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Canon XF Series HD Camcorders
Canon XF305, XF205 and XF105 (with SDI), Canon XF300, XF200 and XF100 (without SDI).


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Old June 22nd, 2011, 06:17 AM   #1
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how can I get smooth (steadicam-like) shots out car window?

Hi there,
I don't mind a bit of move and shake when I'm following action on the ground, because it's natural (I'm always zoomed out wide, to lessen the bumping, and I do try to walk as smoothly as possible), but I'm stuck when shooting out a car window. There are just so many bumps on every road I ever seem to shoot on.
I'd love to get really smooth, bump-free shots when shooting out a car window is there a way to do this?
(I've looked at the Merlin steadicam online, and I don't think a person could wear it in a car).
thanks,
Malcolm
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 07:51 AM   #2
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Re: how can I get smooth (steadicam-like) shots out car window?

What you really need to do first is mount the camera in the car. You can't handhold it if the roads are as bumpy as you say. FilmTools has all sorts of grip gear specific to vehicles (as do other vendors)
By hard-mounting the camera to the car, it will use the cars suspension the smooth out the shot. Only the people will move when a bump happens.
I've done this in aircraft, cars and motorcycles with great results.
If you need to do a camera move, use a tripod head on the grip gear. Or position the camera for one angle, shoot the scene....change the camera position, shoot the scene again and edit together.
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 08:36 AM   #3
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Re: how can I get smooth (steadicam-like) shots out car window?

Robert - that is great advice! Thanks very much (will check out FilmTools now).
Regards,
Malcolm
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 08:41 AM   #4
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Re: how can I get smooth (steadicam-like) shots out car window?

Robert... do you think this would do the trick?

Car Window Camera Pod/ Mount. Manfrotto 243 (Replaces 3292) - Filmtools
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 09:16 AM   #5
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Re: how can I get smooth (steadicam-like) shots out car window?

Do you have the XF100 or XF300?
Might be strong enough for the 100 but not the 300.
Window mounts tend to have a little play in them (actually its the window not the mount)
I'd supplement that with a suction cup and grip pole or two to make it really secure. Also consider a safety strap of some sort in case the does come loose.

I'd get this instead...
http://www.filmtools.com/filmtools-i...er-116-xl.html

but only with the XF100.
The 300 you will need a triangulation kit.

http://www.filmtools.com/filmtools-g...pport-kit.html
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 09:33 AM   #6
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Re: how can I get smooth (steadicam-like) shots out car window?

I have the XF100, so it's quite light.
I saw all sorts of suctions cups and grips and triangulated rods on the FilmTools site, but could I attach a suction cup vertically (to the exterior door of the car, but from the pictures I saw, all the suction cups seemed to be attached to flat, horizontal surfaces (eg. the hood).

When I get these shots, it's always from the front passenger window, and I'd like the mount and camera to be
right next to me if at all possible, so I can turn the camera on if I see something interesting coming up, and turn it off as soon as the interesting scene is behind me.

Would you say any of those (strong) suction cups could be attached to the vertical surface of the outside of the passenger door? If so, then maybe with the right hardware, my XF100 could be attached to it, and I'd have the camera right at eye level.

Thanks for your advice,
Malcolm
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 01:44 PM   #7
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Re: how can I get smooth (steadicam-like) shots out car window?

That's what they are meant to do. Follow their instructions and you will be fine.
Just remember the safety straps!
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Old June 22nd, 2011, 03:54 PM   #8
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Re: how can I get smooth (steadicam-like) shots out car window?

O.K., thanks very much for this, Robert.
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Old July 2nd, 2011, 10:09 PM   #9
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Re: how can I get smooth (steadicam-like) shots out car window?

In a pinch a Cinesaddle might work quite well.
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