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#1 Andrew Means

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 01:39 PM

I'm thinking of (doing the stupid and not-really-necessary project of) making a steadycam-ish rig for my Super-8 camera, and I'd like to pick everybody's brain on a few things.

http://www.extremeov...o_Module_1.html

I found this 5" monitor which seems like it could work- it runs off 12V, which seems like I could probably figure out how to rig a battery for, and it gets images via a S-video cable, so I'd probably be able to find a camera that ouputted s-video, though I know about zero in regards to this stuff, so I'm not sure.

If my memory serves me correctly the Sleep Always guys made a little video monitor for filming sleep always, is that right?

Anybody have any suggestions for a camera to use? If I remember correctly the Sleep Always crew just mounted the camera on top of the lens, so it was an approximation of what the film camera was seeing- but I think this could be useful for tripod shooting, too, so I think I'd like to at least try to go through the viewfinder.

Any suggestions on all this?

Edited by Andrew Means, 11 October 2006 - 01:40 PM.

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#2 Douglas Hunter

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 03:19 PM

It seems that what people are doing is getting a lipstick cam and mounting to the eyepeice of the camera. Lipsticks often output via RCA which is o.k., not great but o.k. The thing is you need a camera and a monitor that are of good enough quality that you can make good focusing decisions with what you see. I would go for a 7 or 9 inch monitor and have a pro camera teck select and mount the lipstick for you.
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#3 Tom Doolittle

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 03:44 PM

Andrew,

Don't be fooled by the high-resolution picture in the adverts for those cheap LCD screens. Unless you pay big $$$, the resolution is never that good!

I have a similar monitor that I use with one of those little tubular spy cameras. I bought both at my local electronics superstore for less than $100. I simply tape the spycam to the top of my Nizo. The angle of view isn't the same, but good enough if you're shooting with a wide lens.

I strap the Nizo to the back of my motorbike, attach the monitor to the handlebar, and use a remote switch to catch some pretty amazing shots of other riders. Also works well when the camera is mounted to the exterior of a car.

TD

P.S. Don't forget to tape off the viewfinder so stray light doesn't get in there and fog the film!
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#4 Andrew Means

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Posted 11 October 2006 - 04:03 PM

It seems that what people are doing is getting a lipstick cam and mounting to the eyepeice of the camera. Lipsticks often output via RCA which is o.k., not great but o.k. The thing is you need a camera and a monitor that are of good enough quality that you can make good focusing decisions with what you see. I would go for a 7 or 9 inch monitor and have a pro camera teck select and mount the lipstick for you.


Yeah- I'm kind of figuring that if I'm going to be doing steadycam stuff, I'll probably be filming with the widest possible angle, so focus should be less of an issue- but you're right, it would be good to be able to see if the focus is on or not. If I was going to use this contraption (as a steadycam at least) I would probably be mostly unable to focus it while I was using it, so I would probably make sure I had it in focus before embarking on a shot.

Tom, your story is inspiring! Do you have any footage online? I really want to push this whole thing to get some sweet shots- I was in Japan and there was so many times when I really wanted to capture motion and stuff, but knew I would just have a jittery mess if I shot it handheld...

How about battery power? Are there rechargable 12v batteries around? How do you power yours, tom?
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#5 Tom Doolittle

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 12:51 PM

Do you have any footage online? I really want to push this whole thing to get some sweet shots- I was in Japan and there was so many times when I really wanted to capture motion and stuff, but knew I would just have a jittery mess if I shot it handheld...

How about battery power? Are there rechargable 12v batteries around? How do you power yours, tom?



No footage online right now, but maybe I can dig up something interesting to post soon. As for jittery images, on the motorbike I wrap the camera in several layers of foam-rubber and strap it down with bungee cords. Shooting wide angles at 36 fps or higher helps to smooth things out. Same tricks work for handheld, too.

To power the monitor and spycam, I use a 12V rechargable battery from an R/C airplane. I bought it at a hobby shop for about $20. Fully charged, it powers the monitor for almost three hours.

I've been considering building or buying some kind of steadicam rig myself, but then I think about how cumbersome something like that would be for the on-the-fly kind of shooting Super8 is made for. If you come up with a good compromise let me know.


TD
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#6 Andrew Means

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 04:09 PM

I've been considering building or buying some kind of steadicam rig myself, but then I think about how cumbersome something like that would be for the on-the-fly kind of shooting Super8 is made for. If you come up with a good compromise let me know.
TD


Thanks for all the info Tom

I totally understand what you mean about the on-the-fly aspect of super8- I think what I'm going to shoot for is a glidecam type thing with the battery providing the bulk of the ballast at the bottom. I think if I can get the whole shooting rig onto something that I can walk around with over the course of a day then I'm probably okay. I lugged a 10lb tripod around Tokyo for a few days and while it wasn't the best thing for shopping, but it didn't kill me either, and It was ultimately worth it. Having something that was roughly the same weight but would let me do more fluid, moving shots would totally be worth it.

I think I'm going to buy a glidecam 2000- although would it be too lightweight for my camera? I've got an R10 and I'm planning on buying a 814 XL-S...

Anybody selling a used glidecam/steadycam jr.?
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#7 Matthew Buick

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 05:17 PM

Do you think it would be possible to drill into the Viewfinder Tunnel and place a Prism inside, and above that place a Lipstick Camera ?
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#8 Andrew Means

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Posted 12 October 2006 - 05:37 PM

Do you think it would be possible to drill into the Viewfinder Tunnel and place a Prism inside, and above that place a Lipstick Camera ?



I probably wouldn't want to do that, if only because I want to be able to mount different cameras on there. Which means I'll need some kind of adjustable holder for the lipstick camera...
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#9 Sean McHenry

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 12:02 PM

For 12v batteries, any of the Batteries Plus type stores will sell 12v Gel Cells. You can also take the easy route and buy one with connectors in a nice shoulder bag from bescor.com

Sean McHenry
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#10 Matthew Buick

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Posted 13 October 2006 - 08:10 PM

I probably wouldn't want to do that, if only because I want to be able to mount different cameras on there. Which means I'll need some kind of adjustable holder for the lipstick camera...


Still, it may be useful for someone who wants an accurate Video Assist and wants to be able to look through the viewfinder at the same time.
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