After looking for the right camera for me and my productions - going from HDV to AVCHD to XDCAM - I`m finally landing on the DSLR platform.
One of the reason is that I get 2 cameras in 1 package - both video camera and still camera. Saves me a few bucks. But also the quality - we all know about the shallow depth of field, etc ...
But I know these cameras also have their cons - one of them being the size. Small and light = shakes/jitters when handheld.
My productions are nearly 100 % handheld.
So, I`m asking the DSLR users in this forum: What are your experience regarding to handheld situasions? Is it a big problem? is it possible to maintain a steady shot, if you uses the camera very carefully (I know it will produce a steady shot, but is it good enough/steady enough for the end-user). Is it causing a big strain on long shoots? (Probably, but I have to ask.)
I want to bypass some sort of set-up/rig.
Thread: DSLR - "shaky Cam"
Results 1 to 6 of 6
08-05-2011 07:47 AM
08-05-2011 08:11 AM
You have to have a very, very steady hand to do decent hand-held with a DSLR and no support rig. I'm talking brain surgeon steadiness.
I know many folks talk about the advantages of the smaller form factors with cameras, but there are certain benefits to a heavy, shoulder-mounted solution. And the shoulder rigs have to be counter-weighted to be effective, as the added front weight is otherwise impossible to support for extended periods of time. While there are also cheaper solutions (Cowboy Studios shoulder support, for example), they are only marginal improvements and take lots of practice in breathing and walking to get steady shots.
The biggest challenge, especially on long shoots, is having all the burden of support and control on hands and forearms. This may not make the user as tired as quickly with a bare camera since the camera is fairly light, but it's certainly going to be a challenge. Also, once you add any kind of accessories to the camera (mic, wireless receiver, audio recorder, LCD monitor, electronic VF, battery grip, lens attachments, etc.), you add weight.
My camera and shoulder rig, when completely assembled, weighs in around 12-14 lbs. That includes 7.5 lbs of weight on the back. Yeah, it's heavy in comparison to the naked camera, but I cannot tell you how much easier it is to shoot hand-held that way. 14 lbs, by the way, is right in the neighborhood of the high-end broadcast cameras (the traditional shoulder-mounted cameras).Formerly known as C2V
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08-05-2011 08:18 AM
Alex is right on. I've tried plenty of times to shoot handheld without any stabilization, and each time I do, I have to throw it in after effects for stabilization. But even that doesn't clean it all up because the main problem is the micro jittering that occurs. When you stabilize that kind of footage, you get this weird warping that is very distracting. My advice? Get a stabilizer rig of some sort or keep it on a tripod.
08-05-2011 09:24 AM
- Join Date
- Aug 2011
If you absolutely HAVE to shoot handheld, and you don't want to use a shoulder support, at least use a viewfinder. I find when I grab my camera to shoot something quick, throwing on that vf adds an additional point of contact which helps with stabilisation. Even if you can afford an expensive one, the Carry Speed will work great (I've been using that one for a little while now, as well as the Zacuto Z-Finder Pro...I like the cheap one!). Another recommendation for cheap support is the Cowboy Studio shoulder support (Link). I've definitely found those things to help quite a bit...
08-05-2011 09:44 AM
id look into a good monopod.
but if you do mainly run and gun, eng kinds of stuff. maybe a dslr aint for you?
08-07-2011 11:24 AM
Mass has the biggest effect on steadiness with these cameras. My rig weighs 18 lbs. and I never, ever see that annoying shake that stuff shot with these cameras is plagued with and I've shot many, many hours of handheld footage.
The fashion in handheld DSLR rigs has been for super lightweight rigs, but really - You HAVE TO have weight distributed enough fore and aft of the camera to achieve steadiness when shooting handheld. Or, at the very least you have to increase the length of the camera (with kit).
The shake that these cameras are plagued with is largely a manifestation of their light weight and the same is true of ANY lightweight camera. I'm a very experienced operator and the few times I thought I could just run out and grab a quick b-roll shot with just the camera and no rig, I was surprised to find that it's almost not possible, even shooting very wide.
Last edited by Chris Santucci; 08-07-2011 at 11:30 AM.