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Ricardo Rocha

Stabilizer suggestions for handheld work using a GH4

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Hello there,

 

I´m a 3D artist and my studio (we produce animations and illustrations) has started doing some small video jobs for advertising agencies. We have tripods, sliders and a fluid head (502hd). Other than that, we rent.

 

For personal projects, I really enjoy shooting as stealhy as I can, walking around and trying to capture things/people/places/actions that interests me. I´m thinking about acquiring some stabilization rig, I´ve already tried edelkrone pocket rig, but I honestly didn´t adapt, after some time and pratice, I found that using the camera strap stretched against my neck gave me very similar results and much mess weight.

 

I´ve researched and found varyzoom stealhy pro camera stabilizer, but I´m not sure if it works as advertised.

 

Any suggestions are welcome and needed.

 

Oh, my actual gear is: Pana GH4, Lumix 25mm F1.4, Lumix 45mm F2.8 Macro, Lumix 12-35mm F2.8. And I´m thinking about acquiring a speedbooster+sigma18-35 and/or one or two primes (Voigtlander). 

 

Thanks,

Ricardo

 

---

www.ricardorocha.cc

vimeo.com/ricardocr

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EOSHD Pro Color for Sony cameras EOSHD Pro LOG for Sony CamerasEOSHD C-LOG and Film Profiles for All Canon DSLRs

I'm in a similar situation, and am looking at the CAME-7000 3-axis gimbal. It sells for just under $1000 on eBay, and has very positive reviews. The only reason I'd go with anything other than a brushless gimbal for stabilization now, is if I were using heavier camera rigs (7+ lbs), or really didn't want to use batteries for stabilization, for some reason.

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Guest Ebrahim Saadawi

Yes good advice. I've been using a gorrilapod as a rig lately for all my video work, it works a treat! Better than many rigs I've used before as it's flexible and adjustable. A gorrila pod (two contact points), plus the EVF to your eye (total three solid contact points) eliminates any kind of micro vibrations and you can achieve some incredibly smooth or steady motion. Couple that with an IS lens and it's even better. I can get rock-solid motion with the Canon 18-135mm IS @135mm (200mm equivalent) with the two contact points on the gorrilapod plus a cheap loop on the 60D screen.

Comfortable, Light, cheap, effective.

-I've been thinking of fitting a soft-material pad to the leg-endings, perhaps a shoulder pad from an old rig. I can imagine it will make it even more comfortable for long use.

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I really appreciate the suggestions, I was already thinking about gorillapod, but the varizoom gimbal head almost convinced me.

 

I´ve also did some research about gimbal+brushless 2/3 axis systems, but they´re still too heavy and clumsy for my personal works/studies.

 

Just ordered one gorillapod focus, let´s see how I´ll manage it. And I got some cinetics wheels too, just for fun :) 

 

Thanks again,

Ricardo

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I also would recommend the GorillaPod, but make sure you get the Focus edition, as the other ones are too flimsy. I shoot quite a bit of handheld and I've been using it as a threepoint/chest configuration for years. Super light, and allows for wonderfully stable handheld work.

I use mine with the Ballhead X and Kessler Quik Release and Mini plate. I absolutely love the setup.

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DJI released a new handheld gimbal which inherits the features of the old ronin, it's Ronin-m with much more small size and compact design. Its lower price shocked many users. But there are still other camera gimbals cheaper than ronin-m. Here is an article introduced 7 alternatives: http://www.cinema5d.com/5-affordable-gimbal-stabilizers-cheaper-dji-ronin/

Among those recommended products, I prefer to MOZA Lite for its unique features and better performance with ronin-m.

 

 

store-lite-01.jpg

​The Moza lite seems pretty cheap, I put this on my shopping list.

As for DJI, I had a Ronin and sold it after 3 months. First their support is the the worse I have ever had to deal with, even with their branch in Japan. Second it simply does not work with the GH4 even if the GH4 is on the approved list of Cameras, you need to add a LOT OF WEIGHT to the GH4 to make is work nicely. I though my Ronin was defective, I spent a lot of time to test it and gave up... The guy who bought from me was not surprised that I could not make it work with the GH4, the Ronin need heavy cameras... He needed the gimbal for a shoot and had no problems with it and his RED. And honestly I know the guy's work as director of photography (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ORu58PY1S_g) and I will take is word on this!

Anyway, after being treated so badly by DJI International, ignored by DJI in Japan, I do my best to ignore them and make sure that people around me knows how bad they are with their customers.

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Study Tai Chi.  Or even archery.  This isn't a joke.  With proper body control and considered balance you can learn to stabilize a camera without any extra gear (for short stints anyway).

You want to be stealth?  Keep it simple and nondescript.

The point is to be very aware about what you're doing with your body.  Learn this first and then combine it with some of the the very practical suggestions here and you'll be golden.

Of course, the caveat being that whatever you hold needs a decent amount of mass.  Even a supernatural ninja that could control her/his heartbeat would have trouble keeping a lightweight camera stable.

Anyway, I'd advise developing skill before spending money on a rig.  

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