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Old December 28th, 2016, 01:13 PM   #1
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DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

I am posting to get some opinions on those who use a Steadicam or other type of stablizer. I use my Pilot flying a Canon XF300 along with a frezzi light on the top. This has been my combination for 8 years or so of flying. For weddings, I typically fly around 3 hours or more; dancing etc.

I'm considering moving away from my Canons for weddings towards my Nikon 800s, probably pick up the best Nikon DSLR next year to fly.

My obvious concern is the change in shooting without auto focus. How do you all approach it. Thanks in advance.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 02:47 PM   #2
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Re: DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

If focus is your concern I stick with canon because that's what they excel at. On your low end you have your D70 and high end 5dMII, c100-c300. For a processionals you can turn on face recognition mode. Simply tap the face on the touch screen to track. Otherwise a fast wide prime lens in auto will keep everything in focus. Other popular options are GH4 and A7S but Nikon has fallen behind in respect of video.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 07:20 PM   #3
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Re: DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

True, Nikon does lag behind in video. When I chose my dslr equipment, my hope was that Nikon would catch up. I have a good car payment in Nikon glass. Sigh.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 07:42 PM   #4
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Re: DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

Will you also be getting a new stabilizer for lighter weight cameras when you switch to a dSLR from your current XF300?
Will you stick with 1080p or do you want to have 4K ability too?
I'm at 1080p-only, with a mixture of Canon and Nikon, but debating Panasonic for 4K in the future.
I also have a lot of Nikon glass but most of it is vintage with no VR or AF.
I only have two Canon STM lenses and neither is great for the stabilizer so I haven't used their full-time AF capabilities much.
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Old December 28th, 2016, 09:05 PM   #5
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Re: DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

I'll probably stick with my Scout. I also have a FigRig that I can swap out to since my plates are adapted to do so. The scout is over kill for a DSLR, but it'll give me the ability to add accessories.

I have a shoulder rig I may be able to adapt to use a focus dslr handle which is on a cable of sorts.

I'll probably stick with Nikon since that's what my glass is all in. As for 4k, not sure yet. Still in the drafting stages.
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Last edited by Steven Davis; December 29th, 2016 at 09:16 AM.
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Old December 29th, 2016, 01:10 PM   #6
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Re: DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

I use a Nikon D7200 with a Tokina 11-16 at 5.6 on a Glidecam HD2000.

Works most of the time. I set focus and then try to stay about whatever distance away, usually 6-8 feet I guess.

Being at 5.6 and UWA gives quite a bit of focus latitude.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 07:19 AM   #7
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Re: DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

Am I correct in my reading the description of the new Nikon D5600 that it will have full-time video AF?

I have been using my D5500 on the stabilizer with a technique similar to Kyle's.

18mm (18-55mm kit lens) with VR on, about f6.3 depending on the lighting, pre-focused at the appropriate distance before rolling video. Using either a half-press of the shutter, or the touch-screen focus, I'm usually alternating which hand I hold the stabilizer with to distribute the fatigue. Either focus method works well and this setup is very light weight for a dSLR.

Requires lenses with built-in AF motor, there is no screw-type AF drive on this line of Nikon bodies.

I've been very pleased with the video image quality and shooting at 60p is also a plus for slow motion.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 07:28 AM   #8
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Re: DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

That would be interesting to see.

But I'm guessing it's just the regular Full time AF like they've always had.

If it were a new fangled video focus system like canons dpaf, I would have expected to see some press and announcements around it.
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Old January 6th, 2017, 08:30 AM   #9
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Re: DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

I think you are correct, but the new AF-P lenses are supposed to be much quieter and faster when focusing so that is at least some improvement.
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Old February 15th, 2017, 04:45 PM   #10
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Re: DSLR and a Steadicam workflow

Hey guys and gals,

I'm trying to configure my Nikon 800 on my Steadicam Pilot. Would anyone be willing to show me their configuration? I'm hoping to atleast get a mic and either my Frezzi spot or my Dracast mini light on it.

I'd appreciate any pictures of ideas. Thanks in advance.
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