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Old April 14th, 2003, 07:31 PM   #1
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Camera support on ATV?

I am working on a special interest video that entails documenting certain OHV trail systems. One of the challenges is getting POV video that is smooth on a bumpy trail. Does anyone have any ideas on how to stablize the camera? Has anyone trid to use a steadicam-device mounted to a vehicle as small as an ATV? I am slo consdering getting an RC heli for this as an option so, if anyone has advice to share on heli's I would appreciate it.

Thanks

GL
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Old April 15th, 2003, 04:45 AM   #2
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How small is the ATV? (sorry... "ATV"? doesn't ring my bell... maybe after the first coffee...). Would it hold (about) 100Kg of operator and rig?
OK. The coffee is useless... What's an ATV?
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Old April 15th, 2003, 09:43 AM   #3
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Sorry. ATV = four wheeler or quad. The larger ones will hold the weight. My only concern is how a camera operator will be able to hold on.

I am wondering if you can mount a steadicam and lock it down , so to speak.

GL
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Old April 15th, 2003, 10:37 AM   #4
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George:

Yes, you can hard-mount a Steadicam to an ATV. I have done it many times.

Depending on the version used, you need to attach some bracketry or hardware to the ATV to allow the Steadicam mount to work. If you can, work with an established operator who owns the vehicle mount and they will be able to advise how to proceed. The results of such a setup can be spectacular.
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Old April 15th, 2003, 10:51 AM   #5
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Charles,

Were you using a Steadicam or some of other device? I was thinking about using a V8 for this as the camera is a VX2000. I wanted to use an experienced operator but, I have over 30 locations that I will be going to and it seemed to make more sense to become comfortable with it myself.

One thing I was wondering is it possible to 'lock down' the device so, that the shot stays put and would require only minimal operator manipulation? I ask this as it would help for lengthy shots.

Thanks

GL
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Old April 15th, 2003, 11:51 PM   #6
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George:

I operate a PRO rig, which is a competitive system to the Steadicam as licensed and manufactured by Tiffen.

Glidecam does make a vehicle mount(it lists it as being a V16/V20 accessory, you would have to check with them for compatibility with the V8). To achieve the stabilized and isolated effect, the gimbal must be free to maneuever in all three axis, so "locking" any of them would limit the stabilization.

Operating a hard-mount rig over rough terrain is easier in some ways than body mounting, but it still requires practice to achieve footage that doesn't float around in an undesirable fashion. A single-section arm such as used on the V8 is also a bit of a liability since it can't eliminate large bumps as well as a dual-section arm (having something like half the range of such arms).

Another factor is wind, which can render a lightweight system such as you are thinking about virtually useless without proper protection. Building a frame around the back and sides of the ATV that protects the rig from wind will make a huge difference. It could be done with hardware-store items such as sections of PVC with joining knuckles, flanges etc., and covered with tough clear plastic.

If you intend to go this route, post again and I will try to offer some more hints.
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Old April 15th, 2003, 11:58 PM   #7
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Well, I had wondered about the very things you bring up. Even with a double arm, how big a jolt can it take? It really doesn't matter as assume we are talking $10K or more for a double arm system.

I would like to make the V8 work but, it may be more trouble than it's worth. We are talking about mostly b-roll anyway. I would rather spend the money on helicam footage.

Thanks Charles.

GL
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Old April 16th, 2003, 12:49 AM   #8
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George:

A double-articulated arm has a range of approximately 3 feet of vertical travel, which is a lot of bump (although one has to remember that this means 1.5 feet "up" or "down").

The Glidecam V-16 is around $4000 (I see they have a special on their website which includes a vehicle mount).
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Old April 16th, 2003, 03:24 AM   #9
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I got it! The ATV... Forgive my ignorance but I didn't know they're named ATV.

You can see allot of setups like that on www.steadicenter.com:

http://www.steadicenter.com/categories.php?cat_id=9
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Old April 16th, 2003, 10:40 AM   #10
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Wow. Lots of atv setups there.

Thanks for the link

MX
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Old April 17th, 2003, 04:18 AM   #11
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You're welcom!
Hey, when you're done with your setup, post a pic there!

Just don't strap yourself on the windshield of your van, like that crazy dude! :)
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Old April 17th, 2003, 09:48 AM   #12
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Thanks. I'll try to avoid any glass surfaces ;)

GL
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Old April 18th, 2003, 08:35 AM   #13
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Those are some ingenoius ATV setups, but here in Michigan they will land you two tickets, one for no helmet, and one for two riders on one ATV :)
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