I wasn’t going to share this public at first, but just watched it recently and thought I would for an interesting reason.
I follow a lot of video groups on FB and Linked in.
One thing that comes up a lot–and I do understand it–is requests for what is the best stabiliser. Frankly, there are some new fantastic ones out there, and one day I might even buy one. But it’s low on my list and may never happen.
The most recent request asked if the expensive ones were better. My reply was along the lines…”yes”.
That said, back in my day of using a Steadicam, they cost something around $30,000. Maybe they still do. A cheaper alternative at the time (the 90s) was the Glidecam. I used that too. The Steadicam was way better.
So even though prices are down, you get what you pay for.
But do you really need one?
Depends what you do, of course, but my view is that technology isn’t there to correct bad camerawork. And that seems to be the inspiration behind some of these posts. “What’s the best stabiliser?” “What’s the best post stabilisation program that’s free?”
Nothing beats good camera work to begin with. That takes time and practice. In this age of technology, some people seem to think it’s there to solve their inadequacies. I beg to differ.
Anyway, if you’ve read my book Run ‘n Gun Videography–The Loner Shooter’s Survival Guide, you’ll know that I follow the ‘less is more’ philosophy when it comes to equipment.
I have 3 small cameras. All Sony. The NX30, X70 and RX10ii.
In this video I had the NX30 along, the oldest of the three.
I bought it because of it’s stabilisation technology. I didn’t want another bag with more kit requiring more time to set up. I wanted a camera that was a wingman for run and gun work. Something that would let me keep my attention on the job, not on the equipment.
I never use tripods, except for sit down interview. Never. And for the same reason.
So, it follows, everything in this video is hand-held.
Would anyone notice?
Beyond that, it may have no interest for most viewers. It’s a family video that only means something to those involved. My wife is French (she’s the one trying to get the others to dance at the end of the video), and what you are seeing here is the beginning of the move from the last family home in Saint Saens, France. All the others are long gone. This is the last one, and this is the last walk through the garden by father and daughter, a father who inherited the house decades past and spent all those years carrying on the stewardship of a house that was in the family for 300 years.
I only started shooting clips over the last two days there, so had little to choose from. The song was played on our last evening there (in the scene where they are all drinking calvados), so copyright issues aside, that was obviously the one to use. Made for an easy edit too.
Most of the shots were candid, except where they obviously knew I was there.
Yea, one shot is through a dirty window, but what I captured there was priceless.
The girls cried and cried. Watched it several more times and cried even more. (That’s a good thing).
Moral of the story: Quit worrying about your equipment and get your attention out there capturing things that matter to people and clients.
(as a note, the one weakness of the NX30 is lack of ND filters, and thus some difficulty in rendering details in bright exteriors)
It is never a family video that matters only to those involved i think. It is a story told. Nice video, no reason to explain for a dirty window though. Nice panning shot. Oh wait! Once mentioned, boom, the dirt was there… I also love handheld and the freedom that gives but i am not that stable as you. So there is room for improvement I guess!
Any reasons you preferred the NX over the X-70? Thank you for sharing this beautiful cutaway-in-an-opera. Also: was the slo-mo in-camera or in post?
That just happened to be the one I had with me. I tend to bring it on non-work trips because it’s small.
Shot in 50P, 50% slowed all shots in post.
Thank you for catching my additional question.
Sage advice, Joe. Lovely camera work as always. Rock steady. And a bittersweet story. Thanks for sharing.
Thanks Terry. Ah! You recognised Bocelli. You are indeed enlightened. 🙂
What a wonderful little clip there, Joe!! Watched it twice, and Bocelli’s music enhances the feel a lot! To your subject: It’s interesting watching all the gear being used–as you say–to offset shoddy camera work. It’s almost as if folks are looking for short cuts, rather than learning and honing their craft. I spend a lot of time practicing how to walk to minimize camera bounce and I compliment that with a monopod that’s so well balanced it’s like having a Glidecam!
And I LOVE my little X70s!! I have 3 for multi-cams and rarely walk out the door without one of them. You were influential in my decision to buy my first one and I can’t thank you enough. But I digress…
Your moral is one worth repeating: “…get out there and shoot, and stop worrying about the equipment!”
Simple is always best
You got it Bob!