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Handheld Camera vs Steadicam


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#1 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 07:16 PM

As every frame a is source of information that helps us to tell a story, the precision of this frame must be taken in cosideration before you start shooting, or no the possibility of sucess it´ll be drastically reduced.

In action fims, when sometimes we have frames smaller than a second, the steadiness of the camera is very important to make everything clear to everyboby, we use a Steadicam is used.
Other hand, POV (observer point of view handheld camera) is also interesting to be applied whem we want to make audience feel as they were performing the action and, depending of your project, maybe very interesting to the story telling.

So, as the stability, and consequently imprecision, of the handheld camera can also be conveniently seen and used as a kind of SFX option, a highly qualified camera operator is required to avoid the SFX desired turn into a disaster.

Considering that you don´t have the chance (or budget) to hire a good camera operator I ask:

Steadicam system can be adjusted and have its stability reduced in order to provide the frame the same looking of a handheld camera, but with more control and obviously not so rough?
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#2 Chris Keth

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 09:57 PM

Steadicam is never going to look like a handheld camera. A poorly adjusted steadicam will still have that floaty look, it will just be much harder to operate.
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#3 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 10:34 PM

And steadycams are an extra piece of gear to rent; if all you need is a hand-held look it's a lot easier to just shoulder a camera....
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#4 Tom Jensen

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Posted 19 September 2009 - 11:13 PM

They are two different beasts entirely but bad handheld is much less cheaper than bad steadicam.
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#5 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 09:07 PM

And steadycams are an extra piece of gear to rent; if all you need is a hand-held look it's a lot easier to just shoulder a camera....


thank you Adrian

I posted this topic because in this film, that (I hope) it´ll be shoot in 35mm, there is one scene with a lot of action., and I only would like give that natural look that every hand-held gives, but fearing the final result, and watching many films and a good example could be SAVE PRIVATE RYAN, where Kaminsky (I mean, his operator), in my poor point of view, gives a show of action, specially in the first 20 minutes, where each frame pulls you into the beach. You really have the sensation to be in the middle of the batle field. At a first sight it seemed handheld, but as it was so controled I started to ask my self: steadi or handheld?
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#6 Chris Keth

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Posted 20 September 2009 - 10:14 PM

thank you Adrian

I posted this topic because in this film, that (I hope) it´ll be shoot in 35mm, there is one scene with a lot of action., and I only would like give that natural look that every hand-held gives, but fearing the final result, and watching many films and a good example could be SAVE PRIVATE RYAN, where Kaminsky (I mean, his operator), in my poor point of view, gives a show of action, specially in the first 20 minutes, where each frame pulls you into the beach. You really have the sensation to be in the middle of the batle field. At a first sight it seemed handheld, but as it was so controled I started to ask my self: steadi or handheld?


You just need a good handheld operator. Handheld operating isn't a technical constant like 24fps. It can be well-done, or poor. The handheld camera can be remarkably steady or very shaky, precise or sloppy, etc.
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#7 Adrian Sierkowski

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 06:48 PM

And to go off of what Chris said, which is very true, some cameras are better suited to hand-held than others.
A lot, too, of what Kaminski did on Saving Private Ryan's beach sequences also involved changing the shutter angle on the camera (to 90 degrees, I think) to give a crisper action look, more stucatto (spelling?)
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#8 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 21 September 2009 - 11:49 PM

You just need a good handheld operator. Handheld operating isn't a technical constant like 24fps. It can be well-done, or poor. The handheld camera can be remarkably steady or very shaky, precise or sloppy, etc.


Oh, yes, Chris. I guess you´re absolutly right. I fear that every sofistication I plan for this film it´ll cost my skin. I good hand-held camera operator it won´t be cheap. I have no place to run.
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#9 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 22 September 2009 - 12:06 AM

And to go off of what Chris said, which is very true, some cameras are better suited to hand-held than others.
A lot, too, of what Kaminski did on Saving Private Ryan's beach sequences also involved changing the shutter angle on the camera (to 90 degrees, I think) to give a crisper action look, more stucatto (spelling?)


But this control of shutter angle can also interfere in any aspect of steadiness or it is simply about the "texture" of the picture, I say, the shutter angle manipulation gives the picture a certain look you want.
I'm planning BL Evolution line.
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#10 Peter Milanov

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 07:07 AM

Considering that you don´t have the chance (or budget) to hire a good camera operator I ask:

Steadicam system can be adjusted and have its stability reduced in order to provide the frame the same looking of a handheld camera, but with more control and obviously not so rough?


You actually think a good steadicamoperator is cheaper than a cameraoperator that is good with handheld? :blink:
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#11 Andre Felipe Meneses

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Posted 23 September 2009 - 10:28 PM

You actually think a good steadicamoperator is cheaper than a cameraoperator that is good with handheld? :blink:


Hi Peter,

As I am a simple beginner my knowledge of cinematography at all it´s still very small, but I know that a Steadicam operator is naturally much more expensive than a handheld one. Price it wasn´t exactly my point when I posted this topic. I just wanted to know if the Steadi device could also, technically speaking, provide a controled effect of handheld camera. That´s about it.
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