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Old August 23rd, 2006, 08:48 AM   #1
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Two cameras on one tripod

Has anyone shot an event using two cameras on a single tripod? Controling one cam for close-ups and letting the other camera stay wide (on infinite settings).

I'm curious to know how the wide camera is performing since all the operator's attention is on one viewfinder and zoom control. I'd hate to go to edit in post and find that the wide camera had unusable/unstable/poorly framed footage.
-Scott
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 11:35 AM   #2
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I've heard of this before Scott but have never done it. I did however cram 2 tripods close together once just to play with the idea. I soon discovered that I'm very much "right handed" with the controls and was all thumbs trying to control the left cam. So I left it static and watched the footage.

It just seemed to me that 2 cams sharing the same angle simply made the footage appear to zoom in and out very quickly. Perhaps in an interview environment this is ok but I'm not sure about live action. Maybe I'm old school because I just think having cutaway shots to a second "very different" angle makes things more interesting.
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 01:09 PM   #3
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I do this for football games. I made a bracket that allows two cameras to be mounted to my tripod. It's adjustable on the mount for the wide shot. Meaning, you can adjust it up and down depending on the angle you need. I bought a piece of steel and had it bent. I guess you could cut it and bolt it together as well.

This is harder than it sounds to control both cameras. I have since paid someone else to run 3rd camera.

Jon
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 01:19 PM   #4
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I've seen it done at football games too, but I've never seen the resulting footage. I would think the orphaned camera would follow the light of the sight of the camera being attended. Is that what happens with your football games? You're getting usable footage of the game- right? And not finding out later that the camera was pointed in the wrong direction or that you had the wrong side of field?

About the angles. I agree. Kind of shoddy having two cameras in the same location (same angle). But at least this way there wouldn't be zooming back and forth going on as you would cut to the wide camera while the other one zooms. That should cut out on people getting dizzy.

I'm wondering because my daughter has always helped me and now I think she doesn't want to do it any more. I have three cameras. I'm just trying to figure out how one person can maximize the use of three cameras.

-Scott
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Old August 23rd, 2006, 03:00 PM   #5
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I have been using this double method for football games for 3 years and it works great. I set one camera "wide" and leave it, while I ride the zoom on the other camera to follow the action. The coaching staff gets a copy of the wide version to use as game films and I use the zoom shots to create an end of year highlights DVD shown at the banquet (music, interviews, graphics). Having the wide shot is a nice backup when the zoom shot sometimes misses the action, but I otherwise don't use it for highlights.

I created my bracket from a piece of 1"x1/8" steel stock from Home Depot. It works pretty well, but doesn't have captured mounting studs like a tripod does, so it takes a little time to assemble. This year I upgraded to a Bogen/Manfrotto 3269 Double Camera Support Platform, which looks to be just right for this purpose (note how wide your cameras are as the distance between them is not adjustable).

One funny thing about having two cameras setup this way is some people ask if I'm shooting 3D!

Mike.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 10:37 AM   #6
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Two cameras on one tripod

Anyone ever tried this with video cameras? I have seen rigs used by still photographers
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Old August 30th, 2007, 11:50 AM   #7
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Not me personally, but I have seen pictures of such a setup. It was related to a side-by-side comparison (posted on the web) of two Sony camcorders, one of their single-chip CMOS vs. the FX1 or Z1. They mounted both cameras on one tripod to make sure any camera movement would be the same.

- Martin
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Old August 30th, 2007, 12:07 PM   #8
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Why..

Just curious why you would want or need to do this?

If I were to do it, I'd get someone to make a metal plate long enough to hold both cameras, fasten it to the tripod and fasten the two cameras to it.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 12:27 PM   #9
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I want it for a wide angle on one and CU on the other in limited space. They are manufactured for still cameras, gitzo make one. Just wondered if anyone had experience with one.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 01:17 PM   #10
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Seems like it would be fairly easy to make one.
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Old August 30th, 2007, 02:15 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ken Gilford View Post
Just curious why you would want or need to do this?
I'd love to do this. Set one wide, the other up close.

I know a sports guy that does this when recording action from the sidelines at football games. Adds a whole new dimension to things.

I once set 2 tripods right next to each other at a dance and tried to operate them with each hand. That was much harder than it sounds (or I'm just a klutz)
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Old August 30th, 2007, 02:19 PM   #12
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i guess it would work out fine if they were both stationary cameras. not needing to pan/tilt at all once they are locked down. if you try and pan/tilt the Close Up cam then your wide angle moves with it.....unless they are on two seperate heads all together and then you could do what you please and you are just using a single set of legs....
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Old August 30th, 2007, 03:07 PM   #13
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Several weeks ago I filmed a talking head for an educational/political dvd I'm making.

I did it in front of a green screen using two cameras about 300mm apart on their own tripods.

One was set to a more wide angle shot and the other more zoom. For the background scenes I used two carefullly composed stills of the same background but with levels of zoom appropriate to the video pic.

Flipping between the two cameras in post gives the production a far more interesting looking than if it was simply done with one camera.

For my next wedding I am going to use my two cameras from one spot for the speeches. One will be on the MC/speaker and the other picking up reaction to the comments made. I don't imagine it will be too hard to operate them both.
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Old September 1st, 2007, 06:34 PM   #14
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its not hard to operate them both in my opinion.
i havent done much of it but it does work well at a wedding.
no more need to include that cringing panning and tilting while under pressure!
it would be vey handy to have a secong cam clamped to the tripod leg maybe?
manfrotto have a huge range of support clamps, bits and bobs,
im sure its possible!
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Old September 2nd, 2007, 02:38 AM   #15
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There is this twin head system which HAS intrigued me

http://www.b-hague.co.uk/Mounting%20Brackets.htm

Plus what I'd be wanting would be at east 2 LCDs in front of me to "monitor" the video outputs. Meaning, it isn't necessarily the issue of controlling 2 cameras, it is VIEWING them independently of each other from one point.

Yes, if I could get my head around the viewing system, which ain't cheap, then it would also fill another part of the puzzle.

Grazie
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