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-   -   Shooting on the ocean (https://www.dvinfo.net/forum/sony-xdcam-ex-pro-handhelds/115404-shooting-ocean.html)

Dean Sensui February 22nd, 2008 04:55 PM


Originally Posted by Paul Cronin (Post 830879)
Dean to keep the camera cool I use an insulation that is bubble wrap with foil on either side. You can buy it cheap at Home Depot and it makes a huge difference inside the Kata Rain cover and is very thin (1/8"). The camera will stay cooler. You can put velcro on the insulation so it hooks right on the cover at the opening. That way when it is easy on easy off.

Looks like I need to be trying the shutter off on similar shots.

I was thinking of draping a white towel over the top of it. I'll go check out the bubble wrap, too since that won't soak up water. Thanks!

Dean Sensui February 22nd, 2008 05:20 PM


Originally Posted by Chip Curry (Post 830877)
The footage looks great! Man, it streamed practically in real time. First, If I want to post footage like that, I just select Quicktime conversion, H.264, save it on my site and post a link?


I used Compressor to encode the file. I don't have the specific settings here in front of me but I can look it up if you need it.

Paul Cronin February 23rd, 2008 07:21 AM

Dean I run two Kenyon KS-8 Gyros on a custom Zacuto shoulder brace. While shooting in chase boats and helicopters it works great. One gyro is OK but to really see a big difference you need two since with one you will be fighting pitch or roll depending on how you have the one set up. There are a few tricks but Kenyon-Labs is always willing to help. In helicopters at times I use 4 on a Aerial Exposure rig which is excellent but too heavy to hand hold. For hand hold two seems to be max since they are 8 lbs each plus battery 8 lbs unless you can hook into a 12 volt power supply.

You can rent for a week or month at a small fee and see how they work. Also everything you spend on the rental goes toward purchase.

If you do this type of shooting often I think you would be very pleased with the results.

Happy to send you pictures of my rig when it arrives Monday by UPS from my last shoot if you are interested.

Dean Sensui February 26th, 2008 03:41 AM


If you can post a few photos that would be great. Thanks!

There's a dealer here in Hawaii who has one of those Aerial Exposure gyro-stabilized rigs. I really would like to get it out for a test to do aerial shots.

He is also willing to rent a single unit for handheld work. A historic voyaging canoe, the Hokuleia, was shot recently by some friends and they reallly could have used the help. Perhaps next time.

I might try a gyro the next time I need to do shots from a chase boat.

Paul Cronin February 26th, 2008 08:17 AM

Dean I just received my Storm Case with rig back by UPS yesterday. I will put my rig together and take a few pictures today and post.

If you fly with the Aerial Exposure rig make sure you have time (1/2 hr min) to balance your rig on the unit. This will also give you time to get use to the feel. Also make sure the rig has been running for 1/2 hr min prior to the flight. It takes 15-20 min for the gyros to hit full rpm of 22,000. You do not want to shoot until they are up to speed.

Paul Cronin February 26th, 2008 04:11 PM

Attached are pictures of my rig with both gyros, Zacuto shoulder brace, DVtec forward spring (only use hand held not in Helicopter), and battery. As you can see if you have access to a 12V lighter plug you will not have to carry the heavy battery.

Great rig!

Let me know if you need more info.

Dean Sensui February 26th, 2008 11:17 PM

That's a really cool setup, Paul.

The Zacuto rail system seems to be among the better designs. The cost is rather high but the nice thing about those types of accessories is that you're likely to buy them only once. They can be transferred from one system to the next.

Amazing how long it takes to spin up the gyros! So from setup to liftoff I should allow at least an hour.

Thanks for the tips!

Mike Marriage February 27th, 2008 04:55 AM

Hi Paul,

I shoot a fair amount of marine stuff too and get really fed up of shoulder mounting.

On dry, stable land, I'll take shoulder mounting every time but I don't like it on the water because of the weight of the camera. Do you find it a problem, particularly in rough seas? I have a DSR450, which gets pretty heavy with a gyro on it!

I have a single KS8, which I mount directly to the camera, and I find it helps. Have you tried a handheld camera with gyro on? I've seen it done with very successful results, although you need strong wrist and have to adopt a different style, "cupping" the camera underneath due to weight. I think I might buy a smaller camera and experiment.

Similarly, when shooting from helicopters you can transmit shake though a shoulder mount. A handheld may allow your arms to reduce the effect - again I've seen it done, but not tried it yet. Any thoughts?

Paul Cronin February 27th, 2008 08:36 AM

Dean the Zacuto is expensive but I think worth every penny when using gyros. It breaks down quick into the pack, is very stiff, and fits all handheld cameras, holds wireless, and extra batteries.

I would be early for your first flight with the Aerial Exposure or go the day before and balance. But make sure they are full RPM at take off since most of my flights I shoot right from take off. You never know what you can use and at that cost why not. The helicopter company might say 8-10 minutes but I hear and feel a difference up to 20 min every time.

Would love to see what you shoot.

Mike it is a heavy set up with both gyros but I like it better. When I had the Sony Z1/Canon A1 I used them with just one KS-8 under the camera. Better then handheld but not for hours. Then I purchased a multirig and put the gyro under that with the spring taking some of the weight. Big improvement and I could go for hours. But with one gyro you give up pitch or roll depending on your set up. So with one I was in line with the camera and had roll problems at 40% and up with zoom. And you know you will always want more range with the lens. So then I set up with two gyros one for pitch and one for roll. Wow what a difference. And weight oh well I deal. As for on the shoulder I think it is better then hand held in rough conditions. It teaches you to use your legs. And making my living on the water all my life this comes natural.

In a helicopter I disagree about handheld compare to shoulder with two gyros. I find the shoulder mount better. But the Aerial Exposure is even better. I keep my system front heavy when flying so it is light on my shoulder. So my arms do a lot of the work. But with both gyros up to 22,000 rpm it is hard to fight the gyros. Kenyon says 30 degrees a second is max pan and I go about 1/4 of that for best results.

My set up is in constant change and if business goes well this summer I will buy the Aerial Exposure set up and modify for a boat.

Mike Marriage February 28th, 2008 05:12 AM

Hi Paul,

Like I said, I have only used shoulder mounted cameras in helicopters and at sea, so it is interesting to hear your opinion - thanks!

I bought an XHA1 yesterday to play around with, so I'll experiment for myself. The canon OISs have always been quite good and I'm hoping it may reduce helicopter "judder." My larger cameras obviously have no OIS. I did look at the Schwem Gyrozoom, but they are so expensive I couldn't justify it. The XHA1 can be a useful camera on the land as well.

I suppose with all of these stabilizers there is an element of control that you sacrifice. You have to experiment and find what works best for each situation.

Paul Cronin February 28th, 2008 07:25 AM

Mike the A1 is a great camera at times I miss mine.

One thing I like about my setup is I have both hands on the camera which gives me full control. With the Aerial Exposure rig you loose a lot of control since you are not touching the camera. You have to keep both hands with a light touch on the handles. So a zoom control is needed.

I did have great success with the A1 on a multirig with one gyro. (see pictures) I did not use the shoulder mount attachment since it is not stiff enough but I did use the spring. The problems I found was the roll while zoomed with one gyro and arm movement which I do not get on the shoulder.

Brendan Pyatt March 2nd, 2008 05:27 AM


Did you shoot this using auto or manual focus ?


Dean Sensui March 2nd, 2008 08:37 AM


It was manual focus. In fact all the controls are set on manual as I don't trust anything on auto. Cameras have no idea what the visually important aspects of a composition are and can't be trusted to get anything right. That includes white balance, focus and exposure.

Brendan Pyatt March 2nd, 2008 12:17 PM


i kinda assumed manual as the camera isn't hunting but i was thinking that it might have been hard for you on the back of a ski ;)

Dean Sensui March 2nd, 2008 01:21 PM

Shooting from a jet ski would have been way too risky with a brand-new camera! Yikes! :-)

I was on my 18-foot boat. But it was still tough when we were headed out to the first spot. I was squatting to take up the shock with a big Igloo cooler under my butt in case I fell.

I always shoot manual. It was the same with news and commercial photography. A lot of news guys now rely upon the auto-focus capabilities of the newest digital SLR's and are reporting remarkable success. However, still photos aren't affected the way we are if the lens should start hunting focus.

In fact, when I did a few weddings I once hired a good still photographer to operate one of the cameras. When editing I discovered he had an annoying habit of throwing the shot out of focus, then re-focusing the image. A habit that he developed from still photography. That habit wrought havoc upon the video footage!

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