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Old May 8th, 2003, 12:33 AM   #1
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Handheld Shooting Support

I'm gearing up for a documentary project, in which there will be plenty of following the subjects around different locations, and I'll probably end up shooting continuously for extended periods of time. I'm trying to figure out the best support for such handheld shooting, using my PD150, with wide angle adapter, big battery, and me66. I was thinking about the Varizoom VZ-1 Shooter w/ zoom control, it seems simple but effective and is in my pricerange. But after reading some threads here about L-brackets such as the mini-rover, I got to thinking that might be a good option as well. Anyone have any thoughts on the differences between an L-bracket vs. a shoulder mount, and the pros and cons of the two? Or any other suggestions for extended handheld shooting? Any input or advice would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!
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Old May 8th, 2003, 05:28 AM   #2
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If you've read some of the threads about this subject you'll find everybody using everything. I have mentioned that I use a shoulder brace with a loaded up 150. I also use a monopod depending on the situation. I tried an "L" bracket a while back and FOR ME it did not work comfortably. I use different supports for different circumstances. If you can "try" the support and return it if it doesn't work that would be the best way, what works for me might not work for you, but overall I have been happy with the shoulder brace. AAMOF, I did a complete wedding ceremony with it last weekend. Of course the ceremony was only 20 minutes and I was actully sitting in th 3rd of seats plus I had another cam rolling but the footage was good, steady and only a couple of spots that were a little shaky.
Takes your choice:)
Don
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Old May 8th, 2003, 11:28 AM   #3
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I made handlebars from a zoom controller, and another piece of pipe with a bike grip, all screwed into the pistol grip bracket (an L shaped piece of metal with holes on one part of the L, and a groove on the other piece through which you put a screw that can slide back and forth.

This, coupled with some kind of shoulder piece makes for steady shooting handheld, though maybe not the most comfortable. Also, you're using a different camera than I, so I have no idea if what I'm talking about is even relevant.
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Old May 8th, 2003, 11:36 AM   #4
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Thanks Don and Josh. If I do get a shoulder mount, I was wondering about how vital having a zoom control on it would be. It seems like it would be handy, but it also raises the cost quite a bit. Any thoughts?
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Old May 8th, 2003, 12:20 PM   #5
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Sometimes I use it sometimes I don't. I'm not locked into anything. To me it all depends on the situation.
I did a wedding a couple of weeks ago I handheld the ceremony (shoulder brace) without the zoom controller because it was in a hotel and the officiant said I could move wherever I needed to to get the shot, and the one I did the week before I used it because I saw I wouldn't be able to move forward. Side to side but not towards the couple.
Different situation. If you know your limits and the limits of your equipment you can be ready to do just about anything!
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