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stabilizing system or monopod?

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elstultusstabilizing system or monopod?
by on Nov 20, 2005 at 10:00:38 pm

I'm just getting into wedding videography. I have a GL2 based setup. One camera is tripod mounted and I'd like to use the second as a "floating" camera. Any suggestions as far as going with a stabilizing system (glidecam, steadicam, etc.) or just a monopod? Thanks much.

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Doug GrahamRe: stabilizing system or monopod?
by on Nov 23, 2005 at 3:58:38 pm

The monopod is by far the cheapest solution. By holding it gently just below the mounting plate, you can also use it as a kind of rough-and-ready "stabilizer" as well.
It can also be used as a handheld "crane" for overhead shots.

The next step up might be a VariZoom "FlowPod", a monopod with a built-in gimbal so that it is also a stabilizer.

A FlowPod, or any handheld stabilizer, is heavy and hard to shoot with for long. If you do a lot of moving camera work, you might need to move up to a vest-and-arm type system. These are much more expensive ($2,000 to more than $25,000) but take the weight of the rig off your arm and wrist.

Doug Graham

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elstultusRe: stabilizing system or monopod?
by on Nov 23, 2005 at 5:07:39 pm

Thanks Doug, I'm looking into the FlowPod.

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Mark SuszkoRe: stabilizing system or monopod?
by on Nov 24, 2005 at 5:22:10 am

You have a funamental decision to make regarding your shooting style before you choose. My own opinion is, one of the most glaring distinctions between amateur and pro-looking coverage is, the amateurs shoot EVERYTHING hand-held; the camera is in constant motion physically, or optically (tromboning zooms). I'm of the school that prefers to artistically compose a frame and let the motion happen *within that frame*. Easy enough on a tripod. I would suggest you go with a pure monopod for many of the resons already well-stated, but also because a tired arm is a shakey arm, and a wrist-centered steadicam can't compensate too well for that. Monopods let you move and stick, move and stick, getting a rapid sequence of stable, pro-looking shots, with action happening within the shot. Running around the entire reception hand-held, even with a steadi-widget, is going to give you a certain, frenetic look, it can't be helped. I like to break up the coverage, going handheld where it makes the most sense, then back to sticks for wider shots or nice, steady cameo telephotos of unsuspecting people being charming across the room from me.

A plain monopod, with a pan head on it, is the best option IMO.

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