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Stabilization and focus

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Jec Quatro
Stabilization and focus
on Dec 19, 2013 at 1:51:29 am

Hello, there! I have a Canon 5D Mark II and work mostly as photographer. But I do make some documentary movies for personal projects. One of the major issues I've been experiencing relates to focus and stabilization. So, I kind of decided to buy some props to help me with that. I thought of Glidecam HD4000 as I want to make some takes walking around. Then I was planning to buy a follow focus device. But as a single operator it is not easy to use the follow focus and move around at the same time. Then I came across with Zacuto's Tornado Grip. It seems to be pretty cool, but then I suppose it will require a shoulder rig and a monitor (video assist) and probably some other props. Well, right now I'm not sure what to, because I don't want to invest thousand as this is intended to my secondary activities. I'm willing to find a cost effective solution and I wonder if any of you had a similar question (probably many!) and your thoughts and suggestions.
Thanks in advance!
Jec


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Bill Bruner
Re: Stabilization and focus
on Dec 19, 2013 at 1:34:18 pm

Hi Jesc - stabilizers and follow focus rigs are expensive. It may be cheaper simply to buy a second camera with built-in autofocus and stabilization such as the $1219 (on sale) Sony RX10.

Andrew Reid from eoshd used the RX10 to shoot his "Run and Gun" video - all handheld using in-camera autofocus and stabilization:



Here is a Canon shooter who has retired his 5D in favor of the C100 for his pro work and the RX10 for his personal work:

http://forums.planet5d.com/threads/128231-My-5D-did-well-but-im-not-using-i...

If you want to spend a little less, there are a few "open box" RX10s available at Adorama for $937.

Hope this is helpful and best of the holidays!

Bill
Hybrid Camera Revolution


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Jec Quatro
Re: Stabilization and focus
on Dec 19, 2013 at 2:07:32 pm

Thanks, Bill.
I’ll have a look at it. But I’m not quite convinced that I should leave my 5D aside for these projects despite all of the cons. I do like the results I get with it. Also, I’ve read that the new Canon 70D has a very efficient autofocus for video. Have you already tested it? I agree that everything is changing so fast, that buying expensive rigs is not a good idea, as a new enhancement may quickly make it useless. That’s why I thought of finding a less pricey solution. On the other hand, I don’t want to buy one of these props you never user afterwards. Well, I’ll have a look at RX10. Thank you!


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Steve Crow
Re: Stabilization and focus
on Dec 19, 2013 at 3:42:28 pm

Jec,

I think you are missing a basic point when thinking about Glidecam type shots and that is that you don't adjust focus while shooting - in fact you don't touch the camera at all because that would upset the balance. There are very expensive solutions for a remote focus puller to operate a follow focus attached to your camera for you but for a hobby application that doesn't make sense.

Also check out this article about vest-based systems out of China that are dramatically lowering the cost and reducing operator fatigue at the same time:

http://dslrvideoshooter.com/steadicam-x-pro-from-de-cinema-kit/

Regarding the Steadicam mentioned in the article I did a little research myself and found that there are several manufacturers making almost the exact same rig with steadicam and vest so before you buy anything make sure you look around the Internet for the best deal

Steve Crow
Crow Digital Media
http://www.CrowDigitalMedia.com


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Jec Quatro
Re: Stabilization and focus
on Dec 19, 2013 at 6:06:18 pm

Thank you, Steve. Yes, you are right, I got that. That's why I started looking at other options, since my idea is to use the 5D as a single operator. And autofocus does not yield the best results often times. Just checking some options, I'll have a look at your suggestions. Thanks!


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Brian Melnyk
Re: Stabilization and focus
on Dec 23, 2013 at 10:18:51 am

Magic lantern and a monopod with a belt pouch. Or a 70d, which is pretty great for focus, but could use some lantern magic for exposure tools, as canon seems to not think that exposure tools are needed while filming video... Frustrating! How hard is it to give us a live histogram? Or waveform? ML has proven it very workable, so why not, canon?
Just a thought:
When is it manual focus and when is it auto, when you can touch the screen, drag the focus, lock the focus, etc. etc.???
I'm finding the 70d autofocus a very interactive system with a lot of different options for manually controlling the auto...


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Bill Bruner
Re: Stabilization and focus
on Dec 23, 2013 at 2:08:11 pm

The href="http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00DMS0GTC/ref=as_li_ss_tl?ie=UTF8&camp=1789&creative=390957&creativeASIN=B00DMS0GTC&linkCode=as2&tag=battleforthew-20">70D's autofocus is great, but you would still need a stabilizer/Steadicam to walk with it, as in this example:








The RX10's Balanced Optical Steady Shot means no stabilizer is required, as in this 100% handheld shoot from Andrew Reid:





And it has a live histogram :)

Best of the holidays, everyone!

Bill


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Rich Rubasch
Re: Stabilization and focus
on Dec 29, 2013 at 1:55:39 am

I think you are also perhaps forcing a shallow depth of field thinking it is the right look....but if you took advantage of the low light capabilities of the 5D close the iris a bit and increase the ISO which will give a wider range of focus. And using a wider angle lense will also help stabilize shots.

Rich Rubasch
Tilt Media Inc.
Video Production, Post, Studio Sound Stage
Founder/President/Editor/Designer/Animator
http://www.tiltmedia.com


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