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Old May 23rd, 2015, 10:28 AM   #1
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How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

When do you prefer to use your Steadicam and/or Gimbal during a wedding?

I tend to use only my slider during "prep/opening" footage, but like to switch to the steadicam during the main dances and a good portion of the reception once the dancing has started.

What is your preferred use of the steadicam?

I'm also curious what lens you think works best...obviously wide works better, but I've often found lens that are too wide don't work as well as something in the 35-50mm range.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 01:32 PM   #2
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

Starting from reception to:

get some shots of guests arriving at the receprion
Get some shots of an empty venue usually when the light the candles and just before they let the guests in
shoot the first entrance of the couple
get some shots while everyone is seated
follow a waiter while they are serving drinks or food
shoot the moment they bring in the cake
shoot the first dance
shoot a lot of dancing after that.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 02:50 PM   #3
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

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Originally Posted by Ian Atkins View Post
When do you prefer to use your Steadicam and/or Gimbal during a wedding?.
Good question Ian.
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Old May 23rd, 2015, 03:27 PM   #4
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

Hey Ian, varies a lot for me. I'm pretty much always shooting in a two-person team, and I work for a lot of different companies as well as for myself. Sometimes the other person is on steadicam the entire day, sometimes I do a lot of steadicam, sometimes I'm half/half. Depends on what each company wants and how proficient the person I'm teamed with is.

Where I find it's really useful: establishing shots, room shots, quickly covering accessories and arrangements (or anything else), and dancing. A lot less fiddly than slider + tripod, but less elegant, and compared to a close-up, you're missing a lot of details, beauty, emotion.

Normally I use a 14mm or 16-35 at 16 for this, so really wide. After I feel like I've exhausted the possibilities of really wide, then I'll play with 35mm, 50mm, 100mm, but it's kind of hit and miss. I think 24 and 35 are the commonest choices, and then some people try with 50 as well. Talking Canon, all these lenses you can use without adjusting the weights on the steadicam. But if you whacked an 85 f/1.2 on it, you'd need to add more weight.

By the way, there's been a few threads in the past on this, so you might get a lot more ideas if you search for them.
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Old May 24th, 2015, 12:38 AM   #5
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

Forgot to mention, I always use a 12mm f2.0 lens on my gh3 which is about a 24mm equivalent on a full frame camera, there are some times I wished I had a bit wider lens.
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Old May 26th, 2015, 12:58 PM   #6
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
Starting from reception to:

get some shots of guests arriving at the receprion
Get some shots of an empty venue usually when the light the candles and just before they let the guests in
shoot the first entrance of the couple
get some shots while everyone is seated
follow a waiter while they are serving drinks or food
shoot the moment they bring in the cake
shoot the first dance
shoot a lot of dancing after that.

Noa, I love your idea of following a waiter through a space. I had a four hour reception on Saturday and I not only experimented with this, but also asking a guy to start dancing in the dining area and dance all the way to the main dance floor. I followed him until he got there with the steadicam, and it looks awesome.

I would love to use it when the bride comes down the aisle or the introductions, but I work about getting in the way of the guests/photographers. It's always a tricky balance between getting the ideal shot and being too invasive.
What is your website/vimeo page? I'd love to see some of your work.
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Old June 1st, 2015, 12:55 PM   #7
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

After receiving the Ronin-M on Friday, I feel fully confident I made the right choice. The quality of this entire product is fantastic. Solid feeling, very intuitive, and very stream-lined. It is very light. I used it for a wedding all day yesterday and really never got tired.

I would highly recommend this product. The only thing I would recommend is the thumb controller. I wish that were standard.

Here is a little test footage I did with the GH4 yesterday at the wedding:



It works with most DSLRs that people are using and also says it is compatible with the C100!
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Old June 1st, 2015, 01:40 PM   #8
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

That looks awesome Kyle, these electronic gimbals do make me nervous, I have visions of such a gimbal going haywire when I turn it on during a critical once in a lifetime shot. :)

I am surprised though you used the gh4 for this, what lens did you use? The camera also seemed to smoothly change focus between objects, I never have used autofocus on that camera and was not aware it could make such smooth transitions?

Edit: I see in the description what lens you used, that 17mm looks like a great focal length for these type of shots, for a minute I had the impression this was shot with a larger sensor camera.
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 06:12 AM   #9
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

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Originally Posted by Noa Put View Post
That looks awesome Kyle, these electronic gimbals do make me nervous, I have visions of such a gimbal going haywire when I turn it on during a critical once in a lifetime shot. :)

I am surprised though you used the gh4 for this, what lens did you use? The camera also seemed to smoothly change focus between objects, I never have used autofocus on that camera and was not aware it could make such smooth transitions?

Edit: I see in the description what lens you used, that 17mm looks like a great focal length for these type of shots, for a minute I had the impression this was shot with a larger sensor camera.
Noa,
The electronic aspect makes me a little nervous, too, but I wouldn't worry about it ruining a shot. I mostly worry about how long the motors will hold up. That's one reason I went with DJI as opposed to some of theo there manufacturers out there. Even if their customer service isn't the best, at least they are a billion dollar company. The camera sits on a quick release plate just like a tripod so it is easy to quickly remove the camera whenever you want. To me, the steadicam look is a nice bonus, but apart from a first look and first dances (where I use multiple backup cameras anyway), I'm not sure I would use it for any critical shots to begin with.

Why are you surprised I used the GH4? I actually only use the GH3/4 for wedding videography. That is an entirely different subject, but I'm not sure why that is surprising :) To me, if I'm going to use a lightweight gimbal, I should keep it as light as possible with the gear I attach to it. Otherwise, I'm kind of defeating the purpose.

I actually didn't use autofocus. The Ronin-M has a top handle that allows you to use another hand to pull focus. It wasn't easy, but I managed on a couple of those shots where you see those happen.

-Ian
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Old June 2nd, 2015, 12:27 PM   #10
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

I was surprised because first I didn't read the description at the start of the video and based on the shallow dof I thought it was a larger sensor camera like a aps-c, also when I saw how smooth the camera refocussed a GH4 was the last camera on my mind that was able to do that in autofocus :)

Great job done on the focuspulling though.
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Old June 3rd, 2015, 10:41 AM   #11
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

Ian, does the Ronin M require a monitor? Also, did you consider a G2X? How long are motors supposed to last in these things? And finally, are they easily replaced and for what cost?

Thanks Ian! Great shots too! Interesting choice of lens and one that I do not own, I would have probably considered going as wide as possible to maintain a smooth shot, but those shots look smooth as they are!
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Old June 3rd, 2015, 11:20 AM   #12
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

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Originally Posted by Ian Atkins View Post
After receiving the Ronin-M on Friday, I feel fully confident I made the right choice. The quality of this entire product is fantastic. Solid feeling, very intuitive, and very stream-lined. It is very light. I used it for a wedding all day yesterday and really never got tired.

I would highly recommend this product. The only thing I would recommend is the thumb controller. I wish that were standard.

Here is a little test footage I did with the GH4 yesterday at the wedding:

Ronin-M + GH4 on Vimeo


It works with most DSLRs that people are using and also says it is compatible with the C100!
Any idea how the Ronin M fares in non slowmotion tracking shots? I've been considering one but the test footage that's been popping up has been disappointing. This looks good however and I'm hoping the slowmotion isn't masking anything :)
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Old June 3rd, 2015, 03:46 PM   #13
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

If you would like, I'll export the same video but remove all slow motion. It honestly is incredible.
BTW, I just received an email about a firmware update:

Updated the IMU firmware to v1.2 which enhances the overheating protection function of the motors.
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Old June 3rd, 2015, 03:54 PM   #14
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

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Originally Posted by Craig McKenna View Post
Ian, does the Ronin M require a monitor? Also, did you consider a G2X? How long are motors supposed to last in these things? And finally, are they easily replaced and for what cost?

Thanks Ian! Great shots too! Interesting choice of lens and one that I do not own, I would have probably considered going as wide as possible to maintain a smooth shot, but those shots look smooth as they are!

Craig, I chose the 35mm (equivalent) because I got sick and tired of feeling I had to use the 14mm wide angle (equivalent) on my blackbird in order to help maximize stability. To me, the 14mm just looks "too wide". The latest example of the 7-14mm lens and the blackbird is here:

I know they say 50mm is most comparable to the human eye, but I personally feel that when filming in the 16:9 aspect ratio, the 35mm equivalent is the most human-like perspective you can get on film.

So I wanted a lens on the Ronin that not only approximated the human eye, but also wasn't artificially wide in order to mask any lack of smoothness. I think one of the greatest aspects of a stabilizer is that you can give a very realistic human perspective to what you are filming. But if that is your goal, your lens should also reflect that perspective and not be chosen simply to maximize stability. Since the Ronin-M does such a good job at stabilizing, I am no longer limited in this selection!

I would like to have a monitor on the top of the ronin. I am currently exploring ways to mount my Small HD monitor onto the top of the Ronin and run a small HDMI connection from the camera.

In terms of the motors, I have no idea how long they will last or what the replacement will be like. But I also don't know that about any of my electronics, including the cameras ;)
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Old June 3rd, 2015, 05:00 PM   #15
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Re: How Do You Use Your Steadicam/Gimbal?

I do prefer the 12mm f2.0 for all my steadicam shots and often I wished it was wider, I think that 17mm focal length works very well for photoshoots of which your video is a good example of. I however start using my steadicam from the reception and then a 12mm lens gives me much less issues maintaining focus even at f2.0 and I need to shoot at f2.0 often up to 6400 iso to avoid shooting with extra light which I will prevent whenever I can. Usually the only instance I wished that 12mm f2.0 was a 8 to 12mm f2.0 zoom, which I known doesn't exist, is during the first dance. I always shoot with one camera only then and the dancefloor is often much too small, when the couple is doing a "special dance" I'd like to be able to frame them entirely which is not possible on a 12mm focal length. Usually inside the venue I'd like my field of view to be as wide as possible, not to avoid balancing issues, but because I want to have a wide fov and I want to have all my shots in focus while I move.
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