Which Stabilizer or Support for me? at DVinfo.net

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Old April 7th, 2006, 06:02 PM   #1
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Which Stabilizer or Support for me?

Basically - my footage stinks!!!

Whilst I am happy with my editing and sound my footage absolutely stinks!!!

I have a Sony VX2100E and a Sony FX1E and typically I would use either of these cameras for two hour stretches shooting conferences etc. etc. but having to move around a lot.

I really need to get something that helps me hold the camera steady for a couple of minutes at a time and need to be able to use the camera zoom function as well as being able to pan smoothly.

I have been looking at B&H Photo's site (again) and have a good feeling about the following two solutions:

Varizoom VZ-LSP Pro Shoulder Brace - for DV Camcorders (Mfr# VZLSP B&H# VAVZLSP)

OR

Varizoom Compact Shock-Absorbing Support f/Mini-DV (Mfr# VZJRRIG B&H# VAVZJRRIG)

(Only problem with this one is that they show a rather slim person with the belt around the abdomen. I am kind of, well, let's say 'portly fella' so I don't know if this belt will get around my waist? Anybody have experience with this item?)

Anybody (of my stature) used either of these items?

Also - what are your feelings on the multitude of shoulder brackets / braces / supports available - any good?

Regards,

Dale.
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Old April 7th, 2006, 08:01 PM   #2
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I just close up my tripod legs and make a circle with my forefinger and thumb around the tripod, just below the camera. Expensive is cool and looks great, but free and good enough does just fine. Your pans come from the whole body which add a feeling of weight to the pan making it "feel" less like a camcorder. The dangling tripod gets rid of the shake that comes from holding the camera in your hand and trying to keep it steady using little fast twitch muscles to keep the image steady...especially zoomed in!

<edit>to zoom and stuff, see about getting a cheap lanc controller...or use the remote that came with the camera, assuming it came with one. That can go in the other hand.</edit>
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Old April 10th, 2006, 12:33 PM   #3
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(Only problem with this one is that they show a rather slim person with the belt around the abdomen. I am kind of, well, let's say 'portly fella' so I don't know if this belt will get around my waist? Anybody have experience with this item?)

Hi Dale,
The DvRigJunior is supplied with a detachable spring clip holster that you can use with any of your own belts.

Danny Natovich
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Old April 10th, 2006, 01:36 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Paterson
I have a Sony VX2100E and a Sony FX1E and typically I would use either of these cameras for two hour stretches shooting conferences etc. etc. but having to move around a lot.

I really need to get something that helps me hold the camera steady for a couple of minutes at a time and need to be able to use the camera zoom function as well as being able to pan smoothly.

Varizoom VZ-LSP Pro Shoulder Brace - for DV Camcorders (Mfr# VZLSP • B&H# VAVZLSP)

OR

Varizoom Compact Shock-Absorbing Support f/Mini-DV (Mfr# VZJRRIG • B&H# VAVZJRRIG)


Anybody (of my stature) used either of these items?

.
First let me say that I was in a similar quandry only a few weeks ago.

Danny, no offence intended here, the DVtec kit is great stuff and works well for its purpose - one of my compatriots has a DVRig and its perfect for what he uses it for.

However, if you want to be moving around and shooting at the same time then you have two basic options:
1. A handheld stabilizer like the Flowpod from Varizoom / Glidecam 2000 or 4000 / one of the Stadicam handhelds
2. A vest supported system made by either Varizoom / Glidecam or Steadicam

Each system has its own pros and cons and differences in price as well. Personally, I went for a vest system since I didn't see my way open to have my wrist drop off after a few hours - lol.

And I wouldn't let your stature bother you - if the waistline is above the norm I'm sure you can very easily modify any of these systems to suit yourself - never let that hold you back!

Cheers

Jeremy
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Old April 10th, 2006, 03:09 PM   #5
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I do not think a stabilizer will suit him, The Junior is compact and surprisingly
helpfull in making stedy and controled shoots.

From reading dale's other post on panning, My advice is keep the shoot wide,
and do not zoom to much, do not chase your object, try to predict his moves and let him lead your shoot.

Danny.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 01:29 AM   #6
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Thanks for all the input and great advice.

Just to further expand on my application:

It is not so much that I have to move and shoot at the same time - for the most part I might be called to shoot different interviews at random and do not have time to set up my tripod etc. etc. and all of the interviews that I have shot in the past exhibit much camera movement - I just cannot hold the VX2100E or the FX1E steady for any period of time - they eventually start feeling like concrete blocks!

Also - sometimes during presentations the delegates are given the opportunity to direct questions to a panel of guests. What I have tried to do in the past is leave one camera on a tripod (wide shot of venue) and then use another camera to shoot the delgate asking the question. I have never been able to use the footage from the second camera as it is always unsteady etc. and by the time that I have positioned myself and zoomed in on the person asking the question they're finished!!! Basically this means that I have to move quickly, find the delegate asking the question, shoot, finish, and move on.

I really need to sort this out - I have everything else down tight (like audio etc.) but the most important part of what I do is lacking.

Regards,

Dale.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 02:18 AM   #7
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Might I suggest the Manfrotto 595B Fig Rig. It is about $300 at b&h. It allows you to attach mic, camera controls, etc to its frame. I have seen it in action and while some people don't like it, I think it fits your situation.

I have used the shoulder braces and they are more of pain then anything. I have never used Glidecam before but I have used a Steadicam. I have read they are similar. It looks like about $300 for the Glidecam 2000 Pro at b&h.

Has anyone compared, own, or tried out the Fig Rig?
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Old April 11th, 2006, 08:14 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matthew Delong

Has anyone compared, own, or tried out the Fig Rig?
I tried the Fig Rig at B&H on Sunday and was surprised how light the unit itself was. It is just like steering an automobile--or the handlebar drops in a road bicycle---your hands and wrists are in a natural position. Which is unlike the classic camcorder/binocular stance.

It does make handling a smaller dv camcorder a bit easier--and I guess more stable. Especially when you are shuffling and circling a subject.

But for $299? Come on! Do it yourselfers should be inspired.
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Old April 11th, 2006, 10:18 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Paterson
Thanks for all the input and great advice.

Just to further expand on my application:

It is not so much that I have to move and shoot at the same time - for the most part I might be called to shoot different interviews at random and do not have time to set up my tripod etc. etc. and all of the interviews that I have shot in the past exhibit much camera movement - I just cannot hold the VX2100E or the FX1E steady for any period of time - they eventually start feeling like concrete blocks!

Basically this means that I have to move quickly, find the delegate asking the question, shoot, finish, and move on.

I really need to sort this out - I have everything else down tight (like audio etc.) but the most important part of what I do is lacking.

Regards,

Dale.
I suffer from the same problem and get a serious case of Alzheimers a minute or two after handholding (FX1 or Z1).

In this case I would then consider one of Danny's DVRig's. You just can't get stable shots while moving (I've tried ad nauseam with no success).

If you are going to move - stop - and then shoot, then the DVRig will work for you. The great part is that it takes ALL the weight and leaves a hand free to focus/expose etc.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 02:00 AM   #10
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Thanks again for all the help and opinions.

OK - well - I'm sold - the DVRig Junior certainly seems to be what I need at this point.

Now we come to the problem of not being able to source this stuff here in South Africa!!! One day I am going to apply for dealerships from all of the overseas suppliers that we all (on this board) mainly use and open a shop here catering specifically for people like us here in SA!!!

But for now - anybody know anybody that will ship the Junior to SA? I normally buy from B&H but they are closed at the moment AND they do not seem to have stock / or carry stock of the Junior.

Regards,

Dale.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 02:07 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Paterson
One day I am going to apply for dealerships from all of the overseas suppliers that we all (on this board) mainly use and open a shop here catering specifically for people like us here in SA!!!
Good idea!
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Old April 12th, 2006, 02:28 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dale Paterson
Thanks again for all the help and opinions.

OK - well - I'm sold - the DVRig Junior certainly seems to be what I need at this point.

Now we come to the problem of not being able to source this stuff here in South Africa!!! One day I am going to apply for dealerships from all of the overseas suppliers that we all (on this board) mainly use and open a shop here catering specifically for people like us here in SA!!!

But for now - anybody know anybody that will ship the Junior to SA? I normally buy from B&H but they are closed at the moment AND they do not seem to have stock / or carry stock of the Junior.

Regards,

Dale.
Dave, something I have already done.

Give me a shout on 082 743 0516 (South Africa) - I have a solution for you and you can probably have it in about seven days.
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Old April 12th, 2006, 11:38 PM   #13
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Jeremy,

What camera do you shoot with again?

Tery
Indicam
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Old April 13th, 2006, 02:26 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Terry Thompson
Jeremy,

What camera do you shoot with again?

Tery
Indicam
I use the Z1 and FX1
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