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Shooting on a boat

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Mike Allen
Shooting on a boat
on Jun 14, 2010 at 1:37:44 pm

Does anyone have experience stabilizing a camcorder on a boat? When I tried a monopod on the floor of the boat, my footage looked like jello. Any tips will be appreciated. I have been doing corporate video for 20 years, however I do some side work and I have never encountered extream jello cam before. Also, are there settings in the menu that I might change in order to get a better picture?

At the end of the day, I held the monopod above the floor of the boat (floating the cam.) and it did result in removing most of the jello look, but there is probably a better way.

In addition, I am sort of looking for the "poor man's" solution. In other words, I really do not want a super high dollar solution, so try to take that into account when you reply (I am using a EX1 sized camera.)

Thanks,
Mike


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Noah Kadner
Re: Shooting on a boat
on Jun 15, 2010 at 3:38:53 am

Any sort of steadicam rig rich or poor mans would help to stabilize in relation to the boat. You just don't want to tripod or fasten the camera directly to the boat or you'll get every wobble it makes.

Noah

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Chris Stevens
Re: Shooting on a boat
on Jun 15, 2010 at 7:26:35 am

Steadicam on boats is of little use as the wind (if there is any) creates balance issues. Far better to use an Ultramedia type setup. If budget is low, try Kenyon tripple giro open rig - although this needs practice to perform.

Cams: Z1, EX3, HDX900.
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Rafael Amador
Re: Shooting on a boat
on Jun 15, 2010 at 2:35:42 pm

[Mike Allen] " Also, are there settings in the menu that I might change in order to get a better picture? "
Make sure that the Steady Shoot is ON. I think that comes ON from factory, but check it.
rafael



http://www.nagavideo.com


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Dean Sensui
Re: Shooting on a boat
on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:06:09 am

I shoot a lot on boats, since I produce a fishing show.

If I have to shoot from one boat to another, I stand in the center of the stern (rear of the boat) and keep my knees bent. The camera is also on a shoulder mount to minimize pitch.

The worst place to stand is in the bow (front) as that's the part that pitches up and down the most. And the same goes for the gunwales (sides).

At NAB I took a look at a stabilizer that used a Kenyon gyro, but it didn't provide enough inertia to overcome the sort of forces I usually encounter in open water. I don't recall which Kenyon gyros it used. But I felt the gyros would have to be larger and, therefore, heavier, to provide enough resistance to keep the camera relatively steady.

Dean Sensui -- Hawaii Goes Fishing


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Clint Fleckenstein
Re: Shooting on a boat
on Jun 16, 2010 at 6:37:09 pm

What Dean said reminded me of something I learned racing motorcycles and mountain biking: your body is a critically important part of your suspension. Just like if you're standing on a trampoline and someone tries to knock it off, keeping your knees bent can actually keep your feet planted when they absorb the travel of the trampoline.

I often shoot (stills and video) with my knees bent pretty well. It's like the horse stance in karate that our instructors like to make us stand in for what seems like days at a time...

Cf


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Dean Sensui
Re: Shooting on a boat
on Jun 16, 2010 at 7:00:26 pm

It's also similar to some of the basic principles of skiing... which I don't get to do much of here (Hawaii).

Dean Sensui -- Hawaii Goes Fishing


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Bruce Quayle
Re: Shooting on a boat
on Jun 17, 2010 at 7:52:02 pm

Hi Mike,
I have been shooting extensively on my sailboat and find that with practice you, as cameraman, are the best stabilizer around. You learn to move with the boat and can even maintain a steady and level horizon.

Just as Dean suggested, you have to have your knees bent, but I personally prefer to hold the camera in front of me with both hands. A little movement in your shots on a boat is not a problem - in fact if the shot is too stable, it can look unnatural. It is tiring, but great exercise - and you get used to it.

There are times when I have to attach the camera to an arch at the stern of the boat for a wide shot of action in the cockpit, but I try not to show the horizon in these circumstances. These shots are always cut away with action close-ups so the "staticness" of the shot is softened.

I have also found that depending on what I am shooting and what effect I am trying to achieve, I will keep either the horizon level, or keep the boat level. But stability is something you will achieve with practice.

Just as an aside, unless you are shooting in really calm conditions, you should ensure that you have some decent form of protection for your camera. Don't think it won't get wet...it WILL! And you must have a polarizer and a wide-angle lens!

Good luck with your shoot.
Cheers,

Bruce


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Don Greening
re: shooting from a boat
on Sep 30, 2010 at 6:03:16 am

http://www.reeltimevideoworks.com


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