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Author Topic: DIY steady cam  (Read 12972 times)
geesbert
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« on: January 04, 2009, 06:23:49 AM »
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what is the ghetto version of a steadycam outfit for a dslr? tryed it with a monopod with a jogging weight attached, which is a slight improvement.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #1 on: January 04, 2009, 11:00:26 AM »
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Quote from: geesbert
what is the ghetto version of a steadycam outfit for a dslr? tryed it with a monopod with a jogging weight attached, which is a slight improvement.

Try attaching a second bar out the side - that will really help that method because your rotational movments are 'de amplified'  because a large move of your left hand (assuming your right is the 'gimbal') translates only to a small rotation of the camera

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watch the online steadicam set up videos and understand how real ones work

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Seriously the best ghetto special I came up with was..

a piece of broomstick with a nail pointing upwards out of it in one hand

Copper pipe with camera at one end and diving weight at the other and near the camera another peice of wood sticking at 90degrees

Balance the rig on the nail

If you have loads of 'grip' gaffa heads (for lighting/scrims) you can experiment more easily because you can move the weight around to make it balance both horizontally and vertically to get 'trim'

To balance the rig have anonther peice of wood g clamped to your workbench with a sceond nail prodtuding

I have a Merlin after two weeks in the workshop - but that has had to go into the workshop too to make it usable

ps the DSLR is attached to a wooden block with a mezt flash braket onboard (my design was more complex with a second griphead to adjust camera trim)
pps if you cant balance a camera on a nail you wont ever be able to operate a steadicam

S
« Last Edit: January 04, 2009, 11:06:42 AM by Morgan_Moore » Logged

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Mark Guertin
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« Reply #2 on: January 08, 2009, 08:17:17 PM »
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This setup is pretty easy to build and works well enough

http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/steadycam/

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free1000
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« Reply #3 on: January 09, 2009, 01:27:00 PM »
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Good enough for a proper film director and relatively inexpensive.

http://services.manfrotto.com/figrig/

Mike Figgis describes the invention of this in his excellent little book 'Digital Film Making'. The idea behind this is to keep a hand held look but to smooth it out and make it watchable and non-intrusive.  

Here is an example of the sort of footage that can result, this is from a home brewed version. We all have a spare bicycle wheel lying around don't we... or easy to find for inner city dwellers anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBAcbrKmKcg...feature=related
« Last Edit: January 09, 2009, 01:32:32 PM by free1000 » Logged

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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #4 on: January 10, 2009, 01:24:36 AM »
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Quote from: free1000
Good enough for a proper film director and relatively inexpensive.

http://services.manfrotto.com/figrig/

Mike Figgis describes the invention of this in his excellent little book 'Digital Film Making'. The idea behind this is to keep a hand held look but to smooth it out and make it watchable and non-intrusive.  

Here is an example of the sort of footage that can result, this is from a home brewed version. We all have a spare bicycle wheel lying around don't we... or easy to find for inner city dwellers anyway.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBAcbrKmKcg...feature=related

The principal of steadicam is to isolate the movement of the operator from the movement of the camera using gravity to hold the camera in the right place

Steadicams use a gimbal for this - balancing the camera on a nail is a ghetto gimbal

THink about what happens when the hand taking the weight is moved (exept up and down) - the camera stays still - to isolate up and down movement a steadicam vest/arm is required - the ghetto version of them are brutal to make

The monopod method with the right loose hand holding creates a gimbal too

I cant see how the fig rig does this isolation

Of course the fig rig will help hold the camera still because one can hold it in a more blanaced manner - just like it is easier to hold a suitcase still when holding it by its handle which should be nearer the balance point than holding it by one corner and fighting gravity

That footage is terrible IMO

S



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jjj
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« Reply #5 on: January 10, 2009, 03:42:57 PM »
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This is the ultimate ghetto stedicam [or is it redneck] stedicam.

Rock Steady head

It's attaching the camera that's the main issue.  
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Mark Guertin
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« Reply #6 on: January 10, 2009, 03:46:37 PM »
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Even after you attach the camera I'm not sure the chicken would take direction very well either
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jjj
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« Reply #7 on: January 10, 2009, 03:59:44 PM »
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Sam -  the Fig Rig is not a steadicam, it's a dampening mechanism, not an isolating device. It's a smoothing of camera movement, which gives a different look to a steadicam.
In essence the fig rig is a variation of the idea used by Sam Raimi to move the camera through the woods at a low level in Evil Dead.
Raimi came up with lots of unusual ways of shooting that have been much copied since, Mike Figgis has also been very influencial, particularly with the very clever Timecode which directly inspired both 24 and Phonebooth. Both have done clever things with next to no money.
Timecode was filmed with off the shelf DV cameras bought on Tottenham Court road. Interestingly this was after making big Hollywood movies and Oscar nominations.
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witz
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« Reply #8 on: January 10, 2009, 07:10:44 PM »
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I own a steadicam pilot that I fly a sony xdcam ex1 on.... it's a fantastic setup.

but.... here's a quick video I shot the other day of my kids.... using the 24-105 f4 IS L with IS on.... does a pretty good job handheld.

http://www.exposureroom.com/lsc-kids

like I said.... this was all shot handheld.... just the camera.
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Morgan_Moore
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« Reply #9 on: January 11, 2009, 10:23:20 AM »
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Quote from: jjj
Sam -  the Fig Rig is not a steadicam,

JJJ

Indeed thats what I said - the illusive OP was interested in a steadicam style device

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Witz

Im going to PM you About your pilot !



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jjj
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« Reply #10 on: January 12, 2009, 02:14:46 AM »
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Useful video here
Steadicam Pilot
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smthopr
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« Reply #11 on: January 12, 2009, 11:24:27 PM »
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Quote from: geesbert
what is the ghetto version of a steadycam outfit for a dslr? tryed it with a monopod with a jogging weight attached, which is a slight improvement.


You might find some good information at this site: home built stabilizers

and good luck!
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RobertJ
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« Reply #12 on: February 06, 2009, 09:35:50 PM »
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I have a Steadicam JR, which is the old version that has been replaced by the "Merlin."  It's pretty much the same, except the JR has a monitor, and they claim the Merlin is "four times as smooth as the JR," but I'm not sure how much smoother you can get, because the JR was/is pretty damn good.

You might be able to find a used JR on ebay or something for less than the current versions.
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