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Old September 3rd, 2011, 12:03 AM   #1
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Low angle shots with dslr

I've been trying to find a setup for my dslr that will fit my shooting style, but I can't seem to find the right solution. So I'm hoping to get some suggestions here.

I shoot a lot of run and gun type stuff where I use a lot of low angles and the camera is constantly traveling. Shoulder rig type set-ups aren't really ideal for me because I rarely if ever shoot anything at shoulder level, not to mention at 6'1'' it means I'd be getting downward angle shots or I'd have to stoop down most of the time.

I do have a monopod that I tested out, but I found that to be too cumbersome to deal with because of my constant movement. It didn't help that my monopod wasn't easily adjustable either. I've been thinking about replacing it for the Manfrotto neotec slider version, but I'm not sure that will solve my problem either.

I also tried this out thinking the grip would be a great aid to get the kind of angles I needed, along with some added stabilization, but it doesn't really do anything to help stabilize. The stabilizer on my regular video cam would be sufficient to get around this, but not on my dslr. http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/692449-REG/Opteka_XGRIPBK_X_Grip_Pro_Video_Stabilizing.html
Is there anything out there to help me achieve what I'm after, that will allow me to stay light and mobile? I'm open to any suggestions at this point.
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Old September 3rd, 2011, 04:04 AM   #2
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Re: Low angle shots with dslr

I have an Opteka X-Grip and have used it with my partner's DSLR (Pentax K-R) it's pretty light and easy to carry around.

Other than that I'm not sure as there isn't much lighter or smaller (unless you are keen on browsing through ebay DSLR accessories).
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Old September 3rd, 2011, 10:02 AM   #3
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Re: Low angle shots with dslr

That http://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/692449-REG/Opteka_XGRIPBK_X_Grip_Pro_Video_Stabilizing.html is my favorite. I've gone through so many I can't even count anymore, but for "light and mobile" that's pretty good. Only thing I'd add is a lens with IS, like the Canon 17-55mm, or shoot with a wider lens. I suppose you could also add some weight underneath, like a poor man's stabilizer. But then you start getting away from "light and mobile" again.

FWIW - I walk 9km everyday with weights in each hand and play tennis 3 times a week, more than anything else that really helps with my ability to stabilize a hand held DSLR when trying to stay "light and mobile".
"Ultimately, the most extraordinary thing, in a frame, is a human being." - Martin Scorsese
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Old September 3rd, 2011, 01:56 PM   #4
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Re: Low angle shots with dslr

I'll play around with the X-grip some more and see if I can't get it to work better for me. If all else fails I may have to construct my own custom rig to get what I want.
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Old September 4th, 2011, 01:47 PM   #5
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Re: Low angle shots with dslr

Take a look at Bruce Dorn's mounts and follow-focus units at iDC Photo Video. His follow-focus units work really well, and the mounts are pretty solid and easily configurable.

Here's a cage that might work: iDC Photo Store - Specialty gear for the photographer: Quick Release U-Boat Commander: Canon D Series
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Old December 31st, 2011, 09:36 AM   #6
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Re: Low angle shots with dslr

I have a similar shooting style. Handheld is the way to go when shooting action that is unfolding in front of you. Shooting on a monopod or tripod means you will miss out when repositioning and not have the best angle to capture most of the time.

The way I've managed to make it work is the right combination of equipment. Canon T3i - because it has a flip-out LCD and 3X digital zoom. Lens - Canon 18-55 2.8 IS. The IS is great and stabilizes it so I can shoot handheld very smooth. Perfect LCD Viewfinder. This allows me to stabilize the camera by jamming it against my head. It has a section that flips up so I can also shoot away from my head without having to remove.

Audio-wise I haven't come up with an ideal solution. At this point I use a Rode VideoMic Pro on a one-side hacked off light/sound bracket to get it further away from the lens so it doesn't capture IS noise. If I need I wireless I record on an external recorder. I've considered connecting with a Y-adapter cable into the camera, but lack of headphone monitoring makes me too nervous.
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