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Old November 13th, 2008, 02:02 PM   #1
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In-Car Shooting (Supercars/Racecars)

Hi guys, wanted to start this thread for a more specific application of shooting in cars, specifically supercars and cars for the race track.
Thought we could share problems, advice and upload clips to see what's going on.

I'm fortunate enough to have many friends with all sorts of cars in their collections, and have been making little films specifically in cars for years.
I've just acquired a Canon HF11 (to replace the HV20), as previously all the camera's I used were from my Uni.

My first problem is isolating the HF11 from vibration when mounted in-car.

I'm currently using the HF11 on a monopod, and a heavy duty suction mount which is clamped to the monopod (so that is very secure and stable). I'll get some snaps up tomorrow showing what that looks like. However my footage is still showing signs of vibration despite the camera with its stabilisation off, in 50i and with a shutter speed around 250.
Any thoughts on isolating the camera more?
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Old November 13th, 2008, 02:39 PM   #2
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I don't know about the HF11, but the HV20 is unusable for in/on-car shots. I think the CMOS can't handle the vibrations. There's a thread about this subject in the HV20 section.
I tried to made the HV20 work on suctioncups and superclamps. With CCD cams it is no problem, but the HV20 just keeps messing with the picture.
Maybe it is the same problem as you experience.
Normally suctioncups and clamps are all you need.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 03:00 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hubert Duijzer View Post
Normally suctioncups and clamps are all you need.
Yep, fully agree as I've had no issues in the past. That's why I'm determined to isolate the camera from vibration as I know it can do a good job (well, it just cost me near 800 so it better ! :D ).
I use bullet camera's as well but I need to buy a new recorder for that as the HV20 was the main recorder previously. Obviously they are always fine with suction mounts/clamps.

Racking my brain at the moment !

p.s
I do have a Glidecam 2000 Pro, may be able to try and use that in some way.
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Old November 13th, 2008, 07:56 PM   #4
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I put at least 1 cam in a race car every weekend

Perhaps you might look at differently. Instead of isolating the camera from the car's vibration, you might want to bind the camera as tightly as possible.

I use the Bogen/Manfrotto Super Clamp with 056 3-D Junior Head to mount up to four mini DV cams in what you would term "tin tops" and they are epic. Clamp the jaws to a structural support and it will just not move. The 3-D head articulates into virtually any position so camera positioning is not difficult.

I use an old Sony TRV 19, a couple of new Canon Z9XX and a Panny GS 350 with image stabilization off and I could not be more pleased with the results from the Sony and the Canons. The Panny has some issues with something apparently moving internally as the camera is dead solid.

If you're interested in what the video looks like, here's an example: One Great Mini Stock Heat on Vimeo. Yes, I know the PAR is wrong but there are some in-car shots that will show you the stability of the mount. I think there's even one shot where the driver gets hit from behind and nothing moves. You might even be able to see the following car come up in the rear view. The in car for this race was the Sony.

If you have any questions, just let me know.

HTH
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Old November 14th, 2008, 07:31 AM   #5
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Nice and stable inside there, like my other vids with different cameras.
(on a side note: could never understand why people like going around in circles?)

A lot of the cars I go in, CarreraGT/Murci/F40/Gallardo ect don't have exposed frames to work with, so it's quite tricky doing that. For other cars like GT3's with cages its easy enough to hook up to.
I'm going to test the HF11 with my Brevis 35 today and see if that helps at all as it has some clamps to stabilise the camera.

I've got a meet on Sunday, so wanted to test as many ways as possible before we go out.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 11:43 AM   #6
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Right may sound silly, and will do much further testing tomorrow as I only had about 15mins of light left when a car was available... but closing the LCD just made a HUGE difference.
More tomorrow.
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Old November 14th, 2008, 06:50 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob O'Day View Post
I'm going to test the HF11 with my Brevis 35 today and see if that helps at all as it has some clamps to stabilise the camera..
I'd be curious to know how that all works out. You might have issues with movement if the clamp for the Brevis isn't as secure as the one for the camera. But I expect you already knew that.

They're not actually circles, they're ovals. (grin) I like races that turn left and right too, but in my experience you usually get tighter racing on ovals. Plus you can see all the action from anywhere in the stands. If it goes fast and has four wheels, I'm all over it.

BTW: Congratulations to your countryman Hamilton on the F1 title. He definitely deserved it.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 11:21 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tripp Woelfel View Post
I'd be curious to know how that all works out. You might have issues with movement if the clamp for the Brevis isn't as secure as the one for the camera. But I expect you already knew that.

They're not actually circles, they're ovals. (grin) I like races that turn left and right too, but in my experience you usually get tighter racing on ovals. Plus you can see all the action from anywhere in the stands. If it goes fast and has four wheels, I'm all over it.

BTW: Congratulations to your countryman Hamilton on the F1 title. He definitely deserved it.
Ah yes, my mistake it is an Oval, and yeah I can imagine its good for viewing, as a driver it wouldn't interest me thats all :)

Ok the test with the Brevis was ok but not that different from the camera being solo. The main issue is that it needs to be completely secure. I found the extension arm from my suction mount that clamped to the monopod had some vibration, and that the bottom of the monopod would need to be very secure, as yep more movement.

Soooo.
Today I tried out various tests and I've found the best results so far:
Heavy duty Suction mount
Clamp around the connector on the suction mount.
Double ball swivel thing (as seen here on SC2, on the right hand side)
CAMCORDER MOUNTING BRACKETS

That seems to eliminate most of the problems, and on-track I'd imagine that should be quite stable.

I'm out in the 997 GT3 RS tomorrow, this one has a full cage so I can test out a few things, will post the results up asap. I'll get some shots of the set up just incase it goes well :D

p.s
Cheers for the Hamilton comment :D
Also well done for picking the right President :)

Last edited by Rob O'Day; November 15th, 2008 at 12:05 PM.
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Old November 15th, 2008, 03:10 PM   #9
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That superclamp with the double ball is exact the same setup as i use. It is one of the best solutions fur Cage-Clamping. Tripp's solutions is more or less the same, maybe even more sturdier.
But my guess is some camcorders can't handle vibrations well. Don't know if it is rolling shutter or a image stabilisator that makes it even worse. I did turn it off on the Canon HV, but it is still horrible.

Anyway, a GT3RS is a great car, so i hope your footage turns out well. Show us the results, good or bad ;)
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Old November 15th, 2008, 06:49 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hubert Duijzer View Post
That superclamp with the double ball is exact the same setup as i use. It is one of the best solutions fur Cage-Clamping. Tripp's solutions is more or less the same, maybe even more sturdier.
But my guess is some camcorders can't handle vibrations well. Don't know if it is rolling shutter or a image stabilisator that makes it even worse. I did turn it off on the Canon HV, but it is still horrible.

Anyway, a GT3RS is a great car, so i hope your footage turns out well. Show us the results, good or bad ;)
Yep, we are set for tomorrow morning now, meant to be some nice cars turning up with us.
I won't be setting up the microphone job that I normally do (not that it takes long to do) but in the morning we'll be rushing about so I dont want to keep people waiting.
So this will literally just be a solo camera test !
I've done all my microphone testing and have solved that now :)
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Old November 16th, 2008, 10:32 AM   #11
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Right, the camera does NOT work at all with my current clamps/mounts.

Nevertheless, WHAT AN INCREDIBLE SIGHT THIS MORNING !!!!
Photo's coming very shortly, and a small quickly edited vid later tonight or tomorrow morn.
:D
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Old November 16th, 2008, 06:04 PM   #12
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Not one for lying, here are some stills from my HF11, most with a little tweak in PS.

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4263/sequence01ul6.jpg

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/4...uence02kr4.jpg

http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/5...uence03pp1.jpg

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/4060/sequence04ns1.jpg

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/3...uence05dz2.jpg

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/5753/sequence06cj1.jpg

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/3...uence07ac5.jpg

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/4324/sequence08ok8.jpg (RARE COLOUR!)

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/3...uence09gn9.jpg

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/4568/sequence11dl2.jpg

http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/6...uence15rv3.jpg

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/7767/sequence16iv9.jpg

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/7...uence17vj9.jpg

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/7554/sequence19fx2.jpg

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/1...uence22bp0.jpg

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/3618/sequence23pt3.jpg

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/4...uence24lc3.jpg

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/8568/sequence25zy3.jpg

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/5...uence27dl4.jpg

http://img511.imageshack.us/img511/5...uence28ud9.jpg

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/6545/sequence29qg8.jpg

http://img171.imageshack.us/img171/9...uence31th8.jpg

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/1661/sequence32wz6.jpg

http://img514.imageshack.us/img514/96/sequence33my0.jpg

http://img88.imageshack.us/img88/9038/sequence34pk5.jpg

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/4...uence35gr8.jpg

http://img99.imageshack.us/img99/5848/sequence36eh8.jpg

http://img262.imageshack.us/img262/2...uence37bk2.jpg
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Old November 16th, 2008, 06:52 PM   #13
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Rob, if you need a helping hand, I would work for airfare.....
That looks like a lot of fun.
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Old November 17th, 2008, 02:10 PM   #14
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It's pretty much my reason not to leave the UK and move to LA mate :)
Everyone is soo lovely and 'down to earth' as well, no snobbery, just pure passion for cars (and usually women ;) ).

I'll just start chopping up the very very limited footage I did get.
:)
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Old November 17th, 2008, 02:24 PM   #15
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I drag race motorcycles for a hobby. I am still trying to figure out how to drive and film it at the same time... I plan on hooking up a camera on the bike, but I am not sure if it can handle the 3-4 g's of force I get on the starting line. I was trying to figure out a way to mount it in foam or something, but your rigid mounting style sounds like it works better. I will try it after I see some of your footage
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