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Old January 31st, 2005, 09:13 AM   #1
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Location: Westfield, IN
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videography on boats

How do you get stable shots from a moving boat? I am planning a vacation that will include some powerboating and watersports. I have camera protection covered, but I've never been disappointed with the bouncy footage shot handheld from a moving boat.

Any suggestions? I'll probably bring my little Panasonic GS120. It's small size make it an easy traveler.

I have an invention in mind. I think this is a good accessory market to tap into, given the growing popularity of extreme watersports and lower-priced DV camcorders. I just want to make sure my idea is unique and ensure I'm not stepping on any toes.


Tim Borek is offline   Reply With Quote
Old January 31st, 2005, 11:45 PM   #2
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I have used my indicam stabilization system on power boats and found it covers the bumps very nicely however it's hard to get close ups of skiers etc. as a floating camera doesn't like telephoto shots too well. It does great on wide to medium shots though!

Probably the best way to get good close up shots is to brace yourself against something stabile and take the bumps with your legs. Make sure you have someone who can hold on to you so you won't fall overboard.

Another tip is to shoot from the back of the boat where the bumpiness is at it's least.

He's only mostly sDEADy.

sort of from "The Princess Bride"
Terry Thompson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old February 1st, 2005, 12:30 AM   #3
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Marine Stabilizer

Just get yourself one of these.
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Old February 1st, 2005, 08:43 AM   #4
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"Makohead"... oh my god.

Tim, you might try doing a search on the patent office web site to see if your design has already been tried. Otherwise, go for it! I get asked all the time about a rig for boats. I've been working on a boat rig for Volume 2 of "Killer Camera Rigs", but it doesn't come close to the Makohead! Of course, my do it yourself rig wil be much less expensive if I can get all of the kinks worked out!
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Old February 1st, 2005, 10:04 AM   #5
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I did quite a bit of this last September for a family film.

I don't have any stabilizer devices and so can't comment on them.

My advice is 1) tape early in the morning or whenever the water is calmest; 2) shoot a lot, and be prepared to use only 5%; 3) for water skiing or wakeboarding, shooting from a camera boat instead of the tow boat does a lot to dispel that "home movie" feel.

Have fun,
Arthur Babcock is offline   Reply

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