YO YO YO! Welcome to another edition of 'Techy Stuff'. We've received a bunch of questions lately about how we stabilize our cameras and what gear we use to do so. This post is to briefly go over each piece we use. When we started to use HDSLR's we saw some incredible potential. Initially we thought using the cameras handheld would work fine but we quickly learned otherwise. We use the Canon 5D and 7D and these cameras both have some pretty bad rolling shutter/jelly cam issues. When handheld, the footage comes out extremely jittery, almost as if the person holding it was vibrating. This is because the cameras are so small and light, they pick up every tiny movement you make. This can be avoided by using lenses with IS (image stabilization) but the lenses we choose to use don't have IS, so we've found the best way to avoid these problems is to use some sort of stabilizer at all times.
||Tripod|| We use Manfrotto Tripods. Perfect for ceremonies and speeches. Never underestimate the power of a good tripod and fluid head.
||Monopod|| We have a lot of people ask us about this one. We use the Manfrotto 561BHDV. This is a monopod with a fluid video head on top. This thing is SO versatile. Available for around $300, this is by far the best bang for the buck. Brilliant design with the 3 feet at the bottom and extremely lightweight. It allows us to be extremely portable while being able to get beautiful shots. We use it for the majority of the day... definitely worth every penny.
||Glidecam|| Now there are plenty of different steadi/glidecams out there. We find the one that works best for us is the Glidecam 2000HD. Small and compact, allowing us to travel light. Perfect size to support our Canon cameras and lenses. Works perfectly and allows us to fly around to get some really exciting shots. It definitely takes practice to balance/use but we find it's perfect for weddings and events.
||Track|| We get a ton of questions asking about our tracking shots. People see our films and think we use some sort of huge dolly setup but nope, it's a simple little 3 foot long track. We use the Glidetrack SD. A brilliant little tool that allows us to attach our cameras and slide it around, providing an incredibly high production value shot. If you use one be careful not to over do it. Glidetrack shots looks amazing and it can be very tempting to use it too much.
All of our stabilizers are setup with a manfrotto quick release plate. This allows us to quickly switch from each tool with ease. We really hope this blog post helps you out. We love these tools and what they allow us to do in story telling.
It's a known fact that when you get new camera gear... you go and film vegetation... you just do. Below is a test film I shot a while back when we started using the 5D. Shot on the 5D w/ 35mm 1.4, monopod and glidetrack.
Be sure to leave a comment if you have any questions.
PS The Oscars are this Sunday... who do you think is gonna win? Let us know!