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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 June 13th, 2007, 01:58 PM   #16
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There is a site - I read about it in DV Rebel's guide book

Johnny Chung Lee's cheapman's steadycam

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/steadycam/

There is also a step by step guide in the rebel book I have on how to build a cheap hand held device - basically a 2 by 4 that the camera sits on, with handles either side that you grip and basically carry it around

He also talks about using a skateboard with a heavy weighted bag (very similar to that bean bag concept mentioned in this thread) for small dollylike moves


Trish

Last edited by Trish Kerr; June 13th, 2007 at 03:39 PM.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 05:55 PM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wynn Bradford View Post
Hey guys I made this the other day and even shot of the back of a motorcycle with it. It cost about 30.00 to build and weighs about 4 lbs but makes all the differance in the world. I'll post a couple of short segs shot with it. I just couldn't see paying 300. plus dollars for something so simple.

Wynn Bradford

NICE! I like it when people build DIY projects. Very clean and neat. I'm curious to how you mount your camcorder. Maybe a picture with you camcorder mounted? Thanks!
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Old June 13th, 2007, 10:06 PM   #18
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Steady Cam

Ok all I am building another one I should have it finished tomorrow. I will display a couple of pics and parts list (all from Home Depot) I will also publish a chart with the measurements so it is a lot easer to build. It takes about 2 hrs with paint an all. You will need to be able to cut aluminum and drill some holes and thats it.

Wynn Bradford
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Old June 14th, 2007, 08:29 AM   #19
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Also came across this other homegrown site for DIY - all kinds of steadying devices

http://www.homebuiltstabilizers.com/

and another steadicam for under $20

http://www.wrigleyvideo.com/forum/in...1&hl=steadycam

Trish
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Old June 15th, 2007, 02:06 AM   #20
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Here's a link to a very well documented DIY stabilizer: http://www.regnstrom.com/flystand/ (link found at http://www.homebuiltstabilizers.com/ )
I'm thinking of making myself one like this, big plus is that this still looks professional, as I don't want to shoot professional with a cheap looking stabilizer.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 02:21 AM   #21
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Is it me... or do those "stabilized" video clips leave a lot to be desired? Maybe it's the operator & not the device, but I wasn't too impressed. But that's just me :)

Bill
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Old June 15th, 2007, 08:30 AM   #22
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Bill,

The 'steadied' shots were better than the jumpy sample shots they were
compared to, but they weren't near the quality of what a (real) steady-cam
shot would be like with an experienced operator...however for the differences in money and the equipment load, I didn't think they were that terrible - at least in small doses.
Comes down to using the right kind of shot in the right situation I guess.

There sure is a market out there for a really small, light-weight element that would steady down shooting - wish I were an engineer.

David
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Old June 17th, 2007, 12:02 PM   #23
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Thank you all for your messages.

I am using a Manfrotto Monopod and this does the trick. I also purchased a lighter tripod the Libec LS22DV, I may just take this tripod back as it doesn't seem to be any lighter or quicker to set up than my Manfrotto tripod.

Last edited by Vincent Oliver; June 18th, 2007 at 03:10 AM. Reason: Grammar check
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Old June 17th, 2007, 12:51 PM   #24
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
Thank you all for your messages.

I am using a Manfrotto Monopod and this does the trick. I did also purchased a lighter tripod the Libec LS22DV, I may just take this tripod back as it doesn't seem to be lighter or quicker to set up than my Manfrotto tripod.
Which model monopod do you have? Thanks!
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Old June 18th, 2007, 03:22 AM   #25
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I purchased the Manfrotto 558B. This comes complete with the same quick release plate as on my Manfrotto tripod, this means I don't have to remove the mounting plate from the camera when I switch from tripod to monopod. The 558B has two section legs, these release and lock very quickly, in the field you can adjust the height instanly. It worked a treat on the wedding I did last Saturday. The monopod folds away to 18 inches, I did look at a Gitzo, but this is a four or five section unit and each section has to be rotated to lock into place, but it does collapse down to 9 inches (approx)

btw. I was not allowed to use a tripod in the church, unless it was set it up at the back, this is not ideal for shooting the wedding vows, but I was allowed to use the monopod for this - which meant I got the shots, and they were steady.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 08:24 AM   #26
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Just an extra post.

A photographer friend brought his Cavision Dual Grip Shoulder Support around for me to try out. In less than two minutes I found a major flaw. The camera sits on the centre track and as the viewfinder is on the same axis as the lens, you have to twist your neck in order to see through the viewfinder, or use the flip out LCD screen. The LCD is not that good on sunny days and unless you have good eyesight, it can be difficult to read the settings shown on screen. Shooting with a twisted neck and spine could lead to long term health problems.

My wife also commented that the whole unit looks like an orthopaedic appliance, So I will give this a miss and stick with the Monopod. Incidentally, my friend was so impressed with the monopod that he ordered one today.
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Old June 18th, 2007, 09:39 AM   #27
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I don't know how you hold the camera.

I have found the side grab useless. The problem is that you don't get your hand under the center of mass which strains the muscles to keep the cam upright. Second in that position you hold the camera in eye height and quickly get tired. That introduces shakes as you try to comfort yourself.

The handle is almost good - almost because this is not exactly over the center of mass: It's on the center of the lens barrel axis, but the tape compartment on the side shifts center of mass slightly. If it was you could have the cam hang in just one finger reducing any shocks from walking. But as it is, the camera is not perfectly balanced on the image horizontal axis.

I have found a combination of the left hand flat under the camera body, lets thumb and index finger handle zoom ring and manual focus/iris. Right hand on the handle to start stop recording. What I really miss is push-focus on the top handle.

When using zoom I think the image stabilizer looses it's effect and may even make things worse, but I haven't tried to make comparable footage w/out stabilizer. Anyone?
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Old June 18th, 2007, 09:12 PM   #28
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Monopod!!!

I side with the guy that posted earlier.
A good mono pod works great with this size
camera and is much more versatile than
some of the specialty stabilizing rigs.
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Old June 19th, 2007, 09:12 AM   #29
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Has anyone tried the Steadicam Merlin?
It looks well-made and usable even though it's priced
high.

An interesting thread, lots of good
points to ponder.

David
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Old June 19th, 2007, 10:00 AM   #30
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i like the monopod too. put a quick release adapter on the head and you can set it so the cam's center of gravity is right above the grip. i find that carrying this rig around, without the monopod being planted down, is actually easier to hold than using the side grip for extended periods of time. handheld, the added weight seems to help stabilize the camera as well. and you have the wonderful option of planting the cam down with the flick of a clamp.

no experience with the merlin, but i have used a glidecam 4000 with the xha1. i think the xha1 is at the upper weight limit of the merlin. all i know is holding a rig of 14+ lbs (camera and stabilizer) for even short periods of time is not much fun. i think tiffen has a merlin vest/arm out, or coming out soon?
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