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Old May 9th, 2007, 10:59 AM   #16
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All down to ergonomics and the skeleton. On the shoulder, the right arm is used for controlling the camera, not supporting it. A small handicam style camera held out in front kills my arms very quickly.

I do use both, I've some big heavy cameras and some tiny things too, and I use the ones most appropriate. Shoulder mounted camera do have the annoying habit of going up and down as you walk, so top get perfectly level shooting you end up bending both legs when you walk, in a loping style - which levels out the bumps but mnake the legs ache. You can hold a small camera in your outstretched arm and use the arm like a steadicam - you can ski down a mountain like this and get very stable shots.

A big camera held under the arm with sitting subjects also works well.

Worst position must be small camera with rear viewfinder that you have to hold in front.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 11:04 AM   #17
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The two best things I did to avoid the shaky-cam look with my PD-150.

1. Bought a Century .55x wide angle adapter and started shooting handheld shots as close as I could get to the subject without bonking them on the nose. At slightly less than full wide, it evens out the bumps and jiggles. Also, unlike many folks here, I really like the deep focus of a wider angle. Makes the shotgun audio better, too.

2. Broke down and got the strongest, lightest tripod I could afford (a Miller carbon-fiber DV10 Solo). Since it weighs less than 10 pounds and has a very comfortable shoulder strap, I can sling it over my back like a rifle and I now always have it with me. It's also light enough that it's pretty easy to hoist it with the camera, attached to either move quickly to a new location, or to collapse the legs somewhat and use it as a makeshift stabilizer.

Shoulder-mount? We don't need no steenkin' shoulder mount.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 11:53 AM   #18
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if you can get as close as you like to the subject, can stop the action for a minute or two while you hook up to a tripod then any camera will work. I doubt any eng shooter will willingly surrender his shoulder mount cam.
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Old May 9th, 2007, 08:43 PM   #19
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Oh, don't get me wrong, I have nothing against full-size shoulder ENG cameras. I certainly wouldn't kick a PDW-350 out of my camera bag!

I've just found that these techniques were better investments for the kind of shooting that I do than an add-on shoulder brace would have been.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:07 AM   #20
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Doug Bennett View Post
anyone see the cnn.com footage of Bush welcoming the Queen? What happened? I guess no room for a tripod and he is shooting from a great distance?

http://www.cnn.com/video/partners/cl...bush.queen.cnn
I can tell you exactly what happened from personal experience. You've got a herd of photographers shooting on shaky bleacher platforms , lenses set on doubler, wind is blowing and even the heaviest tripod won't help.
Actually the footage wasn't that bad !

chris/wash. dc
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:22 AM   #21
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Chris, this was network news covering a heavily choreographed event at the Whitehouse, not a gangbang for a breaking story at some high school. From that perspective I would say the footage is not something I would have felt comfortable turning in without a lot of excuses. There was little wind, look at the flags. The DoF is surprisingly deep for shooting at extreme telephoto with 2/3" chips, also the focus seems soft to me, but maybe difficult to evaluate accurately at such low res.
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Old May 10th, 2007, 09:51 AM   #22
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this was network news covering a heavily choreographed event at the Whitehouse, not a gangbang for a breaking story at some high school. .
Doug,
You would be surprised : ) Not quite a "gangbang" perhaps, but a very aggressive, jaded Wash. press corps. elbowing for the same, "best" spot.
Probably a little wind blowing on the shooting platforms as they are isolated on the south lawn with no protection from elements.
There's always someone walking on the platform while you're shooting too !

Been there, done that : )

chris
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Old June 7th, 2007, 07:42 AM   #23
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With over 23 years in broadcast video and film -11 as a news photog- I can say without reservation that shoulder-mount is far from dead. It's still my preferred method of camera stabilizing, even after using the modern DVX type cameras. I shoot a reality program where we, the camera crews, follow a bunch of young adults going through extreme sport activites. We use both broadcast shoulder-mount and DVX-type cameras. I did appreciate the light weight of the smaller cams - at first. But when you hold one in front of your body for hours at a time (these shoots last all day) my arms feel like rubber and my lower back is killing me. And, yes, I work out with weight-lifting, running and riding road bikes. Plus, all the auto-menu driven functions get maddingly complicated when you're doing run-n-gun style of shooting.
The compromise? I just purchased my own JVC HD-200. Low weight and the stability of shoulder-mount with full manual controls. I was interested in the new Sony XDCAM EX until I saw a pic of its design. It looks like it'll be a Z1-type of camera body. Too bad, I gotta have shoulder-mount.
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Old June 7th, 2007, 08:59 AM   #24
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Glen,
You're spot on about shoulder mount cameras. I shot a little hand-held on the JVC camera and they had to pry it out of my hands at day's end. It is hands down the most comfortable, ergonomic hdv camera.
I use the multi rig device on small hdv cameras which works fairly well for extensive handheld work, but it's no substitute for shouldermount cameras.
Looking forward to the new P2 shouldermount 500 camera.
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Old June 13th, 2007, 08:04 PM   #25
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Sorry to distract you guys with an off-track question: Do you consider Canon H1 a shoulder-mount or a hand-held?
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Old June 13th, 2007, 10:59 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Juni Zhao View Post
Sorry to distract you guys with an off-track question: Do you consider Canon H1 a shoulder-mount or a hand-held?
I held one and to me it's a shoulder mount, albeit a bit front heavy. I thought about getting a Canon H1, which is a really, really good HDV camera with a lot of advanced features (HD-SDI output, variable recording rates), except for one flaw - the iris control totally sucks. Why didn't Canon just put a proper iris control on the lens, where it should be? One with marked f-stops, like the JVC ProHD line. That infinitely-rotating iris control screams pro-sumer.
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Old June 15th, 2007, 05:38 PM   #27
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the XLH1 is a badly balanced shoulder mount camera. But using the back bracket and 3rd party rigs the balance problem can be fixed.
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Old June 24th, 2007, 04:12 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by Oren Arieli View Post
..........Now I have a XH-A1, I can't fathom holding a steady shot for 10+ minutes with one hand (I've done 20 minutes shoulder-mounted without twitching for a particularly long toast)...
Oren,
Can you (or anyone) recommend a shoulder mount or shoulder bracket for XH-A1 to be used for a wide range of bird flight footage?
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Old June 25th, 2007, 09:13 PM   #29
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check out the dvcaddie - good support and most important it leaves both hands on the cam

tripod would be better for shooting telephoto
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