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Old August 26th, 2007, 12:13 PM   #1
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wedding with redrock mini35 adapter

I'm always filming weddings with my JVC HD200 using a redrock M2 to get better depth of field control.

It's nearly impossible to shoot shoulder mounted (too shaky).

Do i really have to go with a steadicam ?!
http://www.tophos.com/showreel/cecile-stephane.wmv
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Old August 26th, 2007, 12:40 PM   #2
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with a steadicam you cannot touch the lens/camera to focus if thats a problem for you especially given the smaller depth of field, you would need a remote focus system which are very expensive and generally someone to control it while you control the steadicam
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Old August 26th, 2007, 01:23 PM   #3
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You might need a more sophisticated handheld setup that will recenter the balance point further forward and/or give you additional support from the front. See DVrigPro, Zacuto etc.
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Old August 26th, 2007, 03:43 PM   #4
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The rig is very heavy:

So, only a Clipper 2 can hold it ($37000 !!!). And i have to go for a Remote Follow Focus like Preston ($15000!!!!)

Do they really think everyone have this plenty of money ? :-)
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wedding with redrock mini35 adapter-jvcm2.jpg  
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Old August 26th, 2007, 03:44 PM   #5
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Some very nice shots there, I like the fact that itīs not the usual docu-style wedding but more of a mood piece. The rack with the rock in the foreground is nice but much too quick, all the other cuts are much slower. I also didnīt quite get the closeups of the feet, i think the whole thing could be shortened considerably without losing anything.

I think steadicam for wedding videos is overkill+, if you shoot in HD but output SD you can always use some software anti-shake without losing resolution.
Maybe a monopod could also work?
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Old August 26th, 2007, 03:49 PM   #6
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i was using a tripod but would like to have much dynamic shots :-)
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Old August 26th, 2007, 05:33 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eric Ramahatra View Post
The rig is very heavy:

So, only a Clipper 2 can hold it ($37000 !!!). And i have to go for a Remote Follow Focus like Preston ($15000!!!!)

Do they really think everyone have this plenty of money ? :-)
You can use two Bartechs, one for focus and one for iris. They are excellent quality and much cheaper:
http://www.bartechengineering.com/

With a camera setup that size at a wedding, maybe you might as well use a jib and some sets of rails. Maybe there is some kind of rail switchers available, so you can automatically roll from one set of rails to another. This way you could also set up a rail circle around the bride, groom, pastor, and switch onto these and get a continuous shot going down the aisle, then cirlcling the group.

I guess you are shooting from some distance away and want exremely shallow DOF or you would be using the wide-angle lens on the JVC or even an XH-A1 (with stabilizer and push button focus) with a Merlin and the new vest.

Perhaps a monopod would help, making it easy to change position, but still giving you a platform to set the camera for a steady shot and allowing you to operate the controls.

I suppose if you are going to shoot a wedding like making a movie, it's going to be necessary to spend the money on equipment and crew that is necessary for a movie with the kinds of shots you want.
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Old August 26th, 2007, 06:56 PM   #8
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jib and rails are not always usable on weddings because they are not enough "versatil" and sometimes the bride & groom don't want them (unesthetic and a bit disgrace !).

Do Zacuto and similars really stabilize shoots a great way ?

My setup is too big to stay on a Merlin. And i really need shallow depth of field even on smaller distances with wide angle (nikkor 35m f1.4).

Any alternative to Steadicam ?
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Old August 26th, 2007, 08:30 PM   #9
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How much does your setup weigh?

If you want long smooth shots with the rig you have, I don't see you you can get away from a Steadicam, jib, rails or similar.

If you are shooting alone, and don't have someone doing focus, the issue gets even more tricky once you get off a tripod and handheld or moving except on the shoulder.

A steadicam will give you the smooth shots, but will be limiting in other ways.

Rather than trying to fly the meter long camera setup, it would be cheaper to get a second camera and a steadicam merlin (and you can even get the .6x Century wide angle adapter) for your flying shots.

When you are flying, DOF is not the primary issue, and in fact increased depth of field will make the flying shots easier in a run and gun situation.

Get an XH-A1, a steadicam Merlin, the Century .6x and you will add a second camera to your work, plus add all kinds of new dimensions in addition to the flying shots. Total cost for this is about $5000, 1/3 the price of a Steadicam Flyer, which you say isn't even big enough. You can get the vest for the Merlin and still be under $7000.

The XH-A1 also gives you instant setup ability when you need it and don't have time to prepare the JVC rig. The XH-A1 could also get you some great closeups without being obtrusive, is quick for inserts, makes it easy to grab POV shots and more... in addition to some flying shots with the Merlin... all which will greatly add to your primary video shot with the JVC. And the Canon camera is so foolproof and quick to use, it may just save you someday in general.

Also, if you need a second person for some work with the big camera, when you don't need her, you can give her the Canon to grab some B roll.

I think it's hard to make a 3-meter long camera fly without a crew. And if you try to do it half-way, it's going to look like it except for short segments.

Anyway, that's my thoughts.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 04:52 PM   #10
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Hi Jack,

the setup is about 22Lbs with battery mounted on camera and without remote follow focus attached (though the remote FF's weight will replace the battery's while flying).

I already have a Merlin with a HC1. You are right, it may be great using 2 cameras this way:
- the JVC tripod mounted
- the Merlin & HC1 flying and no matter the dof !

The reason why i so love the JVC is it's progressive vs interlaced.

Othewise, what steadicam would work with a 22lbs setup ?
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Old August 27th, 2007, 05:31 PM   #11
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Another possibility is to replace the HC10 with a Canon HV20. This camera shoots Canon's progressive, and I think it will downconvert and intercut very well with the JVC video.

Here's a link with some examples of the HV20 with 25p PAL:
http://dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=92882

As far as finding a Steadicam type rig for your JVC I would suggest emailing the different companies with your camera specs, with a picture, and asking them what they have that would work for you. I think this will get you the best answers.

There are a number of companies, but the obvious ones are Steadicam, Glidecam, and a number of others which I don't recall off hand.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 05:39 PM   #12
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There are a number of rigs out there that will handle this weight requirement. As Jack says, look at the Steadicam site, as well as Glidecam, Varizoom, Sachtler and so on. There are a bunch of overseas knockoffs that are generally not well-regarded (these show up on eBay regularly). To get a quality rig that can handle this level of weight will likely cost you $15K or up.

I know from your earlier quip about equipment cost that you feel that this is crazy money. Unfortunately, moving into a 35mm workflow and this type of weight class puts you into a pro environment and the costs are scaled accordingly. To be able to properly and safely support that kind of weight with a stabilizer requires a level of machining and design that cannot be fudged the way it is with the cheaper handheld stabilizers.
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Old August 27th, 2007, 06:06 PM   #13
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The Steadicam Archer is capable of holding your rig in this configuration, but starts at about US$22,000. (Comes with the new G50 arm though).
http://www.steadicam.com/videoarcher.html

Using a steadicam for weddings can be impracticle due to the time required to reconfigure between tripod / shoulder held and the steadicam. Therefore the solution offered of using a Merlin with a second camera such as the JVC HD Everio is a practicle solution.
http://camcorder.jvc.com/microsites/GZHD3/
There is now a vest and arm available for the Merlin but I doubt it would fly the JVC HD200 even in basic set up mode.

I managed to make the HD 101E work on the Steadicam Flyer with a similar set up to your's but it was maxed out and required some thought for the final configuration.
http://www.steadi-onfilms.com.au/steadicam_flyer.html

You could shed some weight by powering the camera from the rig power, lose the viewfinder and some of the matte box flags. Are you using light weight matte box rods? This would make reconfiguring between steadicam and tripod / shoulder even more of a hassle though.

With any 35mm lens set up you will need some kind of focus control, the BFD system http://www.bartechengineering.com/ is used my many professional steadicam ops and is an excellent system at a much lower price than the state of the art Preston. This system will still cost you around US$4,000. There is a focus control available that enables you to operate the BFD focus from the steadicam gimble for only US$75, otherwise you need a good focus puller.

The P & S Tecknik eliminates the standard lens from the conversion, replacing it with a small intermediate lens. The new Mini35 Compact version is particularily neat. But it is the most expensive option for type of conversion. Your other option is JVC's HZ-CA13U it's an even more compact option and is fairly expensive at US$4,395 and requires PL mount lens for a 16mm film equivalent result.
http://pro.jvc.com/prof/attributes/l..._id=00&tree=GA

Once you start to improve the quality things get more and more expensive at an ever increasing rate. What's that expression "quick, cheap, quality, pick any two".

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Old August 28th, 2007, 07:46 AM   #14
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hi Phil,

The Flyer supports 15lbs on paper. Your setup using the hd101 seems to be far more heavy.
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Old August 28th, 2007, 08:18 AM   #15
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Phil's Flyer setup is very well thought out. The Flyer is indeed rated for a 15lb camera payload because that is all the factory configuration can counterbalance given a single battery and monitor. By adding the second battery and hard drive he was able to accomodate the increased weight at the top of the rig. The fact is that the arm itself can bear more than the stated payload, in fact in some cases much more (the rating of the arm springs can vary widely, some Flyer arms can accomodate up to 10 lbs more than expected). At a certain point however, the weakest link in the chain will become an issue and in this case it is likely to be the gimbal, which can bear a few more pounds than nominal but can potentially break under an extended load and a lot of "winging around", particular the yoke. Also the vest should be beefed up, particular the center spar as it may flex considerably, causing some operator discomfort.

Phil, any notes on this? Have you reconfigured in the ways described in the article (relocate the camera battery, voltage stepdown for the Mini35 etc)?
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