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


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Old September 5th, 2013, 03:14 AM   #1
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My latest steadycam setup.

Just putting this out there despite being well aware it may be of no interest! But you never know.

A few things you need to know:
- I recently upgraded from T2i to a 6D
- I only ever shot on 50mm 1.4 (30mm lens on the T2i) and have been aware that steadycam footage is a LOT better wide.
- I've been struggling with my 6D on my Flycam Nano.
- I've been struggling with switchover issues between my monopod and Flycam such as time, noise and rebalancing.

So what changed - I noticed an old lens kicking about my drawer. A rather poor Sigma 18-50mm f3.5-5.6.
Thats reasonably wide!

Solution -

My T2i stays on my Flycam Nano with the sigma, balanced at 18mm zoom. It is one singular piece of kit.

Benefits:
- No switchover camera time
- Instant pick up and go
- Lightweight means its easier to balance and stays in balance.
- Nice wide shots

I know its far from ideal in terms of quality, but these shots will make up less than 5% of my finished DVD so I'm happy enough. The lens is a bit dingy and flimsy, worth about 30 SH. I just bought a similar Cosina 19-35mm for 40 which I'm hoping may be a slight step up.

Conclusion:
I spent very little money and solved a lot of my issues! It also streamlined a lot of my shooting at a wedding yesterday!

I'll try and upload some shots in the next day or two!
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Old September 7th, 2013, 07:30 AM   #2
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Re: My latest steadycam setup.

So here we go some of the clips from the wedding.

I'm hoping the Cosina 19-35mm I bought may help quality a little. But at the end of the day here is a crop sensor dslr which was destined to become an emergency camera, a 120 Flycam Nano and a 40 old lens.

Before having this as a complete seperate unit, I only used the Flycam at times where I had time enough to swap my camera over and rebalance it. Now i just lift and go all day long.

Moral of the story - Is it worth spending hundreds on what will make up a tiny percentage of your final footage?

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Old September 7th, 2013, 08:05 AM   #3
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Re: My latest steadycam setup.

Sorry, forgot to say - password is flycam
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Old September 7th, 2013, 12:34 PM   #4
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Re: My latest steadycam setup.

Clive - those were some smooth shots!

My vote on your question, "Is it worth spending hundreds on what will make up a tiny percentage of your final footage?", with a yes or no answer, is "no", it isn't worth it. This is based on the fact you're on a tight budget and given the type of video you're doing.

The other rational I'm considering is that, in my opinion, the storyline trumps the technology in this case. With a flycam shot the action is moving so the viewer is trying to adsorb not only what is in the picture but what is happening and because it is fleeting by the viewer doesn't have enough time to critique the technical aspects. This is not to say "one can get away with murder" and do lousy lighting and audio job in the shoot, but on the other hand, I don't think one has to be quite as careful.

The shot with the piano player was a nice one.

As far as the composition or editing goes, I realize you're showing what the flycam can do in all the shots, and you're doing a good job with it, but perhaps a little less flying movement would work too. That is, one doesn't have to do, say, a 270 or so shot and maybe even a lesser and subtle 20 or 30 would work. The viewer might not even notice it but the shot would really add.

Your concept of using a B-camera (not the go-to camera) set up and ready to go is the same one I've started to use lately because it is just too much hassle to do otherwise.

One side comment: Even though it is not your go-to camera, be sure to keep an eye on it when you're not using it. If you set it down in a corner somewhere while you're doing other shooting it could grow feet and disappear. I know of two situations where this has happened with valuable musical instruments and their owners were heartbroken.

Seems like you've figured out how to do some good work on a small budget.
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Old September 7th, 2013, 01:12 PM   #5
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Re: My latest steadycam setup.

Cheers John,

I agree completely re the regular viewer not having time to pixel-peep because that's just not how consumers act.

Thanks for your encouragement!

No doubt when I'm rich and famous I'll prob buy me a 2400 Steadicam Merlin, a 2400 5Dmk3, and a 1200 Canon EF 16-35mm f/2.8 L.

But for now I think my 120 Flycam, 300 Canon 550D (SH), and 40 Cosina 19-35mm 3.5-4.5 are giving a decent return for their humble value!
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Old September 8th, 2013, 02:07 PM   #6
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Re: My latest steadycam setup.

I'm sure Tiffen wishes they could sell Merlins for 2400!!! You were thinking the Pilot, perhaps...?
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Old September 8th, 2013, 03:48 PM   #7
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Re: My latest steadycam setup.

Yes indeed, I meant Pilot!
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Old September 8th, 2013, 03:58 PM   #8
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Re: My latest steadycam setup.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clive McLaughlin View Post
Moral of the story - Is it worth spending hundreds on what will make up a tiny percentage of your final footage?
If you are doing wedding videos and not charging premium prizes I would say no, it's not worth it because the client won't notice the difference, we will but they won't. If you charge premium prizes then I would say you owe it to your client to deliver them the best their money can buy and then I would say yes, it's worth it.
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Old September 8th, 2013, 04:59 PM   #9
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Re: My latest steadycam setup.

I was trying to think of a list of shots I'd want a steadycam for, and am having trouble beyond:
1)trailing the B&G when they're announced into the reception
2) generally walking along or around with the B&G during casual shooting, like at the 1:08 mark,
3) being in the dance floor, shooting faces

everything else I prefer the glidecam or tripod shot.
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Old September 8th, 2013, 05:49 PM   #10
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Re: My latest steadycam setup.

I start using it from the reception and use it for:

Some gliding shots of the venue table set-up when they light the candles just before the guests enter.
Some general shots of the venue, inside and outside.
The first entrance of the couple
when the food is being served I follow the waiters to the table.
glideshots at a few tables where the guests sit.
A shot from the food and the dessert before the guests trash it :)
The cake cutting
The first dance.
The dancingpart in general.
If friends organised a game or sing a song or whatever they have got planned as surprise for the b&g the steadicam gets used if my tripod or handheld would limit me to cover everything.
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