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Thread: Do you use a Steadicam?

  1. Default Do you use a Steadicam?

    Hey guys,

    Just wondering your thoughts on SteadiCam's.. 100% required? Or just stick it on a Tripod?

    What brands do you recommend? Do you have a homemade one that works just fine?

    Let me know your thoughts as i'm looking to purchase if you think they are worth it.

    FT

  2. #2

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    i have the Manfrotto Modo Steady and an Opteka X Grip.

    TBH, neither are a perfect solution.

    have you tried using an extended tripod ?
    attach your camera to the tripod with the legs folded inwards find the center balkance point.

    hold the tripod at the balance point.

    not perfect but steadier than a hand held camera.


    of course you could spend 200 upwards on the real thing ......

  3. #3
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    In my opinion it all depends on what you want to do.

    If it's a static shot then put it on a tripod, or rest on a chair, lamppost, car or anything handy. If it's got to be a tracking shot and you're not too confident on your hand-holding skills then use a "steady". Personally, on the run, I like using a monopod. Almost as steady as a tripod for statics and pans and, if held like a soldier holding a rifle at "present arms" it makes a pretty good poor-man's-steadycam.

  4. Default

    Thanks for the feedback

  5. #5

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    Sometimes with smaller cameras and smaller tripods I've simulated a shoulder mount by mounting the camera to the tripod (legs closed) and tilting the the head to 90 degrees from normal. This way you can rest the legs on your shoulder and get the steadying benifits of a full size camera. It also works great with a monopod. I once had one fully extended, quickly transfered it to my shoulder to track some unsespected action and nearly taken out a whole bunch of people and a glass door. That was fun.

    David.

  6. #6
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    Those cheaper steady cams are a flaming nusance. It takes longer to balance them than it does to film the material. I tried a kit from Hague at around 200.00 and was really disappointed in its performance...More fool me for not test driving the bloody thing first.
    http://www.soundzshop.com
    A fine is a tax for doing wrong. A tax is a fine for doing well.

    http://www.soundclick.com/solway

  7. #7
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    One other note... it takes some time to become a pro with a steadicam. Some one with no experience can not just pick a steadicam up and shoot like a pro.

    When I first started using a steadicam (been a steadicam op for 7 years now), it took me a good month to learn it.

    Personally, I hate static shots (tripod shots). Boring, amateur and anyone can do it. If you want your footage to shine, give it some movement. Whether you do this with a steadicam, jib or dolly... the difficult shots, that are shot well, is what impresses your clients.

    Just my 2 cents worth!

    -Mike

  8. #8
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    I totally agree. To increase the production value of your videos, you should definitely utilize a steady-cam or use dolly shots. I personally use the Glidecam, and I have not looked back since. It does take a little practice, but with a little patience anyone can do it.

    Eric Cummings
    Corporate Video production company | Washington, DC | New york

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by MikeGJr View Post
    Personally, I hate static shots (tripod shots). Boring, amateur and anyone can do it.
    Not if they don't have a tripod or other steadying device! The vast majority of amateur stuff is still wobbly hand-held footage.

    I also like a little bit of movement, but accept (a) I don't have a glidecam nor a steadycam nor a dolly and (b) only in a scripted scenario does one have the ability to set up such a shot.

    Personally I think movement needs to be either in the shot or with the cam. I generally dislike it when you have both (with numerous exceptions, for example circling the bride and groom at the first dance). When i look at a lot of the head shots in documentaries, where the camera is tracking left then right i start noticing it and it's like being at Wimbledon.

    Just noticed. This is in the software section?
    Tim

  10. #10
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    Hey Tim,

    Let me just clarify by saying, when a production is shot "entirely" with static shots (tripod shots), i.e. a wedding, this is boring and amateur to me. Anyone can set up a camera on sticks. But using professional tools, steadicam, dolly, jib, etc... takes more time and skill to use, but results in some awesome shots.

    Of course you can over use a steadicam and dolly. There needs to be a health blend between moving shots and professional smooth tripod shots.

    All I'm saying is, tripod shots are the easiest to do, so most videographers will pick that way because it's "good enough" to get the job done. Where as the steadicam, jib and dolly shots take more work and creativity. These shots, when shot properly, are quite rewarding.

    I hope I explained my opinion better.

    -Mike

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