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Old August 13th, 2013, 09:47 PM   #1
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How much do you use your glidecam?

I was curious to find out from others how often you use your glidecam during a wedding shoot. I would think you would use it for bride and groom prep, reception, and maybe during the bride walking down the isle. I have a glidecam, monopod and tripod, and I am trying to figure out when I should use each one of them. During the ceremony I going to use my tripod for steady shots, but during and after the ceremony is where I was kinda curious about. Thanks for the advice in advance. I am trying to prepare myself for my first wedding coming up.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 12:05 AM   #2
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I use my Glidecam a LOT. I have one camera permanently mounted & have the Glidecam beside me most of the time. I use it for all the shots where I want some movement or I need to follow the action.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 12:59 AM   #3
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I almost always work with at least two shooters, and one person (not me) is basically on a Merlin the entire day. So, it effectively gets used as a smoother shoulder mount, if that makes sense.

Now, I don't think it's typical to use a steadicam so much, though I've noticed one or two people here who do something like it. Among other things, it's damn tiring, it can be awkward in confined spaces, and a vested system can be very fiddly. So if you look at a lot of the "cinematic" shorts of even the most well-known companies, they tend to cover prep just with monopod/slider/tripod.

I think most people tend to use steadicams sparingly. There are certain parts of the day when a steadicam is very handy -- processional/recessional, photoshoot, introductions at reception, first dance, farewell arch. Certain cultures also. For instance, if you're amongst a crowd (eg Indian wedding, Lebanese wedding), you want to raise your camera above the crowd to be able to see anything, then a Merlin/Blackbird might be the most stable way to do that.

Edit: Jeff, there's no "right" answer. If you want to use yours during prep, great! Use it during prep. If you don't want to use it for bride walking down aisle, don't use it (you'll make photographer much happier).
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Old August 14th, 2013, 01:23 AM   #4
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

Thanks alot for the info. Coming from news we do not use glidecams, so this wedding videography is a new beast for me. Would anyone be willing to let me see a long version copy of a wedding? I would send you money to send it in the mail. I have looked at my wedding video which was 13 years ago, and many things have seemed to change. Let me know. Thanks again.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 02:02 AM   #5
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
I have one camera permanently mounted & have the Glidecam beside me most of the time.
Same here, starting from the reception it's on standby all the time, before the reception it's just too much hassle to use as I"m moving between different locations but once that's not the case anymore the steadicam is set up for use.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 03:09 AM   #6
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I do you mine for creative shots, but the place where I think my glidecam is most appreciated by the client is during crowd mingling. It can basically be sued as a 'guests'eye-view' as you move among, in and around crowds of people.

Theres no other method really for representing the guests so well, a pan from anywhere will simply get the back of peoples heads as much as faces.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 05:03 AM   #7
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

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Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
I do you mine for creative shots, but the place where I think my glidecam is most appreciated by the client is during crowd mingling. It can basically be sued as a 'guests'eye-view' as you move among, in and around crowds of people.

Theres no other method really for representing the guests so well, a pan from anywhere will simply get the back of peoples heads as much as faces.
Absolutely. At a drinks reception I will do a few passes through the crowd with my Glidecam then return with my long lens on a monopod to 'snipe' individuals from a distance with that cool shallow DoF then spend time racking focus from one group to another.

Here is a highlights video from a wedding we shot a few weeks ago that makes extensive use of a 5D on a Glidecam. Like Adrian says I use it like a smoother shoulder mounted camera. Cinematic Wedding Video and Photography Norfolk London and throughout UK
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Old August 14th, 2013, 07:52 AM   #8
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I use mine during the processional (if there's room, otherwise it's probably a slider instead), during the photoshoot, and some of the reception.

Most of the time I just use a slider and a monopod for the prep. Usually the rooms are too small for to do anything with the glidecam.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 01:26 PM   #9
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I dont use mine a whole lot since all the shots are planned in advance and strategic. I dont want to use the power of the steadicam movement/energy on all the shots because you effectively lose that power if its in too many shots, just like the slider. I use to use it alot but I think you'll soon find out what type of shots you like on your videos at certain situations.
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Old August 14th, 2013, 04:09 PM   #10
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

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Originally Posted by Nigel Barker View Post
Here is a highlights video from a wedding we shot a few weeks ago that makes extensive use of a 5D on a Glidecam. Like Adrian says I use it like a smoother shoulder mounted camera.
NIgel, I don't want to critisize your work but I found those glidecam shots very unstable and wobbly, what type of glidecam do you use if I may ask?
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Old August 15th, 2013, 05:53 AM   #11
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
NIgel, I don't want to critisize your work but I found those glidecam shots very unstable and wobbly, what type of glidecam do you use if I may ask?
Glad someone else said it first :- ) I thought the same thing. I'm getting better results just using a camcorder with good built in image stabilization sitting on a retracted monopod held against my body. Every few weeks I almost buy a Glidecam or similar but then don't. I'd be interested to hear what Noa uses.

Not that wobble seems to matter. It seems to be everywhere in films and TV at present and done as a positive choice.

Once you put a dSLR on a stabilizer you really need to have a wide angle lens plus a small f-stop to give an extended depth of field (to minimise missed focus issues). But that then takes you into the territory of the camcorder/video look so why not use a small camcorder in the first place?

Also, the field of view of the human eye though disputed is roughly equivalent to 45mm on a full frame dSLR. I'm talking about the "in focus" view not the much wider peripheral view. So using a wide angle lens moving through crowds etc can appear quite unnatural ..... almost like a robot with an electronic sensor might see :- )

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Old August 15th, 2013, 06:19 AM   #12
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I just posted below video in another thread but this was a test I did this morning with my new gh3 on a blackbird steadicam, the gh3 is too light and need to add more weight, like the battery grip, to be able to balance it a bit better but am happy with my first results so I can use it with a bit more confidence this Saturday.

I used a 14mm Samyang lens (28mm on a full frame camera) There are some extra shots attached at the end of the video but that was just some random stuff I shot yesterday evening just as test as well.

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Old August 15th, 2013, 06:29 AM   #13
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

That's smooth Noa! I've just bought that lens and might use it on my Merlin at tomorrow's wedding - I haven't had much chance to practice though! What aperture and focus distance did you have going on there?

You seem to have front to back sharpness but it looks as if it might have been fairly dim in there - how did you manage to get so sharp if you had a wide aperture?

Last edited by Peter Rush; August 15th, 2013 at 07:04 AM.
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Old August 15th, 2013, 07:25 AM   #14
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

I think I was at f4 at 1600 iso which gives you enough dof. Below is some random footage from the 550d on the blackbird with the 14mm at a wedding, that's the fov I would like to have on the gh3, The wheight of my 550d is perfect to balance the blackbird and have a very light set-up and it enables me to get some better pan and tilt control.

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Old August 15th, 2013, 07:40 AM   #15
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Re: How much do you use your glidecam?

That's really nice stuff Noa! I was thinking of setting the focus around the 2M mark - I would like to work out the hyperfocal distance of this lens but I think the Metabones adapter (I'll be using it on a NEX VG-20) will skew the results.

What focus setting were you on for the wedding shots?

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