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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old January 16th, 2011, 04:00 AM   #16
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I second the others here who say definitely do not use a tripod. It will pick up not only the rocking motion of the boat but also engine vibrations which will extend all the way through to your camera without anything to abosrb it in between.

I've shot surfing as well as sailing (International 49ers, 29ers, 12ft skiffs) from motor boats and, found handheld to be the easiest option. Shoot as wide as possible as much as you can to minimise any movements. Get as close as possible/permittable to the subject and make sure you communicate a lot with your driver - it's always good to know when he's about to make a turn, change speeds, or hit chop.
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Old January 16th, 2011, 07:11 AM   #17
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Good point John. Your captain should always tell you what he is doing before he does it. Taking speed of the ship feels like braking and with both hands on the camera, you could easily fall.

It is very difficult to tell others exactly what to do. Steadicam would probably be very good but maybe there just isnt room enough for using it on the ship.
Tell you to go handheld, does not help, if you cannot hold the camera steady. I have seen several good fotografs that can do handheld on land - unable to do a good job on a boat. I have been sailing always and I have learned it - I would say that if you can hold a cup, full of coffe, on the boat in a storm, without spilling - you might be good enough for doing handheld on a boat :)
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Old January 16th, 2011, 09:29 AM   #18
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We always use headsets so you are hand free to communicate. This makes for no yelling or turning your head off the subject and you can communcate quickly and clearly. I tend to use the same drivers on most jobs who are top sailors in their own right so they know what the fleet is going next.

As John says chasing skiffs is a challenge and takes a high skill level by the whole team to produce a great shot.

Bo makes a great point it takes someone with experience on the water to understand how to move with the boat. Looking through the camera you need so sense the boat and not take your eye off the job at hand. This is what makes it fun.

Pleanty of examples of how not to do this on the web.

One other point if you are trying for a high end broadcast shot is go CCD. I see a huge difference between my CMOS and CCD cameras. CCD is a big step up in motion shots. And now Canon has made this one step better with their new IS 2/3" B4 lens. It use to be Schwem with Betacam but with HD you need a HD lens to capture the best contrast and have sharp edges.
http://www.usa.canon.com/CUSA/assets...rt2010_rev.pdf
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Old January 16th, 2011, 07:32 PM   #19
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Here's a rough cut of a story I'm doing on building a boat.

http://hawaiigoesfishing.com/videos/makau23.mov

Lots of open water shooting at speeds about 15 or 20 knots. It's all handheld with a shoulder brace, shot from a 24-foot Radon fishing boat. If someone does hold onto me, I always ask that they hold onto my belt. Holding onto my shoulders makes things worse as my upper body provides most of the stabilization.

I stand near the stern, as close to the centerline as possible, and keep my legs a bit more than shoulder width apart. My knees are always bent. The same principle that works for skiers works for this type of shooting.

As for a body-mounted stabilizer, I wouldn't do that. Even if you're wearing a PFD, you might not float face-up. At the very least you should have a way to instantly detach the rig from your body. If I were to use a stabilizer I'd have it mounted on the boat instead, and isolated from vibrations.

I'd also wrap it in plastic. As others have said, salt spray is very corrosive. You'll want to wipe it down with a solution of Salt Away afterward, and then treat all metal with Corrosion-X.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 02:51 AM   #20
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Ohh - yes Paul is right - you must have a CCD kamera on that job.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 03:15 AM   #21
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I've done a lot of work from boats, planes and cars with CMOS cameras and always been able to obtain good results. If you shot is steady and vibration free there is no reason why CMOS should not produce good pictures.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 07:34 AM   #22
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Dean nice job. With all of your shooting on the water have you tried gyros or one of the gyro lens? I think you would like the results.

When you use gyros they are not mounted to your body like the Steadicam they are on the rig and just part of the camera you hold. The battery is on your waist with a Fastec clip.

Bo, no need to make wise comments it just shows you don't know the difference. CCD will outperform CMOS every time with fast motion, so my point was if you want the best then go with CCD. I have used CMOS and had great results and still use my CMOS camera when I need light and quick movement in tight spaces, as Alister says with experience you can make it work. But for me if it is a money shot for broadcast it is CCD every time!
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Old January 17th, 2011, 12:48 PM   #23
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Well - sorry for the short comment but saing that I don't know the difference, that's to far out.
I have problems with rolling shutter at some unstable shots and it is very easy to find others that have the same problem.
If there is any instability at the camera it would produce problems like in this video - jello.

And we were talking about filming from a not very stable point- right. I use my PMW-EX350 and my EX3 a lot - but I would not consider using them on a boat. I was looking for an old clip here on DV info that showed the rolling shutter effect very clearly, from a boat, but unfortunately I could not find it.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 01:29 PM   #24
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Understand Bo I should have not said that not knowing you and your work, sorry.

That clip is what scares me with CMOS and also the skewing. That is an extreme example and even a lot less is still hard to take. As I mentioned I have to use my EX1/Nano at times but I am very careful with the shot and normally it is WA or fisheye. My PMW-500 does a great job as long as I do my part.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:23 PM   #25
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But that clip was shot with a 5D and the Jello was most likely caused by bumping the camera and setting up vibration on a tripod that's too flimsy for the lens being used. Without the Jello the beginning of the shot would probably have been too wobbly to have been used by most people.

The EX is in a different league compared to the 5D when it comes to Jello. Sure CCD doesn't have Jello problems, we all know that and if I try hard enough I can turn my EX pictures to Jello. But how many people hand on heart can say that they have had a shot that would otherwise have been OK, ie vibration, wobble, shake, excessive movement free etc spoilt by Jello? Shoot it right and Jello should not be a problem.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:27 PM   #26
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Alister you are right shoot it properly and most of the time it will be OK. Only with really fast motion will it not work well. And yes 5D is a whole different beast then the EX camera line. I own both and only use the 5D for time-lapse and stills.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 04:32 PM   #27
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alister Chapman View Post
The EX is in a different league compared to the 5D when it comes to Jello. Sure CCD doesn't have Jello problems, we all know that and if I try hard enough I can turn my EX pictures to Jello. But how many people hand on heart can say that they have had a shot that would otherwise have been OK, ie vibration, wobble, shake, excessive movement free etc spoilt by Jello? Shoot it right and Jello should not be a problem.
Alister, I doubt you have seen this, but a new TV series is running here in the US on the Discovery Channel called "Gold Rush Alaska". I was watching it the other night and they had all the usual nicely shot footage, but they also had some horrendous B-roll footage of a vibrating machine that is used to separate gold from the rocks and dirt. This shot redefined the term "Jellovision". This hulking, steel sifting machine looked like it was made out of soft rubber as it shook in front of the camera lens. I wonder if the network has any guidelines as to what percentage of footage can be shot with CMOS cameras?
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Old January 17th, 2011, 06:24 PM   #28
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I do not have any materiel to show you recorded on a boat with a CMOS camera. Although I do have several things recorded on boats. I have two exampels -Both are recorded on my HPX 2100.
This could easily be made on a CMOS camera.


And on this one, I would not recommend a CMOS camera for the job.


Making things like this you cannot always know the weather conditions and how much room you have to work on. If youre in the steady world with no fast panning - you could use the CMOS camera. But there is conditions where you could get problem with the rolling shutter, it is when birds are sitting in a tree and when the wind is moving the boughs.
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Old January 17th, 2011, 07:10 PM   #29
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I've been trying to find this clip for a couple days. It goes back to the early days of the EX1 forum and shows some pretty serious "jellovision" onboard a boat:

EX1 filming on vibrating boat

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Old January 18th, 2011, 07:27 AM   #30
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Bo thanks for the clips.

Dave that is an extreme example.
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