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Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old December 2nd, 2007, 02:03 AM   #1
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Steady Cam equipment at Weddings

Hi,

I was just wondering if many people use steady cam equipment at weddings, I'm not talking brand specific, so it might be a glidecam, or dvmultirig or anything else.

I haven't used anything in the past and wasn't sure what the common practice methods were.

In Australia, working in melbourne I haven't seen many videographers using any steady cam devices so I wanted to know if it would be something that guests would find intimidating or the bridal party as well. I like to remain 'discreet' and don't want to walk around with some shoulder vest and lots of arms sticking out, but also want to use something that would really help for steady shots that aren't on the tripod.

Something that would be suitable for the EX1 would be ideal.

Any comments? Thanks.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 07:17 AM   #2
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Hi Matt, a hand held Steadicam Merlin would be the go.
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 08:59 AM   #3
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Merlin is a good choice for wedding as its compact and not intimidating. You should be considering which equipment is more suitable for your usage rather than how you look in other people's eye. If you are able to produce smooth footage, nobody will question how you look.

EX1 with accessories could easily cross the weight limit for the Merlin, and not forgetting you have to handhold. You could either get the arm and vest or go for pilot or flyer.

Not many videographers in your area use stabilizer doesn't mean you shouldn't use. In fact I think you should use in order to make your work stand out from the rest.

Kenny
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Old December 2nd, 2007, 11:41 AM   #4
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Matt - I'm pretty new to the business but I did invest in a merlin because of the impact I think it makes in the finished product. I just happen to like a lot of camera movement and as Kenny said it's a very compact device and allows you to be pretty stealth when moving around. I even promote the use of it on my website because I've been to weddings where I've seen the video guy wheeling around a huge tripod on the dance floor which is not very "unobtrusive". I'm very happy with the merlin. It works well with both my XH-A1 and HV20. Takes a while to master but you can get up and running very quickly with the basics.

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 12:53 PM   #5
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Spider Brace

http://www.spiderbrace.com/index.html

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Old December 2nd, 2007, 06:17 PM   #6
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Both the Merlin and the Spider Brace look like they would be very helpful.

I'm really keen on using something like this as I want to make my shots stand out from the rest and it looks like this would be a great way to do that.

Thanks for the tips and I'll keep looking around at costs etc.

It seems that I could still use my left hand for controlling zoom etc no worries which would be essential.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 07:05 AM   #7
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Anyone use the DVMultiRigPro Package with EX1

Hi guys,

Has anyone got the DVMultiRigPro package and used this with the EX1? How did you find it? Or with an equivalent camera. Comparing to the Merlin it looks much more versatile and while cheaper, seems to allow for a good shoulder brace option as well.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 07:36 AM   #8
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Matt,

The merlin is completely different than the DVRIGPRO and Spiderbrace. I have both of them. The DVRIGPRO is much better than the Spiderbrace, it just depends on the application. I use my spider brace for a wedding ceremony and use the dvrigpro for the reception.

The merlin or other steadicam are designed for fluid movement and better yet fluid movement while walking. You will not get fluid movement when using either the dvrig or spiderbrace.
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Old February 5th, 2008, 08:51 AM   #9
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Thanks Jon,

Could you elaborate on why you use a different steadicam for the wedding and reception?

From the demo video on their website http://www.dvmultirig.com/index.html, it looked like the dvmultirigpro was able to get fluid motion, ie: the guy shooting those 2 guys outside at the car around the 2min mark.

I did see the demo for the merlin. it looks good however i wouldn't be able to quickly put the camera with the rig onto my tripod. is this easy enough to do with the dvmultirigpro?
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Old February 5th, 2008, 10:58 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Matt Duke View Post
Thanks Jon,

Could you elaborate on why you use a different steadicam for the wedding and reception?

From the demo video on their website http://www.dvmultirig.com/index.html, it looked like the dvmultirigpro was able to get fluid motion, ie: the guy shooting those 2 guys outside at the car around the 2min mark.

I did see the demo for the merlin. it looks good however i wouldn't be able to quickly put the camera with the rig onto my tripod. is this easy enough to do with the dvmultirigpro?

I remove my camera from the dvrigpro and put it on a tripod and vice versa. I have a quick release plate on the dvrigpro or spiderbrace that only takes seconds to switch from one to another.

You can acheive steadicam type shots with no stabilizer and the dvrigpro and spiderbrace are used to steady your shot but not met to replace a "steadicam" device.

With any steadicam type device you can add a quick release place that matches your tripod to allow for a quick change.
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Old February 6th, 2008, 12:06 AM   #11
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Hi Matt,
Our team really keen to use steadicam for wedding, so we rent one with operator included (sample : http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=V9aXMR63B88 ).
The operator simply practice what he knew, like when he shoot for TV drama, plain swing movement. IMHO, because it's too heavy equipment for us here. (Steadicam Junior and D50 Sony Cam). Not to mention the complexity of the setting the balance, need several person from rental company.

It's worth to try some DIY, simply put the cam on monopod and adding some weight at bottom (refer www.steadytracker.com or www.panpilot.com ).
Once we mastering with our own DIY, then you may have feeling whether you want to upgrade to GlideCam2000/4000, Merlin, Pilot or Flyer.

Our team found that better to jumping-up to Pilot/Flyer when time is appropriate.
Because of the weight, sooner or later, we will need arm and vest owing to fatique.
To use quick release on monopod is very important.

Just my 2 cents,
Agatha

PS: sample of my DIY monopod http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbJz8Qd_vxk&feature=user
Apologize for double post the DIY sample, just to show the diffference between real steadicam and DIY monopod shakiness.

Last edited by Agatha Graselia; February 6th, 2008 at 12:30 AM. Reason: add text
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Old February 6th, 2008, 01:06 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Matt Duke View Post
Hi,

I was just wondering if many people use steady cam equipment at weddings, I'm not talking brand specific, so it might be a glidecam, or dvmultirig or anything else.
<clip>

Something that would be suitable for the EX1 would be ideal.

Any comments? Thanks.
Hi Matt,

In your price range, you might want to consider a Glidecam 4000. The 2000 would work until you start adding weight, such as an external monitor, mounted to the base of the Glidecam - the EX1 monitor has great quality is too small for focus unless you zoom in. If you end up using it for much of the shoot, you'll eventually add the Smooth Shooter (no, most guests won't be bothered by the vest and your wrist will thank you even if you already use a wrist brace).

But don't forget a monopod, often overlooked by emerging wedding shooters. And the monopod allows you do to some jib-like shots, rotating dutch angles, overhead shots and reveal shots not achieved by a Glidecam. And as you get more clever, you'll find you can hold the monopod upside down to capture moving foot-level moving footage (flip in over in post editing).

Happy Trails, Michael
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Old February 8th, 2008, 04:59 AM   #13
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Hi Matt, If you decide to go with a Merlin, I am selling my arm, vest, docking bracket and metal gimbal. All in perfect condition, I am buying a big rig. Contact me if you are interested. All the shots on my showreel were done hand-held with the Merlin and a Sony FX1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BlblLOLj8IQ
With the arm and vest the shots are even smoother.
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Old February 9th, 2008, 01:29 AM   #14
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Has anyone compared the Stedycam 4000 to the Merlin?
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Old February 9th, 2008, 07:03 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by Denny Kyser View Post
Has anyone compared the Stedycam 4000 to the Merlin?

Hi Denny,

Do you mean the Glidecam 4000? I have the Glidecam and I do not have a Merlin but a I have shot with a videographer who uses the Merlin. It seemed to work really good with his FX7.

The thing I noticed about the Merlin is that if your camera is on it, you pretty much have to use it to fly. I could be wrong since I do not own the Merlin.

With the Glidecam, in addition to using it to fly, I can rest the base of it against my belt, the floor, my shoulder, a table or pew or any number of things, and use it as a monopod to get steady shots. So for me, the Glidecam is a multi purpose tool.
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