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


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Old February 11th, 2008, 09:22 AM   #1
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Tripod or Glidecam?

Hello All,
getting ready to do my first wedding! I have the A1, and getting the wireless setup this week. that's the only additional weight (for now at least). The problem is the only tripod I have is a $50 tripod that only supports about 4lbs barely. I am looking into the Libec (M20, LS38), but I see many things I like in the Glidecam. I am leaning towards the glidecam, because the tripod will come (by the next job). Should I just try to get away with my $50 tripod and CLOSELY supervise it, and get my glidecam?

The problem: for the moment, I can only get one...tripod, or glidecam.

My question: which one do you think would be more useful? I have a steady hand, but that only allows a short travel.

Any input is appreciated.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 10:14 AM   #2
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John - eventually you'll want to use a combination of support devices. I currently use a heavy duty tripod that will hold my A1 and some accessories but it's a bear to move around. I have a quick release plate that allows me to swap over to my merlin stabilizer fairly quickly. After doing a few weddings though it seems that what I'm missing is a good monopod that will allow me stability and mobility. I'm looking at the Bogen 561-B which has a fluid head for tilting as well as fluid cartridge in the base for panning. Also has mini fold out legs and supports up to 8.8 lbs.

http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produc...o_Monopod.html


Art
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Old February 11th, 2008, 10:57 AM   #3
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John....good luck on your wedding.

My opinion is that you first invest in a good tripod with a fluid head...I personally like Manfrotto 2 stage with 501 HDV head. If you are steady, going hand held for some glide like shots then give it a try. Hold your breath...good stance and anticipate your moves, cradle the camera, stay wide (invest in a wide angle lense) and you will have a decent looking shot. I would then move up to a Glidecam 4000. Glidecams take practice in balancing and in use.

-John
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Old February 11th, 2008, 12:10 PM   #4
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Hi John. Just wanted to drop in and tell you that I absolutely love my LS38. My second one is being shipped to me as I type (along with my second A1). Here is the review that sold me on it.

As for your current dilemma, I think the tripod would be the way to go. I still have nightmares of the horrible pans I perpetrated with my old $30 tripod. I wouldn't dream of trying to cover a wedding with it.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 12:39 PM   #5
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Yes, tripods the way to go. Get a few weddings under your belt John and you'll quickly find that trying to use a glidecam in and around 120 strangers takes a certain amount of bravery and room to manoeuvre.

Get yourself a good tripod and it'll outlive 3 or 4 cameras - so a 503HDV+525 Manfrotto is a great place to start. I presume (hope) you mean Canon A1 and not Sony A1. Your bargain-basement current tripod is always good for the locked-off second cam in the service and speeches.

tom.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 12:43 PM   #6
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Good Luck, John

I have been using a monopod and a tripod, both with quick disconnects for a long time. They have both served me well for weddings where a stable shot and a mobile platform are critical. I have recently bought a glidecam and will try it out in select situations, but I already know its far too heavy to use all the time. So I vote a tripod and a monopod.

If you need help on the west coast of FL sometime, look me up.
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Old February 11th, 2008, 01:18 PM   #7
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I would also recommend the tripod. I started shooting weddings professionally in 2004, and have gotten great mileage out of a couple of good tripods (Manfrotto 351MVB2 and 503 Heads). I also have a couple of monopods, but 90% of everything I shoot (except the ceremony) is hand held.

I finally purchased a Glidecam - the end of last summer. I have been practicing and plan to put it into use this year. While it probably wouldn't have hurt to start working with the Glidecam sooner, there is a lot to be said for getting a good handle on the basics before adding more advanced techniques. It is more difficult to run a camera and compose a shot when you are also trying to fly the camera on a stabilizer.
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Last edited by Matt Trubac; February 11th, 2008 at 01:27 PM. Reason: wrong tripod model...
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Old February 11th, 2008, 04:45 PM   #8
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Tripod, monopod and DVMultirig are my tools of choice.
Tripod(s) for ceremony, monopod for intros, toasts, cake cutting and DVMultirig for dancing. All have the same QR mounting plate so switching takes but a few seconds.
Don
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Old February 11th, 2008, 07:00 PM   #9
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Hi John.

I would stick with tripod for now. I strongly recommend glidecam or any similar devices, but good tripod is the base.
At the ceremony you can't afford to screw up the shot, but you can get away with some shake at preps, photo session, even 1st dance (as long as you edit them out). You don't need all the shots and you can always repeat one.

I'll tell you more - if you don't have enough time to practice with glidecam and, most importantly, to balance it properly before your first shoot, your footage would be better off shot handheld. I've seen to many shots with stabilizers, which make me feel sick.

So get a good tripod, and then, for the next one, you can experiment with glidecam.

You can also invest in any monopod, which will give you stability and mobility at preps, photo session, reception and some nice overhead shots as well.


Good luck
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Old February 12th, 2008, 02:55 AM   #10
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But is one leg better than no legs at all? Very much so. Here's how I see it.

On a straight camera-wobble timeline from 0 to 100, hand-holding is at 0, image stabilisationís at 33, the Glidecam's at 40, post stabilisation's now reached 67, the monopodís at 77 and the tripodís at 100. And the bean bagís at 89, but of course with the bean bag there are huge compromises you must accept with regard to camera position.

tom.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 03:33 AM   #11
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Plus a monopod can act as a counter weight to the cam, giving some steadyness to your shots.

This of course depends on the weight of the cam and the monopod... but with practice you can achieve much of the stability of a steady rig at a fraction of the cost.

Not to mention that a monopod is more practical in most situations than a handheld glide/steadi (unless you eat your spinach first, you've got only a few minutes at a time at most with a handheld rig). It can double for a crane shot too... or be set up with a waist pocket like a steady stick... and it's relatively discreet.

I wasn't too keen on monopods in general, as I tend to wobble a bit more than I'd like to, but I've found a couple that work pretty well for my purposes - the Bogen automatic style is worth a look - you can alter the top 19" extension with a trigger grip, allowing very fast fluid changes to your setup, and adequate height extension.

A lot depends on your shooting style, but it's nice to be able to move to get the best angles and follow shots, and a tripod isn't the best tool for that.

I keep a decent tall tripod to lock off a wide shot from the back, and a couple smaller ones, none terribly good , but they keep a cam where I want it pointed so I can move around with the main cam...

If you're starting out, a tripod is the "safe" choice for good stable usable footage... BUT...

If you shoot weddings for very long, you'll find that you may end up with a number of different camera support solutions - I see I'm not alone in having a pile of options in my kit! I've clamped a camera in a floral arrangement in a pinch!
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Old February 12th, 2008, 11:52 AM   #12
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Wow thanks for the responses everyone! It looks like I will be going with the tripod. Anyone know of a tripod that has a removable center column (that can be used as a monopod)? just a thought...
Quote:
Originally Posted by Brandon Hammonds View Post
Hi John. Just wanted to drop in and tell you that I absolutely love my LS38. My second one is being shipped to me as I type (along with my second A1). Here is the review that sold me on it.
Ahh yes, I have seen that review. That is the one that put me on the 38 vs. the 22.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 12:16 PM   #13
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I have both a good tripod and a glidecam, and agree with the majority of posters who advise on using a tripod.
The glidecam is cool but after 30 or 40 minutes of trying to hold the thing steady you will be regretting it. And don't even think about trying to zoom in!
If you do eventually get a glidecam, there is a harness that I have where the handle of the glidecam slides into it so you use your whole body to support it. I am currently in the process of modifying mine so the top of the glidecam is raised up to about 4-5 inches over my head. If it works maybe I will post some pictures.
unfortunately I can't even remember where I bought it, but it was about $150

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Old February 12th, 2008, 01:22 PM   #14
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[QUOTE=John Stakes;825040]Anyone know of a tripod that has a removable center column (that can be used as a monopod)? just a thought.QUOTE]

A thought you can forget John. Make sure you buy a video tripod with a levelling ball head, not a still camera tripod with a raising centre column.
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Old February 12th, 2008, 03:24 PM   #15
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I have to disagree to an extent there Tom.
I use the manfrotto 055proB legs which intended for stills but i find them
so handy for video.
Each leg is separate and free to fold out to a out a certain ideal distance.
There is no spreader needed.
To level extremely quickly you just have to pull in the neccessary leg
to the required amount. I've gotten quite good at this.
The centre column allows for great height.
It can (and does) also be used as a monopod by having the
three legs folded in and one leg slightly longer than the rest.
Its not too heavy for this with a 501 head on it.
Also the legs are strong single column which allow for clamping all
kind of devices to.
And the best bit, the price.

John its important to learn the job with a tripod first. You need to know where to position it prior to the particualr part of the day. You need to get smooth with it. A tripod is essential & a glidecam is a luxury.
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