Camera Stabilizer for xl1s at

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Old November 12th, 2001, 06:07 PM   #1
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Camera Stabilizer for xl1s

I have a question for all of you who have been doing weddings for a while. I have just purchased an xl1s and was looking to get some sort of camera support.
I was wondering if I should go with
a) Tripod
b) shoulder support like the wondercam
c) Get a combination of tripod and some sort of crane to get those pretty swooping high and low shots.

I am not sure which of these three will give me more bang for the buck. I am not saying I am not going to have all of these but it would be nice to know which is a good one to start off with before I start offering a free shooting of a wedding to get some experience.

I forgot to add a fourth. 4) some sort of steadicam rig like the flyingpod 5) Jib

Oh yeah have a look at these:
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Old November 14th, 2001, 11:15 AM   #2
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Hey aonikoyi!

The biggest bang for your buck, if you're just starting to build your camera mounting equipment arsenal, is a GOOD TRIPOD. What I mean by "good" is not spending less than $300. I have an XL1 and a GL1. I bought a Bogen tripod through ebay - paid about $325 for it (it's worth about $600), plus it came with a carrying bag. This tripod rocks! It's like nothing I've ever used before - rock solid, and very fluid. I also got my hands on a dolly for $25 (this was a great deal, as the retail value is about $150 for the quality that I got).

I used the tripod and dolly for the first time in a wedding shoot a couple weeks ago. I got some AWESOME shots - very steady. And some really creative stuff because I was able to roll the whole thing around while taping. WAY COOL!!

Anyway, that's what I'd start with if I were you. The next thing I'll be adding to my arsenal is a glidecam 2000 for my GL1.

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Old November 14th, 2001, 06:22 PM   #3
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Thanks for the reply. I was wondering if anyone was ever gonna pay me any attention. So you think I should start with a tripod. I bid for some tripods on ebay but didnt win plus I am not sure which ones to get. Please give me recommendations for the tripod and head if you can.
Was the dolly part of the tripod?
Have you ever shot a wedding without a tripod? if so how did you shoot?
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Old November 15th, 2001, 02:40 PM   #4
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Yup - tripod is the place to start IMHO. Get comfortable with it, get good at it, then try the other stuff.

As far as what you should purchase, well that depends on the camera you'll be using with it. I can't remember off the top of my head which model head/legs I have, but they are heavy duty (double tubed legs, big fat head). I use it with my XL1. It would be overkill for the GL1.

And keep trying on ebay, that's the best dang place to get this kind of gear. I've never had any problems - just be smart who you buy from.
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Old November 15th, 2001, 02:55 PM   #5
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Sorry - forgot about the other questions.

No, the tripod didn't come with the dolly. They're almost always sold seperately, unless you're getting some sort of bundle package from a deal.

I've never shot a wedding without a tripod. There's no way I'd do that. I don't want it to look like an amateur video, ya know? Both of my cameras have really great optical stabilization, but that doesn't mean my arms don't get tired now and then, especially when you have to tape an entire ceremony straight through with no breaks. If I had to do that I think my arms would fall off. No amount of stabilization can replace a good tripod if you are shooting in long takes, like a wedding ceremony. Now the reception is another story. I usually DON'T shoot on a tripod for the majority of the reception, because I need to be mobile.

Gotta get back to work! Chow!
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Old November 19th, 2001, 08:27 PM   #6
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Join Date: Nov 2001
Location: Boston, MA
Posts: 280
the fourth option...

well, if you are just shooting weddings you wont need to go down the steadicam route, or bother with a crane (unless ofcourse its a very high profile wedding). Funny thing though, I own a modified glidecam V-8 rig...I initially purchased for a documentary i was working on, but i actually used it during a wedding shoot to break it in. I did some tracking shots of the bride coming down the isle, etc. Ofcourse, after a few mins i had to end up shooting off of the accompanying C-stand because my back was killing me!...

but the bottom line is, nothing will ever beat a really solid tripod. Most of the wedding stuff I have done has been on a tripod (one with a dolly so i can swing it around for some different setups). I usually keep it on sticks for the reception during the entrances, and after that i'll go handheld if i need to move around alot. But more often than not, and i dont know what other peoples experiences with this are, but i'm usually told not to bother shooting the tables or anything, as the still photographer usually takes care of this.

anyway...just my 2cents.

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