Thursday, June 23, 2011

dSLR Rigs

Thanks to digital technologies, it seems like everyone's a photographer these days. Now that many dSLRs are also HD video capable, many of those newly-minted photographers are also, suddenly, filmmakers as well.

Being a filmmaker, of course, requires some additional skills; not that special skills stopped too many people from being extra-special photographers, capturing all those special moments with specially designed cameras that practically shoot themselves via auto-everything. (Isn't that special?) Be that as it may -- Oh, man! My Dad used to say that a lot, "be that as it may." I'm afraid I'm at that age where I'm turning into him... Anyway -- the skills required for good film-making generally go beyond the skills required for capturing still images.

You're also probably going to need, besides new skills, some new gear. That really nice collection of strobes you paid a mortgage payment or two for aren't gonna do squat for your film-making endeavors. (Unless you're now also an SFX (special effects) guru and you want to experiment with stroboscopic motion capture.) Also, beyond the nifty camera and awesome glass you'll be using to capture imagery rivaling anything the likes of Vilmos Zsigmond ever shot, you're probably gonna need some sound gear to record decent audio with your pictures that are now, suddenly, in motion, perhaps even with models or actors who are (gulp) speaking!

There's also a whole slew of other products, beyond the stuff you'll actually need, that will help make, for instance, someone's journey from Soccer Mom to Pro Photographer to Steven Spielberg a rousing success. Here's one of them in the video below.

(P.S. There's still time to get 25% off either or both of my ebooks. Click my ebook links in the right-hand column and use discount code JUNESPECIAL when purchasing.)

Oh... Almost forgot to mention: Kayla is the model at the top lounging in a very un-lady-like manner. Besides sometimes being un-lady-like (in good ways, I might add) Kayla's great to work with. As you can see, she even adjusts lights.


PBJ Studios said...

LOL... That was a hoot Jimmy! I guess I can count myself in that category now... I just got a nikon 3Ds... I don't think I will ever use it... at least not yet... I got to learn how to use the video portion of it. but heck I thought If I am buying the camera I might as well have video.. I figured if Ashton could do it so can I... :)

Riley said...

But, it has a cup holder!

jimmyd said...

@Riley: And lucky dice! They gotta improve the odds of snagging some lucky shots!

Bob said...

Jimmy, you're reading my mind. I just purchased Premiere Elements so I could start learning vid with my 5D Mk2. Yesterday.

Can you give some serious advice about a basic starter rig?

You're the best!

jimmyd said...

@Bob: Do you have a monopod? Do you have one of those weighted wrap-round things w/ velcro walkers and runners wrap around their ankles for a better workout? If so, attache the weight thingie (it's only a few pounds) to the bottom of your monopod, attach camera to top of it, hand-hold it by it's grip and you can walk with a fairly steady cam. In fact, i think a monopod is an absolute requirement for small camera use when shooting video. You can use it as a hand-held camera boom, a steady-cam-like rig, and so much more. It's low tech but delivers great results!

Bill Giles said...

I've still got my mini-fluid head from years ago. Unfortunately, none of my DSLRs shoot video.

jimmyd said...

@Bill: I have an old school O'Connor 30 atop aluminum Bolex sticks. It still has a "Property of CBS News" sticker on it. I'll bet it's about 50 years old. A dSLR would look really silly on it and, from a practical POV, any of the video-capable dSLRs would be too light, weight-wise-- I wouldn't be able to adjust the head properly for those cameras. No worries tho. Like you, I don't own a dSLR that shoots video either. I do own a Sony HVR-Z1U HD camcorder and it looks okay on those old sticks and is just heavy enough for the O'Connor 30 (which will handle up to a 30 lb. camera) to function properly... not that I give a shit if it looks good or not. It gets the job done and that's what's important.

Bill Giles said...

Since I shoot Olympus, I've been toying with the idea of getting one of the Olympus PEN cameras. They are micro 4/3 cameras, so my regular lenses would require an adapter and maybe not all of the functions would work properly. There is no viewfinder on the camera and the accessory viewfinder fits in the hot shoe, so you can use the viewfinder or a PW, but not both. For a touristy travel camera, this might be nice, but I think that it would drive me nuts trying to shoot stills. I'd like to have something to shoot HD video, but I don't want to spend a huge amount of money and have to buy a bunch of new lenses.

Bill Giles said...

Now I find out that Chase Jarvis has an Olympus Pen E-P2 in his kit. That's going to make it very difficult for me not start salivating very hard for an E-P3, the viewfinder and a couple of lenses.