 while filming because you wanted a bit higher definition stills and flash too,,,
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Old July 5th, 2007, 12:10 PM   #5
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Now that's my kind of thing, Nathan. I assume you just didn't shoot the still out of the HV20 while filming because you wanted a bit higher definition stills and flash too,,,
Yep...you got it. The camera is a Lumix 6MP which is 2816 x 2112 pixels. I was able to do some decent pan/scan with that image size in Vegas for a DVD widescreen project, but it's not enough additional image size to pan/scan with, so I'm now looking into making it an all Canon rig and get either the Canon A630 (8MP) or their 10MP camera.

I'm finally starting to understand how a larger megapixel image not only allows for greater detail capture but really gives you plenty of additional image sources to work from within the photo itself when doing pan/scan stuff (aka the Ken Burns fx). I've just started down that pathway of including still images alongside video into a finished DVD project. Of course, you've got to "actively think" about all the elements you want (or might want after-the-fact) to capture in the entire image if you're going to do some pan/scan stuff. For example, there were some photos I took at the reception that I had a primary subject in mind when I took the photo...but then when I started looking at the photos, I started seeing other subjects in a particular photo that I could use in the project (and did) rather than the original primary subject. But you start to loose resolution once you start zooming into a photo...so I got to get a higher megapixel camera that will allow me lots of room to pick and choose subject elements without loosing as much quality.
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Old July 5th, 2007, 10:25 PM   #6
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The handle that the rig is mounted on (which is a camera flash arm) cost $17.00 and so I can still mount an external mic on it's shoe. This is actually a foldable arm that could be used for other configurations. Here's a pic of the handle arm. http://vettaville.com/photos/CanonHV...rig_handle.jpg
Nathan, where did you buy that handle? Thanks
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Old July 6th, 2007, 12:49 AM   #7
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Nathan, where did you buy that handle? Thanks
I actually bought it from a camera store in town, Garland Camera, but I looked it up online and found the non-foldable version available at bhphoto.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...h_Bracket.html

If you type in flash bracket and search the web, there are all kinds of great designs,such as the following:

http://www.alzodigital.com/online_st...sh_bracket.htm
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Old July 6th, 2007, 02:54 AM   #8
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Cool, thanks Nathan. Will check 'em out
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Old July 6th, 2007, 12:49 PM   #9
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It never occurred to me to use flash handle/arms on a video camera. I am certainly going to grab one now for mine. Great inexpensive solution to offset the awkward shape of it!

peace|dewde
http://dewde.com
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Old July 6th, 2007, 03:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Shane View Post
The adapter atop the HV20 for the camera cost $12.00
Okay. Where did you find it?


Quote:
Originally Posted by Nathan Shane View Post
I actually bought it from a camera store in town, Garland Camera, but I looked it up online and found the non-foldable version available at bhphoto.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...h_Bracket.html
Non-foldable version ??



Merci!

Last edited by Mathieu Kassovitz; July 7th, 2007 at 01:42 AM.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 03:51 PM   #11
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Okay. Where did you find it? Non-foldable version ?? What's the difference?Merci
Okay, you may have trouble finding an adapter like the one atop the HV20. I got it here in town at a place called Don's Used Cameras. I walked in and told/described to them how I needed some kind of an adapter so I could mount my digital camera atop my camcorder. They immediately pulled out the adapter you see and told me that he had bought a 100 pieces of that particular item from one of his suppliers that was trying to get rid of them.

I originally was just going to get the non-foldable arm, but decided that since the foldable one has the additional tapped-screwhole up by the flash shoe bracket that it might could come in handy for attaching something else in the future as I think of things to add. The next thing to add really would be mounting the HV20's remote control (with fiber-optic cable) like others have already done here in the forum. I'm sure you can find the foldable version of the arm I posted a link to, I just didn't have time to search online and find one myself to point others to a specific website.
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Old July 6th, 2007, 03:58 PM   #12
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It never occurred to me to use flash handle/arms on a video camera. I am certainly going to grab one now for mine. Great inexpensive solution to offset the awkward shape of it!

peace|dewde
http://dewde.com
Hey Chris, you'll find using an arm makes all the difference in the world because you then have support from both arms, you can better position your button pushing hand/fingers, and can hold the HV20 with the handle if you need to free up your hand that works the buttons. I was also able to get some decent slow pans by just rotating my body and keeping the HV20 very level and motionless was a breeze using the handle (with both hands).

Last edited by Nathan Shane; July 6th, 2007 at 06:13 PM.
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Old July 7th, 2007, 03:45 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by Nathan Shane View Post
I originally was just going to get the non-foldable arm, but decided that since the foldable one has the additional tapped-screwhole up by the flash shoe bracket that it might could come in handy for attaching something else in the future as I think of things to add. The next thing to add really would be mounting the HV20's remote control (with fiber-optic cable) like others have already done here in the forum. I'm sure you can find the foldable version of the arm I posted a link to, I just didn't have time to search online and find one myself to point others to a specific website.
I'm sorry but I didn't find yet nor it seems to come up, at least online. Can you help here?

Merci!
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Old July 8th, 2007, 09:57 PM   #14
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Nathan...thanks for the info...I'm going to stop by Garland camera next time I'm in the area.
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Old July 9th, 2007, 07:18 AM   #15
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Nathan...thanks for the info...I'm going to stop by Garland camera next time I'm in the area.
Doug, something else worth looking at while your there...they have some boxes of used filters/adapters for $5.00/filter. Most of the sizes are 48, 49, 52mm

I've had a 43mm to 49mm step up adapter on my HV20 and at Garland camera was able to find a used HOYA 49mm to 55mm adapter they sold me for $1.00 and a used HOYA 55mm Circular Polarizer for $5.00, you can't beat those kinds of prices.
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