HDV Hand held

A forum for sharing views on the art of film, video and AV sequence making as well as on competitions, judging and festivals.
ned c
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HDV Hand held

Post by ned c » Mon Feb 11, 2008 5:16 pm

For many years I have shot 4:3 both video and film. I prided myself on my hand held shots, yes a tripod/monopod is better but I could get a decent, steady shot in wide angle.

Now with HDV 16:9 my hand held results are poor, lots of movement no matter how carefully I hold the camera. Is this the effects of aging or is this characteristic of the format?

This applies to both the HDV cameras I use, a Canon HDV 20 which is small and light and the XH A1 which weighs in at 5 lbs. Anyone else experiencing this or is it just me?

Ned C

Chrisbitz
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Post by Chrisbitz » Mon Feb 11, 2008 9:45 pm

I shouldn't think the format should account for those differences...

Could it be more to do with how zoomed or wide-angled you are?

You probably know this, but wide angle de-emphasises wobble, and more telephoto emphasises movement...

Maybe it could be that your old camera had better image stabilisation, or maybe it's turned off on the new one?

I had a TRV 900, and now have an FX-1, and I can only sing the praises of HD (apart from the amount of data to move around with HD)
I like to make films, this is- my Youtube account. What's yours?

"all of the above is nothing more than nonsensical ramblings, and definately should NOT be misconstrued as anyone's official policy"

ned c
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Post by ned c » Mon Feb 11, 2008 11:55 pm

Hi, thanks for the reply. I only try hand held in wide angle and like to think the image stabilisation is similar or perhaps better than my old camera (Canon XL1s). I have tried both stabilisation off and on with equally shaky results.

Sadly I am tending to think that age is taking its toll and a tripod/monopod are now my regular companions.

I like the format and the quality of the images, stunning! I agree, a lot of heavy lifting for the computer but well worth it,

Thanks ned c

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Dave Watterson
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Post by Dave Watterson » Tue Feb 12, 2008 10:51 am

Knowing that Ned has been making movies for many years and takes a keen critical approach to his own work I am slightly reluctant to suggest this, but ...

Is it possible that because of the extra detail and clarity that you are examining the HD footage more closely than you used to do with SD? In other words are you watching the grain and not the movie?! (That is an old cine film expression - sorry video people.)

But it is also true that fine motor control of the muscles does deteriorate with age. I'd say you were doing well to have many years of being able to make good steady shots with a hand-held approach ... some of us never have managed it. Accept your camera supports with grace ... and invest in Mercalli software to tidy up the shots where you had no alternative but hand-held ... or where tripods do not help much, like on a small boat.

Dave

Olespice
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OAP unsteadiness . . . !

Post by Olespice » Tue Feb 12, 2008 7:32 pm

Hi Ned C -

Please be assured that the finest method of steading up ones posture for hand held stuff can usually be achieved by firmly placing ones elbows into the sides of the body and moving the body a little more than usual for following the action rather than "waving" the camera about.

If I find you are accomplishing well after this I will be reciprocally questing info from you on the quality of your XHA1 . . .

This information is imparted by one who is nearer to 100 than 60 and still gets really firm hand helds!

Good luck.

Olespice.
Olespice

ned c
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Post by ned c » Tue Feb 12, 2008 9:52 pm

Thanks Olespice, reassuring to know that skills can outlast the ravages of age. Will consciously try your suggestion.

Feel free to ask any questions about the XH A1, I have now shot about 40 hours with it and still learning and find it a great camera.

Thanks

ned c

Olespice
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Post by Olespice » Wed Feb 13, 2008 7:49 am

Thanks for your last, nedc. I've XM2 used only for family video use and would need to sell it as part of my purchasing power for the XHA1. Been delving a little over the past few weeks and found out a little. The weight and length are mildly offputting for me - 13.5 inches - but the overall quality seems to be favourably accepted by all owners. (I use handheld practically all the time.)

Do you have any problems with extracting the battery? (I think the one up larger size one but not sure.) Read of one owner who places a tape around it so that it can be more easily extracted. Also read that the batteries for the XM1 and 2 fit the XHA1.
Olespice

ned c
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Post by ned c » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:06 pm

Hi Olespice,

I traded in my XL1s as part payment for the XH A1, got a very good deal. I have both the "small" battery that came with the camera and two large batteries and have no problem getting them out, hadn't heard of this as a problem. The battery life is amazing, I can shoot for whole day, two or three tapes with all the setting up etc. on a single battery. It is fairly large and heavy but smaller than the XL1s. The range of control is outstanding, both image and sound.

You may wish to look at the Canon HV20 which is a tape recording HDV camera and very reasonably priced, now about USD 800 here. It is small and light and gives results equal to the XH A1 in reasonable lighting, I have intercut shots from both cameras and can't tell the difference, but it is poor in low light. It has a single CMOS chip. There is a "hot shoe" microphone for it that gives remarkably good results. I use it for all the day trip/family stuff. There is a forum dedicated to the HV 20, will post it for you.

ned c

ned c
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Post by ned c » Wed Feb 13, 2008 4:22 pm

The forum is www.hv20.com and you can browse the forum as a visitor. You can also get info on the camera at the Canon website, I think you can download the manual. Enjoy.

ned c

Olespice
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Post by Olespice » Wed Feb 13, 2008 5:00 pm

Thanks ned c. The XHA1 is my choice rather than the HV20, low light performance being one of the reasons, although the XHA1 does command a lot more dosh to obtain.

You know how it is - the dream to cover the anticipated occasions etc !

I had a look in to that forum. Quite heavily used in many ways. Also included use of the Mac systems with the HV20. I use a MacPro so it proved quite interesting.

I'll no doubt be back on this one. This particular forum might well be one of those I suddenly put out my XM2 for sale . . . Thanks again.
Olespice

Peter Copestake
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HDV handheld

Post by Peter Copestake » Mon Feb 18, 2008 5:42 pm

Ned, Have you tried the monopod sitting in a pouch at your waist? (I use what we call a bum-belt - I'm sure you have a more elegant word for it - waist-purse?)
The hips are much steadier than the shoulders but you have the freedom of movement of handheld. It can work for handicams up to shoulder-mounted and is my regular choice for realite/newsreporting style records. You can rest the monopod on the ground for low-angle in seconds.
Peter Copestake
Peter Copestake

ned c
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Post by ned c » Mon Feb 18, 2008 6:14 pm

Thanks, Peter. I have a camera case that hangs around my neck and have tried the shortened tripod in the case, slight improvement. The other day I shot at an art festival with the wide angle (0.7x) attched and a great improvement, I am sure the shake is still there but less noticeable.

I lent the camera to a younger colleague who shot in normal focal length, hand held with little or no shake so the sad conclusion is that the problem is me.

ned c

Ray Williamson
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Post by Ray Williamson » Tue Feb 19, 2008 12:22 pm

What you need is a length of broom handle (or similar) with a tripod screw (usually quarter-inch Whitworth) in one end.
You will be surprised what a difference it makes.
An improvement is an additional piece of pole attached at right-angles to it. The function of this is to provide extra side-to-side steadiness.
You can buy expensive steadicam devices, but this will work just the same at a two-hundredth of the cost!
........Or less!
Ray Williamson, East Sussex.

tom hardwick
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Post by tom hardwick » Wed Feb 20, 2008 9:15 pm

Just to say that the aspect ratio has no bearing on how steady your footage looks on screen Ned. Just thought I'd clear that one up.

ned c
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Post by ned c » Wed Feb 20, 2008 11:33 pm

Thanks Tom, been trying to avoid admitting that age is beginning to have its impact,

ned c

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