Most domestic camera tripods these days are made out of light weight material (for obvious reasons) but this has the effect of making the tripod unstable and susceptable to vibration and operator movement.
The best thing to do in trying to minumise these issues is add weight. Either a sandbag hooked to the centre section with an octupus strap or even better, buy a dolly. This not only adds weight but gives you wheels as well. It also help stabilise by keeping the tripod legs at fixed distances.
As I’ve mentioned, I like to build things. One of the things I have always wanted is a limpet mount for filming from cars etc. A limpet mount is held in place by suction.
Upon looking around the internet I found most to be of the cheaper variety and I would not trust them with any of my cameras. Especially, the ones with only one point of contact.
The better ones besides being more expensive have multiple points of contact so if one suction cup fails there are more holding your expensive camera in place.
My project is to make one with multiple points of contact and be inexpensive. So, I decided to purchase several single cup suction mounts from ebay. I will make the adjoining arms myself and test the unit with a dummy load to see if the suction cups are stable. Only then will I try one of the cameras.
I will test the time before any of the cups let go before mounting on a vehicle for live shooting. A safety line may be in order.
The answer to smoothing things up partly involves the shape of the base board. It must be square and not rectangular. I am also going to change the PVC track for aluminium and the castors for rubber wheels with flanges either side to keep the unit on the tracks.
Oh! Also make the base board a bit heavier. This adds enormously to the stability and makes it more smooth when in motion.
As you go through the years you collect little odds and ends that you have ‘McGyvered’ together for particular jobs. For example that little metal bracket to hold the camera in a particular position or the piece of wire on a board to hold up a product.
As I like to build things, sometimes I decide to have a go at something a little more industrial. I refer to a recent attempt to make a camera dolly for a specific job.
Over the years I have worked with professional dolly gear like Elemac dollies. They are beautiful pieces of engineering. They are heavy and they run as smooth as silk on the tracks.
Well, after spending hours constructing my smaller version using board and wheels from the local hardware store with PVC track I walked away in despair. I suspected and can see the reasons why a professional result requires the use of pro gear. The whole unit has no weight and the wheels are inadequate. If you add weight the PVC track bends and you have to support every foot or so, there’s a reason those Elemac wheels are machined so well. Castors under a board just don’t cut it.
Anyway, I am off to the shed to try and save some of my self esteem and rejig the thing a bit smaller in the hope of it being useful for something. Perhaps a flower pot holder 🙂
Seriously, I’ll let you know if I come up with any fix that gets the thing to work half reasonably.
Although the following clip is funny and relates to many so called video production ameteurs I have seen, it must be remembered that clients do like a good look from their on-set crews (within reason).
The final production is EVERYTHING but if you look like dags, noone will hire you.
A few years ago I would not have given two cents for a video clip from a DSLR camera. Now with improvements to the technology and the Canon 5D MkII now on the scene, I now can say I’ve changed my mind.
Take a look at this clip by Vincent Laforet:
You would be surprised at how many commercial outfits now use this technology. I would not say it’s a be all and end all but a case of the right tool for the job at hand. These cameras would be magnificent in confined spaces or mounted on cars etc. as in the above clip. They are light and effective.
The colour rendering is to say at the least, excellent and a clarity that is top shelf when used with the right lenses.
I may have to look at this technology more closely and soon 🙂
Today it’s been very cold and wet here in Adelaide but I decided to use the opportunity to catch up on some of the menial tasks. I needed a road case for one of our location monitors. Time to get the hands dirty and cut up some MDF board, screw and glue it all together and apply liberal quantities of matt black paint.
I’m not the best carpenter but I reckon I did a good job.
It’s funny when you envisage a project like this how it changes. It started out as just a box but morphed into a complete road case/cover with lids that open for location use and shield the screen from the sun.