How to add wheight onto the steadicam at DVinfo.net

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Old November 5th, 2013, 08:16 AM   #1
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How to add wheight onto the steadicam

I use a blackbird together with my Panasonic gh3, because that combo is so light I can use it all through a weddingday, for any pan and tilt movements I make with the blackbird it does require some careful handling, just because it is so light it's also very sensitive to the touch, even the slightest breeze which will knock it out of balance so therefore I mainly use it indoors where it has served me very well.

I have been trying m nex-ea50 a while ago on the blackbird and I can hold that combo for much shorter period, but the much heavier camera (compared to my gh3) incl the extra counterbalance weights I had to add made the rig much easier to pan and tilt because of the added inertia in movements, I could perform certain movements easily that are more difficult to achieve with the light gh3.

At the end of this month I have been asked to shoot several steadicam scenes but I really want more control over the movements I have to make as some will be a bit more complex and I can't screw up :), I also want my gh3 for this job but then I need to add about 1,5 to 2kg of wheight, my questions is how this can be done, what types of weight are available to add weight onto a baseplate the camera mounts on? Has anyone done this with a blackbird or a similar type of steadicam with success?
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Old November 5th, 2013, 08:37 AM   #2
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Re: How to add wheight onto the steadicam

I have the same problem but on a different scale. I will put my baseplate for the matte box and a couple of rails on when I need to add a couple of pounds to the setup.

You can also buy purpose built weights. I prefer to use the baseplate since it is a multitasker.
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Old November 5th, 2013, 10:54 AM   #3
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Re: How to add wheight onto the steadicam

I seem to remember someone on the site designing a weight system for just this purpose.

are you trying to add weight to the top and bottom? or will the GH2 rig have a mattebox etc?
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Old December 6th, 2013, 09:58 PM   #4
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Re: How to add wheight onto the steadicam

Noa,

I have the same set up as far as EA50 and blackbird so I get it. I also prefer the EA50 on it over lighter cameras. When I did try a light Panasonic I loaded it up with my on camera light with two batteries and a wireless receiver even though they were not in use. They at least got me to the point where I could remove the extension just for light cameras, so it helped some. Do you have enough accessories to get you to the weight you want to achieve?

Also, I thought you have posted several times about your use of a vest? If your doing steady cam work why aren't you using your vest?

I am not going to ask why you want the gh3 over the EA50 if you do have a vest. I know you have some very unique taste in cameras that I don't understand anyway :) :) :)

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Old December 7th, 2013, 03:42 AM   #5
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Re: How to add wheight onto the steadicam

Sorry that I have not replied earlier, it seems I don't always get notifications by mail if a new response was added to a thread and Steven's reply did trigger a mail now. Anyway, I have solved the problem by using my small shoulderrig, I didn't think of it earlier but it allows me to add different kinds of accessories adding the necessary weight, I only need to adapt it a bit so it can be attached to my steadicam. I didn't get the job btw where I had to use the steadicam, the client was very enthusiastic when he saw my demo's until he saw my price and then all communications stopped :D It wasn't even that expensive as I just caculated a standard rate for hours on location on and 2 editing days but you always have people I guess expecting a lot and paying a little.

Steven, I don't have a vest, only the blackbird that I operate handheld. The reason why I choose the gh3 over the nex-ea50 is because it resolves more fine detail, has less moire and aliasing and less noise. The difference is just minor but it's there and you will notice it side by side. Also my choice of camera's is a well thought out process based on years of experience as a solo shooter shooting mainly weddings. But often during that process I make mistakes buying a camera like the nex-ea50 which proved to be too large for me but then I just sell it again (which I recently did) and make new choices and move one. Currently I"m all into micro four third camera's/lenses and the nex sony rx10 and I do have the feeling those will serve me very well. :)
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Old December 7th, 2013, 04:10 AM   #6
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Re: How to add wheight onto the steadicam

Don't worry Noa ... as soon as Sony come out with the full frame version of the EA50, you'll be back.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 05:57 PM   #7
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Re: How to add wheight onto the steadicam

I don't think so :) The reason why I sold the ea50 was because it was too large for my purpose so a full frame, 4k, raw or whatever functionality any future ea50 might get, I"m not going back to this size camera, unless the type of shoots I do call for this type of camera but for weddings I like to keep it light and small.
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Old December 7th, 2013, 07:09 PM   #8
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Re: How to add wheight onto the steadicam

Noa,

I get it. Cameras are just the tool I do my job with. And the cameras we each choose is a very individual choice. I cut my teeth on 30 pound cameras that sat on my shoulder. So I still prefer big cameras (thankfully not 30 lb anymore) that I can hold steady with at least some shoulder support.

I am a big advocate of talent over technology. You are a prime example of that. I have seen many samples of your work. It goes far beyond what most guys could do with a camera costing ten times the ones you shoot with. Our end product is the result of our talent, not the camera. At least that is how I see it. You shoot great work with handycams or any other camera you choose. That is the talent factor!

I talk about cameras and equipment here but it is the practical side of it. You have NEVER seen me get into one of those "which is better debates" just for the sake of debate. And, I buy cameras and don't look back. I shoot with it intending to get a good return on my investment. In fact, I wish I could get more excited than I do over new gear. I have done it for too long there is other things I would rather spend my money on now.

I hope you don't stop checking in on the EA50 subforum. You have provided guys with a lot of solid insight there!

Steve
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Old December 9th, 2013, 03:16 AM   #9
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Re: How to add wheight onto the steadicam

If I can help someone out with some nea-ea50 input I will, that's why I created the nex-ea50 user blog (Sony nex ea50 user blog | All about the Sony nex ea50) to gather all that useful info so many users contributed here, the only thing is I forgot the password and for one or the other reason my username doesn't seem to match either so I"m locked out of that the blog! But maybe that is a way to say I needed a change :) the blog still contains much useful info so might be of help to others.
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