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Replicating 'big camera' feel with small camera


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7 hours ago, webrunner5 said:

Yeah a steadicam is probably the better option than taking a 3 pound camera and trying to make it a 15 pound rig! ?

Yeah..  ain't that the truth.

7 hours ago, Raafi Rivero said:

do you have pics of this setup?

Probably buried deep in my hdd somewhere, but the overall lesson was that the recommended solutions (like a steadicam, shoulder-rig, or other rigs with three points of contact) are the best ways.  I had fun experimenting, but I eventually came to the same conclusions as the rest of the industry.

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Another lighter weight way to add weight and stability to a small camera is to use a gyro from Ken-Lab. I own one of them - the KS-6 - and used it on my 5D pretty often. The downside is it makes noise so it’s more suited for b-roll and MOS footage, but on the plus side it gives you a floaty steadicam-like feel. The best of both worlds is to use it as a counterweight on the back of a handheld rig, then it gives your handheld more gravitas like a larger camera even when it’s powered off, and when it’s turned on... mwah. 

Everything in this video was shot with that setup: 5D mk2, handheld rig, Ken-Lab KS-6 (sometimes on sometimes off):

also part 2 with the actual race:


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On 11/23/2018 at 2:32 AM, kye said:

Further to the above comments, weight at distance is one part, but the other is how and where you hold it.

I spent ages running around the house with various rigs of PVC piping (modular for travel) and even went so far as to fill it with water (readily available at your destination!) and quickly came to the conclusion that the less firmly I gripped it the less hand-shake it got, and basically replicated a steadicam by making little handles that could swivel and were mounted at the balance point of the whole rig.

sounds like your the diy'er ?

i'm lazy and cheap, i bought a cheap chinese steadicam  it adds some weight and lets me pan and (maybe in theory tilt a little but i have yet too work on that) whats not to like ?


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  • 1 month later...
On 11/22/2018 at 12:40 AM, austinchimp said:

Two things I want to avoid are shoulder mounting, and making a big rig. I've thought about actually weighing the camera down somehow, or perhaps using a handle mounted on the top to avoid the usual mirrorless shooting position of holding it out in front of you.

If you want the "feel" of a big rig, then the simplest way to do that is.... have a big rig

And the easiest practical way to do that is to pop on a V mount battery on the rear (which is useful! Don't need to worry about power for hours and hours), a mattebox (with rails) on the front (which actually can be handy), and monitor in the middle/side. 


On 11/22/2018 at 12:55 AM, seanzzxx said:

Using steadicams/glidecams as opposed to gimbals really does the trick I think, it adds a certain flow to the movement that is very filmlike in my opinion.

Yes, but..... 

A glidecam has a completely different feel/language to a "heavy camera" (if it is handheld, easyrig, or shoulder rig, which are each subtly different to each other as well).


On 11/22/2018 at 3:46 AM, jgharding said:

So perhaps just add a load of lead ?

At least a big beefy 230Wh V mount battery has more practical benefits than weight than a load of lead has. 

On 11/22/2018 at 6:19 AM, TheRenaissanceMan said:

On a recent short, all it took was popping the F3 on a simple shoulder pad, and suddenly beautiful handheld was effortless. I can PM you a link if you're interested.

Even a naked F3 can be surprisingly lightweight, compared to a heavy Alexa.
Need to add more weight if you want to fully match the mass of the two of them!


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  • 3 weeks later...
7 hours ago, heart0less said:

It's nice to see how pro DPs tackle this issue.

Interesting video, not only for that section but also for more useful tips, like the creative team getting to know the style of the film through the DP shooting his own feet walking through a field, and using doubles for follow-shots, even before the main actors are on-set.  

This might be of interest to you @mercer for improvisational short films?

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