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Old Jan 23, 2008, 9:07 PM   #1
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Would like to reduce jerkiness in hand-held shooting to an absolute minimum. Any comments on what you've found to be the most effective techniques when just holding the A-HD by itself?

Also, in keeping with the camera's small size, are there any stablization devices out there that could provide a significant benefit, yet also be "pocketable"?

Thanks.


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Old Jan 24, 2008, 12:00 AM   #2
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The booklets that come with the cameras commonly tell you to keep your elbows against your body.

I've found that if you pause while exercising heavily, to take pictures, your body is shaking a bit. This takes a while to go away, and you may not be able to afford the time to wait.

You could try marksmanship technique: take two deep breaths, then when you've fully exhaled the second one, hold your breath and take the shot.

Some have suggested holding a rock to add mass to your hand. That sort of defeats the advantages of having a small camera to begin with.

You can get software to remove camera shake in post production.

The pros have big fancy devices to stabilize their cameras, but anything pocketable probably doesn't have enough mass to be useful.
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Old Jan 24, 2008, 3:18 AM   #3
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the other day it was 15 degrees and I was filmihg a boat rescue, I was cold that I was shaking so much, if I had filmed YES if I had filmed with the cam in my hand andwhat I did not to get shakiness was this.

HAda tripod extended allowed the legsto touch the floor and held it out not fully extended but comftable. and got my video. they sell monopods, you can make your own and they are portable.

you can also open up a small one and place three legs against the body that will also help

now you say if I had the tripod whyd did i not let it rest by itself?

reason if I did we be resueing it from the bottom of the creak 50 feet down.


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Old Jan 24, 2008, 8:17 AM   #4
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sg333 wrote:
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Would like to reduce jerkiness in hand-held shooting to an absolute minimum. Any comments on what you've found to be the most effective techniques when just holding the A-HD by itself?
Yes, this is a most common issue with this new breed of cameras. Even a good photographer can suddenly look as if he has parkinson's when trying to shoot with one of these little hybrids. I think I've said this before in another post, but it is worth mentioning again.

First of all, unless you are an android, you might as well give up on holding the thing one-handed and expecting it to be still. Often times you won't realize how much you are shaking until you watch the video later on a larger screen.

I always look for something to lean on. It doesn't really matter which direction, it can be a horizontal or vertical surface. It could be a wall, a tree, a table, chair, counter top, car, etc. When possible, lean your hand, arm, or your elbows on the item.

Of course, there are always going to be situations where none of those items are available. If I'm sitting on something and need to shoot, I'll try to put my elbows on my knees if I can. Sometimes that won't work for the angle I need. So I'll at least use two hands and try to hold my elbows against my body as much as possible. Another key is to try to relax. Using too much muscle force causes you to shake more.

Also, I tend to hold the camera with one hand, and then use the other hand to hold the screen. That actually helps better for me than holding the camera like a handgun with two hands grasping the grip.

Also, try not to walk unless absolutely neccessary. And realize when you walk that it will be very obvious in the video later, so just be aware of that as you are shooting.

Of course, you could use a tripod or build steady cams and such as we've discussed before. But generally we aren't going to have those with us most of the time, so it is good to learn how to be steady.
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Old Jan 24, 2008, 1:45 PM   #5
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hand on cam and other arm crossed holding elbow that is another stand.

both hands at a low mid level hold wil also get a bette shot screen facing up to view.
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Old Jan 28, 2008, 6:46 PM   #6
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Thanks everyone for all of the input. Going to tryexperimenting andputtingvarioussuggestionsinto practice.
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Old Feb 1, 2008, 10:40 PM   #7
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Came across this site where a 'water bottle cam' and a 'string cam' are shown as alternatives to a regular tripod. www.creativitytospare.com/?p=12
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Old Feb 2, 2008, 7:07 AM   #8
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nice pick up

wached it and the water bottle is neat need to make sure it is nota thin one it will just colapse. I preferreto just take my portable and place against the body
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Old Feb 2, 2008, 8:31 AM   #9
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sg333 wrote:
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Came across this site where a 'water bottle cam' and a 'string cam' are shown as alternatives to a regular tripod. http://www.creativitytospare.com/?p=12
Interesting... I think the only use I would have for the water-bottle technique would be as a counter-weight, not so much for sitting the camera on. In which case, it would probably be best to grab the bottle right at the bottom of the camera, rather than at the lower part of the neck like he was doing. The string is definately something I haven't heard of before. It would be very easy to make, that is for sure. I might give it a try sometime.
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Old Feb 8, 2008, 11:57 PM   #10
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Hi sg333,

There are a couple of solutions to your predicament that I can share with you:

One Solution

One thing to keep in mind is that a camera shakes less when you are in wide-angle mode and shakes more when you are zoomed-in to something. This is true regardless of the type of cameras you are using (professional camcorders and consumer grade...makes no difference). So the best thing to do is to avoid using the zoom and physically move the camera closer to your subject, if that is at all possible. Only use the zoom if you cannot physically get close to the subject ou are shooting or if moving the camer would affect the actual mis-en-scene, framing, or perspective of the shot (zooming in *is* different than dollying in, but that is for a different thread :-)).


Second Solution

Although not necessarily "pocketable" but what also can be helpful is to make your own steadicam. Creating a basic device that steadies a camera is not too difficult if you understand the key principle. The whole thing revolves around manipulating the camera's center of gravity, so you can rig up anything to assist you with doing that (like the water bottle you mentioned). I have included a Steadicam Primer link below that can help you understand the principle better.

However, if you have about $14 or so to spare you can create a larger but simple steadicam using instructions from the link below. Or you can order it straight from the guy for $39.95 plus S+H.

1) A Dynamic Balanace Primer - http://www.jerryholway.com/docs/dynamicPrimer.pdf

2) $14 Steadycam - "A Poor Man's Steadicam" - http://www.cs.cmu.edu/~johnny/steadycam/
There's some really good examples of how this works at the bottom of the page.

I am hoping to make a simple hand grip one whenever I get the time (hopefully soon). I'll plan to post my results at that time.

Well, hope this helps some.
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