using monopod as a steadicam for xha1s at

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Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).

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Old August 11th, 2010, 09:06 AM   #1
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using monopod as a steadicam for xha1s

Today is such a perfect day for me!
Though the delivery man woke me up this morning, he made me very happy. I recieved Manfrotto monopod 680 with the mounting base.
As I go to Morocco in September and dont want to carry my huge (in comparison to monopod) tripod around everywhere I go, I thought about buying a monopod. And, believe me, this is just great!!!
The picture movement is so smooth with the monopod, that I think that until I am not a rich man I'll use the monopod for my xh a1s as a steadicam :)
Is anyone doing similar?
Enjoy your day!
Canon XHA1s, Manfrotto 501HDV,745XBK, Sony Vegas Pro 9
Salvis Are is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12th, 2010, 02:55 AM   #2
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Hi Salvis,

I have the same monopod and use it for stabillity when filming out of a car (see example

Those animals were just above my head and you need to have support to keep it stable.

beside this, i have also a tripod but is not usable in an open car when filming animals or you need to make something else to support.

Wil Vermeesch is offline   Reply With Quote
Old August 12th, 2010, 03:22 PM   #3
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Hi Salvis,

I often use my tripod as a monopod and as a steadicam. It's not perfectly balanced like the real thing, but it's very good once you get it down. I started doing it as a necessity. When something happens that requires a steadicam-type shot I just lift the camera and tripod off the floor and there you go! You can pair it with a stabilizer software and it's very smooth.
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Old August 13th, 2010, 08:45 AM   #4
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The whole key is to lower the center of gravity. It helps if the monopod is heavier than the camera. Also extending the length of the monopod lowers the center of gravity.

Of course, you must grip the monopod at the center of gravity (balance point). And do the "SteadyCam Walk. You can practice the walking technique by holding a FULL cup or glass of your favorite beverage, then practice walking so that none spills over the edge.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 01:19 AM   #5
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I have a 680 with a A1, and I've gotta say it's become my favorite way to shoot. As a makeshift motion stabliizer, with OIS enabled, I can do a decent job of reducing up and down motion, but I still get a bit of side to side.

Or you can flip the whole setup upside down for low angle motion shots, and flip the image in post.

It has so many other uses, it's like the Swiss Army knife of camera supports.

For travel, it's great. But it might get confiscated by airport security as a potential weapon if you try to pack it as carry-on.
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Old August 22nd, 2010, 03:20 AM   #6
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Got good results with the monopod as steadicam although I received my Merlin one week ago and must say that the Merlin is superior in creating a very smooth movement. On the other hand it's a lot of tweaking before the balance is perfectly right and it needs a lot of practicing, the monopod is much easier!

XH A1 / FCS2
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Old August 23rd, 2010, 01:28 AM   #7
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I haven't tried it with my XHA1 yet, but have been using one with my HV30 for a couple of months now and absolutely love it. I like to fully extend it and lift it in the air to get some really great (and steady) overhead shots. I doubt if I'd want to try that with my XHA1 though (probably too heavy).
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Old August 26th, 2010, 12:32 AM   #8
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try it with a 15lb XH A1/Letus rig with external monitor, whip-pulled focus and firewire CF recorder... it takes 2 people, a LOT of precision, and a custom rig.

we made ours out of aluminum tubes, some deft welding skills, weights, and old fashioned cleverness, and a LOT of errors and head-scratching.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 05:00 PM   #9
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I use a very cheap monopod I picked up off Ebay for 6 (including post) as a steadicam type device. I found that extending the leg to 2ft and strapping a 1kg weight to the end - don't laugh but I actually have a linen bag full of smallish nuts (as in nuts and bolts) which I wrap around the end of the monopod leg and hold in place with some gardeners wire (wrap and twist). I hold the grip of the monopod quite loosely i.e just enough grip to.... grip it with! and it works quite well. I keep promising myself to make a more balance handle that can be attached to the monopod grip, but I just haven't got round to it.

I doubt is it up to the standard of a Merlin, but that depends on who's using the Merlin! I am sure if someone swiped my 'mono-steady-pod-cam' off me and replaced it with a Merlin, I'd be useless with it. Like the Merlin (and all) you need to practice and develop your posture with it. the hardest thing I found was actually stopping the camera from 'twisting' around.

Of course you do look a prat, but one could argue that with a full Merlin rig you'd also look a prat - and a poser too! :-)
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