Steadicam Pilot instead of a tripod? at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old October 24th, 2007, 10:58 AM   #1
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tartu, Estonia
Posts: 579
Steadicam Pilot instead of a tripod?

I`m really accustomed to shooting weddings and corporate stuff with my XH A1 with wireless and wideangle attached but I want to accomplish more dynamic shots as well as quicker or more mobile setup than a traditional ENG tirpod.
Would I somehow accomplish those 300mm zoomed-in shots also with Pilot assuming I`m standing still, little wobble would be OK of course.
I`m totally new to stabilizers.

Thanks in advance,
T

Last edited by Toenis Liivamaegi; October 25th, 2007 at 02:26 AM.
Toenis Liivamaegi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 24th, 2007, 11:32 AM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
Nope, get a tripod first.

A Steadicam is not a subtitute for a tripod.

- Mikko
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 02:37 AM   #3
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tartu, Estonia
Posts: 579
Yeah tripod for sure. I`m kind of bored of my own kind of traditional still shots locked on subject(s) I`ve always used a tripod.
I meant that if I want to take my production quality to another level maybe I can benefit from a stabilizer as it seems more productive than a tripod and/or dolly setup.

Cheers,
T
Toenis Liivamaegi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 04:25 AM   #4
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belfast, UK
Posts: 4,121
A Steadicam is an addition to the tripod, not a substitute. It's not good for shooting longer lens material, so unless the wedding party feels happy with having a Steadicam floating 5 feet away from the action it's not good for catching those intimate moments at a wedding.

The best way is to use both and switch between them. There's also a limit to how long you can hold a shot on a Steadicam and you have to be pretty skilled to use one on the fly.

Last edited by Brian Drysdale; October 25th, 2007 at 05:14 AM.
Brian Drysdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 05:06 AM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Leeds, UK
Posts: 660
Images: 10
Although I'll sound like a scratched record for saying this:

http://www.dvmultirig.com/

A great solution for rock steady long shots, creative closeups, interesting angles and movement. And best of all, you will be able to film all day without fatigue.

I shoot long weddings with DVTEC kit. I now have two of them!
http://www.ytvweddingvideos.co.uk/Ne...dul_Ending.mov

Duncan.
Duncan Craig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 05:55 AM   #6
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Location: Billericay, England UK
Posts: 4,711
This two-handed rig thing (and the manfrotto Fig-Rig) are great if you don't need your left hand on the camera. Thing is - in the real world out there - you do.

I've stopped using my big L bracket on my Z1. I admit it steadied the odd tracking shot or two, but for most of the time it made small incremental adjustments of the iris control far more difficult to achieve. Same with the fine tuning of the white balance under assign buttons and also the focus assist (as against expanded focus, note).

OK the spring-tube in the kangaroo pouch means your left hand can let go and camera adjustments made, but all the other two-handed devices just mean you can't make camera running changes - it's too much for your right hand to bear.

tom.
Tom Hardwick is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 06:14 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Location: Leeds, UK
Posts: 660
Images: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom Hardwick View Post

OK the spring-tube in the kangaroo pouch means your left hand can let go and camera adjustments made, but all the other two-handed devices just mean you can't make camera running changes - it's too much for your right hand to bear.

tom.
Exactly,

The DVTEC stuff allows you to operate perfectly with one hand (right usually) on the stabiliser operating a Lanc and the left hand on the focus and iris. You still get steady footage all the way.
Duncan Craig is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 06:35 AM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: Tartu, Estonia
Posts: 579
As far as I know Stedicam Pilot isn`t compatible with Manfrotto`s 503HDV head QR for example. Imagine unscrewing the cam for all different shots in live event environment.
That QR problem is the main reason for my post actually.
Going from tripod to Steadicam takes just too much time.
I see two cameras as the only option here.
So I should double the investment when going Steadi, 4K for Pilot plus another 4K for another XH A1 cam. The only other option I see here could be some sort of double QR adapters and such but that`s just plain messy.

T
Toenis Liivamaegi is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 07:51 AM   #9
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Location: Juneau, Alaska, USA
Posts: 624
You can get QR kits from most tripod manufacturers (including Manfrotto) that allow you switch quickly between your tripod head and the QR reciver on the Steadicam stage without removing the plate from the camera.

- Mikko
Mikko Wilson is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 09:06 AM   #10
Inner Circle
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Belfast, UK
Posts: 4,121
Shooting Digibeta or HDCAM, I sometimes get a second Sony tripod plate so that we can quickly switch from the tripod head to the Steadicam.

You can also buy quick releases from other tripod manufacturers like Ronford, although those particular ones are quite expensive, but a lot less than buying a second camera.
Brian Drysdale is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 11:21 AM   #11
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Yup. Manfrotto/Bogen makes outboard receivers for a number of their quick release plates, so with a very minimal investment you can be up and running with a swappable setup between tripod and Steadicam. Nothing messy about it, and much cheaper than buying another camera.

Shooting uber-long lens stuff with Steadicam is one of those acquired skills--it can be done, but it takes a while to get the technique down. Making subtle pans and tilts in telephoto can be especially difficult compared to tripod.

If you are used to working with manual focus, remember that this will be a less-likely option with your stabilizer (you can do a "set and forget" but that's about it) which makes long-lens work more complicated--having someone suddenly cross the frame that you might want to follow which would normally require a zoomout and a rack focus will be tougher on the rig, you'll have to rely on auto focus and while it's possible to set yourself up with a LANC controller for zoom, it's one more thing to have to connect and disconnect when going between Steadicam and sticks, and more likely a cable that will get forgotten and ripped out when changing over in a panic.
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 04:19 PM   #12
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kansas City, MO USA
Posts: 220
I believe that Charles Papert has mentioned before that about 45% of his Steadicam shots are lockoffs (stable, static shots). Of course, this takes much practice and, like he says, is an acquired skill.

If you're on a Manfrotto head and want to switch between tripod and Steadicam, you can get a Quick Release adaptor that you can put on the Steadicam sled. You can then easily slide your camera off the tripod and snap it into the QR adaptor on the sled and vice versa.

I actually have my stabilizer arm and vest strapped on for the majority of the reception during my weddings and don't use the tripod at all except during the actual ceremony itself. Too many things happen in various locations throughout the reception and a tripod makes things harder to get around and adjust position on the fly. The vest is a godsend as it distributes the weight onto my torso so it's not a chore to keep the rig on ;)
Peter Chung is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 04:34 PM   #13
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Location: Sunny Shropshire, England
Posts: 145
Duncan, did I miss out on any special prices for the Pro HD at the IOV show?

If so, whats the price now? and who do I order from in the UK? You!?
Tim Sargent is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 05:27 PM   #14
Wrangler
 
Join Date: Jan 2002
Location: Los Angeles, CA
Posts: 6,781
Quote:
Originally Posted by Peter Chung View Post
I believe that Charles Papert has mentioned before that about 45% of his Steadicam shots are lockoffs
Last time I measured, it was 47.93%...
__________________
Charles Papert
www.charlespapert.com
Charles Papert is offline   Reply With Quote
Old October 25th, 2007, 06:44 PM   #15
Major Player
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Kansas City, MO USA
Posts: 220
Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
Last time I measured, it was 47.93%...
Sorry for the misquote, Sir Charles ;)

Anyways, from the horse's mouth (so to speak), almost HALF of the Steadicam master's shots are lock-off, or tripod-like static shots. So it is possible, with the disclaimer that it takes LOTS of practice and skill to actually pull it off.
Peter Chung is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > The Tools of DV and HD Production > Support Your Local Camera > Stabilizers (Steadicam etc.)

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 11:39 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network