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Sony XDCAM PXW-FS7 / FS5
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Old November 25th, 2016, 05:59 AM   #1
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Share your secrets!

This forum seems awfully quiet these days, so at the risk of posting a 'fluff' thread, I thought I'd start this one.

I'm assuming we all have a few little production secrets that allow us to get great shots on a shoe string or not by the normal conventions/equipment. So let's share a few of them here. I realise that once your genie is out of the bottle, every Tom,Dick and Harry videographer may start using it. But keep in mind few of us are competing in the same area/market and we're buried quite deep in a reasonably niche forum, so let's share a little and perhaps we'll gain more than we lose.

Here's a few of mine;

I use a cheap (US$150) Kamerar SD-1 slider to get great curved (advantage over sliders) crabbing/sliding shots. Thus I uses a bit of 2m x 1m smooth board that I perch on top of two standard DIY A-frames. I then offset/curve the wheels on the slider and use it as a dolly rather than a slider. What you'll get is shots like this between 23-33 secs in this video:

For quick/run-of-the-mill interviews I've started using cheap ($50-150) Chinese Yongnuo soft panel lights(YN300 and YN900). The CRI colour index on them is pretty good and they are small and super easy to carry and quickly put up. I find them too harsh without diffuser, but since they have barn doors (many competitors don't) I clip scrim/spun onto those whereby these lights become very usable. Personally I've got x2 which operate at both Tungsten and daylight (but half capacity for each) and three at 100% daylight. I've found that's a good combo for most scenarios.

When I need to 'establish' a city in a video I always try and find the tallest building with public access and film from the top. Sometimes I'll have issues with security, so often I'll send a crew member ahead of me with the tripod and lenses, but no camera. I'll then have the camera in my bag further back in the queue. Most times we won't get busted since all the pro kit isn't in one bag and something like a DSLR doesn't appear pro. You'll see a couple of examples about 12 secs along in this video (I do realise the soft vignette is naff, I'm through that now!):

So share away!
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Old November 25th, 2016, 08:56 AM   #2
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Re: Share your secrets!

Nice one Nigel!

Don't know that I have much to offer but. I use my cine bags backpack on my chest and just put the FS5 on top of it. That way my arms don't get tired and I'm a lot more mobile than if I'm on a tripod. For walk and talks or whatever and there's no steady cam to be had... This is the poor mans steady...
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Old November 25th, 2016, 12:28 PM   #3
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Re: Share your secrets!

Thanks Alfred. I sometimes put my FS5 on top of a heavy unextended monopod and then grip it near the top to make it work a bit like a pendulum. It isn't a perfect 'smooth' steadicam motion, but with the right lens (50mm can be interesting) it has an organic/real action feel to it that works well with fast cutting.
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Old November 27th, 2016, 01:28 AM   #4
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Re: Share your secrets!

Here's another tip (which I used just yesterday), check out charity stores for luggage you can use as kit bags. Quite often they have some really good quality pieces that will easily do the same job as the proper industry stuff, just without the right badge.

Yesterday I picked up an oval bugaboo bag (this one: Bugaboo Bb01 Diaper Bag In Black Canvas and Petunia Pickle Bottom in Diaper Bags : All Diaper Bags at PoshTots) for next to nothing. Snip the label off and voila!
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Old November 27th, 2016, 10:30 AM   #5
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Re: Share your secrets!

Interesting stuff guys.

I'd like to see more recommendations for stabiliser solutions which won't break the bank.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 05:04 PM   #6
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Re: Share your secrets!

A good tip for FS5 users is to get hold of the Sony 16mm pancake lens. It makes the camera really unobtrusive for times you don't want to draw attention to yourself. It's the closest you can get to shooting with no lens on the thing from a size perspective!

It's also so small and light it's a no brainer to have it in the bag. Whereas my 11mm Tokina is wider and gives nicer images but is large and heavy.
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Old December 7th, 2016, 05:22 PM   #7
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Re: Share your secrets!

I find the 12mm Rokinon serves the same purpose keeping the camera light, requires little focusing, is sharp and is a perfect run and gun lens. It is especially good when using slo-mo and hand holding the camera and making a move. I so rarely use a tripod with this camera. It is just so light and easy to move smoothly or hand hold steadily.
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Old December 8th, 2016, 04:18 AM   #8
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Re: Share your secrets!

Anyone got any recommendations for decent old/vintage lens you can pick up for a song on eBay and couple with an e-mount via an adapter?
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Old December 8th, 2016, 05:00 AM   #9
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Re: Share your secrets!

I have a Canon FD 50mm F1.4 and the 35-105mm zoom (Canon FD 35-105mm f/3.5 FD Lens | eBay ), each with an Euro 10 adapter. Used them a lot with my FS100, but even now I'd pick the 50 mm for my FS7 in lo-light situations.

Piotr
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Old February 5th, 2017, 04:31 PM   #10
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Re: Share your secrets!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Nigel Davey View Post
Anyone got any recommendations for decent old/vintage lens you can pick up for a song on eBay and couple with an e-mount via an adapter?
Nikkor 50-300mm f4.5 Wow what a lens.

Bought one for $500 and absolutely love it for nature stuff. Maybe $500 isn't a song but this is a serious piece of glass.

I put some Extension Tubes on it and the macro stuff is unbelievable.
https://www.instagram.com/p/BGNmmGTS...ductions&hl=en

The monkeys are optional.
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