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Canon XL and GL Series DV Camcorders
Canon XL2 / XL1S / XL1 and GL2 / XM2 / GL1 / XM1.


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Old June 24th, 2005, 03:55 PM   #1
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Any clever suggestions for HAND-HELD work.

I am doing a lot of hand held work with the XL2, both over the shoulder and hanging from my right hand. IM working to assemble a vocabulary of cool things to do with it for shoots when I can not bring in a tripod, or keep a tripod with me the whole time.

Anyone spend a lot of time hand held?

Anyone have some cool techniques?

A colleague showed me how to produce a steady shot by pushing the XL2 forward so that the shoulder strap is held taught.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 05:40 PM   #2
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hiya,
hold your breath on important shots :)
Seriously, though... open up the t stop all the way to reduce vibration.
That's just general camera, not specific to the XL2.
I always have my left hand on the front of the lens, and my left elbow braced on my chest.
Also, if you're following / leading someone walking - try to step at the same time they do (sync your up and down motions) That'll steady the shot too.
hmm. that's it off the top of my head.
Perhaps you know all this; if so I apologize for being so basic.
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Old June 24th, 2005, 05:57 PM   #3
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I do mostly handheld and have since the day the XL series was released. Be careful of your moves messing with the audio, you can get some rattles, booms, etc. just by making small adjustments. I recommend getting another mic and a shock mount if you are flying solo. When you sense you are getting tired, go as wide as possible, this will let you take a mini-break without shutting off the cam.

The best thing about handheld is that there is ZERO set-up time, get creative... look for some lights or color to have in the background, then when you go for close-ups, you have some nice things happening out of focus. Also, look for positions where there will be something OOF in the foreground, that will make it more interesting. Try laying your cam on the ground or a fridge or whatever is around to create some interesting wide shots. Stand on your toes and shoot down over things, lay on the ground and shoot up...

Remember though, that many camera angles are not just chosen for look, but for effect. If it is a happy fun time, prolly not the best time for an extreme close-up and a dutch angle.... just get creative and make sure some of your set-ups and angles are giving you some rest...




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Old June 24th, 2005, 09:29 PM   #4
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move the diopter

You may know this too, but if you move the diopter - the entire viewfinder - FORWARD ( by sliding along those two little rails) - then you can move the weight of the camera more BACKWARDS, giving you more balance.
Again, maybe common knowlege but the new flipup to reveal the LCD is a very useful tool - you can't focus - but if you are focused you can nicely frame as a break.
And I carry the little Warm Cards in my back pocket (they come with the large ones when you order the full kit) so I can stick it in front of my own lense, get some light on it and while balance in a pinch.
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Old June 25th, 2005, 07:54 AM   #5
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The 3X lens is nice for hand held running shots. Wide angle lenses leave you with much less noticible motion due to the perspective shit. Put on a 3x lens, hold the camera at waist level and run for it! amazing action shots!

DOn't be afraid to pull focus while hand held. It adds a lot of you can do hand held while zoomed in. Created nice depth and some of that "Bourne Identity" look. Just practice.

I find a matte box with rails makes hand held easier because your left hand can brace on the rails and not hit any buttons on the lens.

My two cents.
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Old July 11th, 2005, 05:18 AM   #6
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have you ever seen girls that want to be models walking with books on their heads? that would be ideal

but bend your knees slightly and keep your back straight, try to do pans with your waist and not your wrist.

relax, if you're trying to use a death grip to keep it from shaking it will be shaking all over the place, a relaxed grip with a straight back and using your knees like suspension will work every time.

-Jon
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Old July 11th, 2005, 11:52 PM   #7
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There are a lot of great steady cam systems out there. Everything from $29 on up to $25K. Mine was about $700.
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Old July 12th, 2005, 02:31 AM   #8
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I do as Jon says. In other words, the Groucho Marx walk.
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Old July 13th, 2005, 06:42 AM   #9
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"relax, if you're trying to use a death grip to keep it from shaking it will be shaking all over the place, a relaxed grip with a straight back and using your knees like suspension will work every time."

I totally agree. In my last project I had to do a long shot following a couple down a path. It's all about using your knees to take the vibration of walking and your back to keep the camera still.

It is important to (if doing shoulder work) to have your shoulder just in front of the shoulder pad, it'll balance better. The tell tale sign you're doing it right is neither of your arms will get tired.

I don't know about the rest of you guys but if you're going to be walking handheld, I find it better to turn the OIS off. Do you all agree? Or am I the odd one out?

Its a good idea to have a loyal grip/camera assistant making sure you're not going to trip over anything.
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Old July 14th, 2005, 12:10 AM   #10
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i usually keep the image stabilizing on for handheld unless of course i'm using the wide lens. the image stabilizing works pretty amazingly well, especially for live events, it's not uncommon for me to shoot, say a guitarists fingers on a fretboard from the opposite side of the stage 30 feet away and it's pretty amazing how well the stabilizing works in those telephoto situations, and on the wide end off the lens it really soaks up any little wiggles, however, if the choice to go hand held isn't speed or necessity but to get the nervousness of a hand held look, then yeah i totally turn it off.

also, recently i was stuck using one of those tripod dollies that people think are for dolly shots but they're really just for moving your tripod from point a to point b between setups. the floor was cement and there was a ton of visible vibration to the camera body (the viewfinder was bouncing all over the place) but the image looked amazingly stable at playback, FAR better than i had expected.

-Jon
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