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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 12th, 2007, 03:49 PM   #1
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Holding the A1 steady

I have shot many hours of footage with the Canon XL1s and never suffered with camera shake. Now with the A1 the shots are all over the place (well not quite, but as good as). I have seen a some sample clips on this forum and it seems like I am not the only one with this problem. I do not want to start using a heavy tripod for my shots, I like some spontaneity in my work. Anyone using a decent shoulder brace etc.

I will be shooting in Spain on Wednesday, hope to get to know the camera better and will try to post some sample footage.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 04:40 PM   #2
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You are not alone.......

I think 1 in 2 A1 owners are in the same boat (the other half probably haven't seen their stuff on a "big" screen yet! - I jest).

Can't help you with a brace, I'm married to a tripod instead!

Cheers,


Chris
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Old June 12th, 2007, 05:32 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Vincent Oliver View Post
I have shot many hours of footage with the Canon XL1s and never suffered with camera shake. Now with the A1 the shots are all over the place (well not quite, but as good as). I have seen a some sample clips on this forum and it seems like I am not the only one with this problem. I do not want to start using a heavy tripod for my shots, I like some spontaneity in my work. Anyone using a decent shoulder brace etc.

I will be shooting in Spain on Wednesday, hope to get to know the camera better and will try to post some sample footage.
I have both of these, they work great.
http://dvcreators.net/steady-stick
http://www.adorama.com/LHGP100.html
The Gopod is more stable, I can do a full zoom and still looks very stable, but it will need a ball quick release head like a Bogen or something like that so you can position it to your liking.
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Old June 12th, 2007, 08:28 PM   #4
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Becoming steady handheld takes practice no matter what camera is used. I learned long ago to make it as if it's an appendage to your body... and the most important I believe... don't think about it so much. The minute I think about trying to stay steady is when it's the most difficult. I've done handheld "semi-tests" with the A1 in near to full zoom with OIS on & it's quite remarkable how well the OIS works.

Bill
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Old June 13th, 2007, 03:48 AM   #5
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Just use a good monopod, and your problems are gone
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Old June 13th, 2007, 07:47 AM   #6
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I'm an ex XL1 user and had the same probs as you. What I'm finding works is holding it tight to my stomach when shooting at waist height and when at head height, having the screen out and, on my free hand, putting my thumb on the tripod mount on the base and my middle finger on the left corner edge of the screen.

I've got a shoulder mount that gives me the XL1 steadyness but, I'm finding it's lying in the car most of the time. What I am likeing is how much more freedom the XH-A1 gives me to do more "run and gun" type stuff.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 08:34 AM   #7
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It is interesting that A1 owners coming from bigger camera's say
they like the run and gun possibilities, while folks moving up from
smaller camera's want to know how to get it steady.
Hand-held camera work involves an additonal dose of attention while shooting.
I find if I can keep the horizontal and vertical lines accurate in the shot
it helps hide the (inevitable), camera movement.

David
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Old June 13th, 2007, 08:41 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by Bill Busby View Post
... don't think about it so much. The minute I think about trying to stay steady is when it's the most difficult.
Bill
I second this. When I was young, to be more like my dad I started drinking coffee. And back in the day we used to get coffee in a stirofome cup. Well, dad was really good about walking and not spilling. Well, at 8 years old, you can imagine how my walking went. He said, don't look at the cup, don't think about it, just walk, and it does make a difference. And yes, I am a coffee addict even today.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 10:19 AM   #9
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I generally hold my breathe or really slow down my breathing when I do pans or critical shots. I like to hold my breathe for the steady ones and really just focus on keeping my upper body stiff and relaxing my lower half to move around. It sounds funny but as everyone else says, it just takes practice.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 11:19 AM   #10
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I have one word for you (well actually 3 in teh name)...

DVMulti Rig
www.dvmultirig.com
http://www.alangordon.com/MultiRig_detail.html

Do a lookup on these forums for info and feedback as it has been discussed by myself and many here.
It truly is a remarkable versitile support device.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 12:21 PM   #11
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While rigs work a lot of the time, there are instances where you need to literrally run and gun. I was filming a reception and with the ammount of dancing going on the whole floor was bouncing. Well, I snatched the camera off the tripod and went into the dance itself. In this instance, I didn't have time to put it on a rig.

There are many rigs out there, but eventually you'll need to do some critical hand held work. Just keep practicing.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 12:41 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Steven Davis View Post
While rigs work a lot of the time, there are instances where you need to literrally run and gun. I was filming a reception and with the ammount of dancing going on the whole floor was bouncing. Well, I snatched the camera off the tripod and went into the dance itself. In this instance, I didn't have time to put it on a rig.

There are many rigs out there, but eventually you'll need to do some critical hand held work. Just keep practicing.
Steven, the thing with the MultiRig is that it isn't a rig, as rigs are perceived.

Yes you can wear the rig with the support pod for added soothness and to releive arm and back strain. But, and this is the important thing, you can mount the entire rig (camera and all) on your tripod in a manner of seconds. The same goes for removing it and going handheld. And for a few seconds longer, you can screw in the 2 section support pod into the bottom of the rig and your off and running.

I shoot with the Multi ALL DAY LONG, with no fatigue and get very steady and creative handheld shots. I shoot a lot of weddings and I shoot all pre-ceremony shots with the Multi as well as the processional (down front on the grooms side down low shooting up the isle). Then when the bride is handed off I place my entire setup on a preset tripod for the remainder of the service. Until the resessional when I go handheld again.

As for shooting a reception, where it is all run and gun, I shoot with the MultiRig on exclusively (camera 2 on staionary tripod), except for while I'm at rest like during dinner.

And as for bouncing on the dancefloor.
When you shoot in Stabilizer Plus Mode (pod supported), your body's vibrations are absorbed enabling you to get steadier shots.

This came in handy recently, while I was in a limo with a bride (bridal prep) and the bridemaids going to the USNA in Annapolis, on cobblestone roads. The footage actually came out fairly steady. There was no way I could have gotten this kind of footage handheld.

I don't work for DVTec and get no compinsation for sales. But just wanted to let you know that there are alernatives out there to the traditional camera support devices.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 12:45 PM   #13
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Home Made Steady Cam

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
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Old June 13th, 2007, 12:46 PM   #14
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DVmulti rig and Kenyon Gyro.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 01:25 PM   #15
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wynn...i like the idea of building it yourself. any steps, material lists you can offer? bill

bothell, wa
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