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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old July 7th, 2009, 11:20 AM   #1
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Steady Shot, Smoothcam, both or what?

Is there any general agreement as to which of these approches works best? Either using the EX1's Steady Shot function OR shooting it clean and applying Smoothcam in Final Cut. Or, what happens if you use both in combination? I have a series of handheld tracking shots coming up and wondered what others have found.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 11:47 AM   #2
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The in-camera OIS is miles ahead of anything you can apply in post for the simple reason that it's optical, not digital.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 01:36 PM   #3
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Not only that, but Smoothcam doesn't work all the great in a lot of the situations I wanted to use it for -- and the render times are really long.

SteadyShot is, by far, your best bet for handheld shooting, but don't use it on a tripod.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 03:04 PM   #4
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Smoothcam can be brilliant for certain things and hopeless for others. It's can't get rid of motion blur which gives a funny look and you obviously sacrifice resolution.

If you want smooth tracking without a dolly a Steadicam would be your best bet if you can afford it. Far better than OIS or smoothcam.
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Old July 7th, 2009, 04:43 PM   #5
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Rent a wheelchair, OIS on, job done. $5-10 rental?
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Old July 7th, 2009, 05:35 PM   #6
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Using FCP Smoothcam on shaky EX footage provides a graphic demonstration of rolling shutter! Fix part of the image and the rest quivers and wobbles just like jelly.

N
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Old July 7th, 2009, 05:37 PM   #7
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Using FCP Smoothcam on shaky EX footage provides a graphic demonstration of rolling shutter! Fix part of the image and the rest quivers and wobbles just like jelly.

N
Correct. Smoothcam with the EX1 rolling shutter will produce jello. The one drawback with the EX. It can be used but it provides a dreamy watery effect, which can be nice but is also perceived as 'not real.'
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Old July 8th, 2009, 05:50 PM   #8
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Not only that, but Smoothcam doesn't work all the great in a lot of the situations I wanted to use it for -- and the render times are really long.

SteadyShot is, by far, your best bet for handheld shooting, but don't use it on a tripod.
Doug can you explain what advantage you gain over not using steady shot when on a tripod? I know you don't necessarily need it on a tripod, but switching it on and off.... Well I'm guessing that picutre might be slightly sharper?
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Old July 8th, 2009, 06:44 PM   #9
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Doug can you explain what advantage you gain over not using steady shot when on a tripod? I know you don't necessarily need it on a tripod, but switching it on and off.... Well I'm guessing that picutre might be slightly sharper?
If you don't switch it off it will try to keep panning or tilting even when you've stopped. Try it and you'll see. It'll make you nuts.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 06:52 PM   #10
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Yeah, what Charles says is correct. Anytime you pan, tilt, or zoom the camera, SteadyShot will try to dampen your intended movement -- and it is noticable.

Of course, if you're shooting on a tripod and the shot is locked-down, then SteadyShot can be your friend. I've done some shooting outdoors in windy conditions, on a tripod, with the camera locked-down, and SteadyShot did an excellent of cancelling most of the wind that was buffeting the camera.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 07:03 PM   #11
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My original reason for starting this thread was because I have some shoots coming up where I'll be doing model home "walk-thru's" handheld so I was curious to see what you all thought of either of these motion canceling options. I'll also do some more of my own tests before this project begins, but I really appreciate the input everybody has offered here. There won't be any tripod shots in this project. Also, since I'll be doing these shoots alone, a wheelchair won't be an option, either.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:02 PM   #12
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If you're hand-holding relatively steadily, I would recommend using the in camera steadishot for sure. Avoid fast shutter speeds, use 1/60 or longer. If there isn't a huge amount of movement you might be able to further smooth it with smoothcam. I sometimes use 1/30 for hand-held (I shot 30P) and this further smoothes things out.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:33 PM   #13
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with the camera locked-down, and SteadyShot did an excellent of cancelling most of the wind that was buffeting the camera.
Wish I'd thought of that a couple days ago. Shazbot.
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Old July 8th, 2009, 08:36 PM   #14
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My original reason for starting this thread was because I have some shoots coming up where I'll be doing model home "walk-thru's" handheld
You mean like this? Hangers in Smooth Cam on Vimeo The guy's not using an EX, but he did use Smooth Cam.
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Old July 9th, 2009, 02:51 AM   #15
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smack in the middle of a steadyshot dilemma. (I think) Shooting 25p with a 50 shutter speed, hand held but with a very stable combo of dm brace and steadystick. My pans, however slow, are incredibly grabby. I must try again with steadyshot off and see if that was the problem. Any other ideas?
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