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Old July 6th, 2005, 04:41 PM   #1
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What equipment will allow me to shoot more efficient?

Hi Guys, I mainly shoot video tours of homes, my price point is low and I am looking for ways to speed up my shooting. I recently bought a Firestors FS-4 and it saves me lots of time editing.

It would be great if I could save some time while shooting. Right now I shoot on a tripod. I usually just do pans and some tilts accross the rooms. It's kind of a pain to lug around a tripod throughout the house and up and down steps. Do you think some kind of stabilizer or sholder pod would speed up my shooting and allow for the same results. Possible the VZ-LSP from varizoom:
http://www.varizoom.com/pages/lsp.php

You can see some of my tours at www.wowvideotours.com

Any comments or suggestions would be appreciated.

Thanks,
Todd
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Old July 6th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #2
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Todd,

For a quarter of that price I acquired a Tiffen Steady-Stick and am quite pleased with it.

DV Creators Theater has a video about its use: Steady-Stick 1/2 way down on the left
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Old July 6th, 2005, 05:51 PM   #3
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Need some more info... what camera are you using? How long is it taking? I just started doing a few homes (I cant believe how much money is in this LOL) for a friend who has a real estate show and I generally show up, scout for 10 minutes, have one guy do exteriors and I do the MTV Cribs style interiors.

I use a good wide angle lens and a Steadicam (Hollywood Lite verision, which is now the Varizoom FlowCam GT) and I can knock the house out in 15 minutes or less.

One thing you might try is handlheld and use the Steadymove Pro plug-in in your NLE, I am SHOCKED how good that works...



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Old July 6th, 2005, 05:55 PM   #4
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well i'm on a slow connection right now so i didn't bother trying to look at your clips. but i wanted to let you know that i've been thinking about a monopod for quicker situations. i'm a pretty good handheld shooter, but you're not gonna mistake my handheld stuff for being shot on a sachtler fluidhead, or a steadycam for that matter. but i know a lot of nature photogs use monopods, when they need some kind of stabilization for those 1000mm lenses but need to be mobile as well. it seems to me like with a little practice, you ought to be able to get shots with a monopod that will pass for sticks. the monopod should take care of the "y" axis for you, leaving you to only really worry about "x" and "z." anyhow, i haven't gone down that road yet, but i plan to explore it in depth once i'm over my summer poverty spell.
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Old July 6th, 2005, 11:58 PM   #5
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Patrick, took a look at the steady stick, and looks very nice, I think it would work for me.

Ash, I use a Canon GL2, with a Century optics .55 wide angle. I think the money is actually very good; our tours start at $75 for up to 2000 sq ft. Most tours are $100 and over, I shoot anywhere from 15-25 tours a week. Usually I take 25 minutes to shoot and 15 minutes to edit (the fs-4 cut this down a lot) plus the time it takes to render the windows media file maybe 15 minutes. So it takes me about an hour per tour from start to finish.

The FlowCam GT looks great, but I don't really want to spend the money on a full rig right now.

The one thing that would concern me with the steadymove plug-in is render times. Do you find this to be a problem.

I think I may go with the steady stick, and may mess around with a monopod like Nate suggested.

Thanks for all the help, any other suggestions would be appreciated.
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Old July 7th, 2005, 03:56 PM   #6
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You can download it and try it... I have a 3.6ghz computer with 4 gigs of ram and it renders very fast...




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Old July 8th, 2005, 10:26 PM   #7
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Todd,

I've not personally worked with a monopod. I like the Steady-stick but I know others here routinely use a monopod and produce some amazing overhead shots the I just couldn't reproduce with the Steady-stick. Its the right tool for what I want to do, you just need to determine if its right for the work you want to do.
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