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Cinematographer David Leitner discusses his experiences shooting "hand-held"

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  • Cinematographer David Leitner discusses his experiences shooting "hand-held"

    Accidentally I found this video few days ago. Mostly it is not about Sony cameras, but about camera ergonomics for documentary shooting. Worth to see: https://vimeo.com/72344423

    In this Cine Gear 2013 presentation, Cinematographer David Leitner discusses his experiences shooting "hand-held" with various camera systems, and focuses on his experiences using the PMW-F5, F55, and NEX-700 in various configurations.
    All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

  • #2
    The Buddhist Photographer says: "Find your balance."
    Cameras: Blackmagic Cinema Camera, Blackmagic Pocket Camera (x2), Panasonic GH2 (x2), Sony RX100 ii, Canon 6D, Canon T2i,
    Mics: Sennheiser, AKG, Shure, Sanken, Audio-Technica, Audix
    Lights: Every Chinese clone you can imagine

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    • #3
      Here is attempt to fit all that ergonomics theory to BMMCC shoulder rig. It still looks like tiny toy camera when placed on the shoulder

      All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

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      • #4
        I disagree with pretty much everything he says.

        For me, there are only 3 situations where I use handheld/shoulder.

        1. POV shot - to suggest you "see thorough somebodies eyes" like in somebody is stalking a person behind a bush for example.

        2. Close up fight sequences with super fast camera movement (under 2 seconds) - for super fast cuts.

        3. you don't have the room for anything else.

        In every other situation, I find it very distracting, cause the camera screams in my face " look I'm a camera, and this is what I see".

        I just returned from 3 weeks of shooting a high glossy docu in Arfica for Arte (German/French national broadcast) - not a second of handheld/shoulder in the 45 min program, and no need for it too.
        If you think you are not fast enough with a tripod or gimbal - overthink your planning or get faster. IMHO there is no excuse for shaky material, where it should be rock solid.
        Blog: http://frankglencairn.wordpress.com/

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        • #5
          Few years ago some dudes ask me to shoot their music performance at the festival. They have old large shoulder VHS camcoder and ask me to shoot with it. I never use same camera before but after few minutes of shooting i love that style. I was walking in the center of crowd here and there and shoots where always looking ok. Sure it is not super steady as tripod or steadycam, but same time it don't have too much micro shake feel, similar when you hold camera with hands in front of you. Also it was very fast and easy to do manual zoom and focus by left hand on the fly. So yes, it all depends of situation.

          P.S I done one more render of the minimal documentary shoulder rig.

          Last edited by shijan; 06-02-2019, 04:28 AM.
          All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

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          • #6
            Earlier i attempt to use this sort of shoulder support but it appears not too useful for long time operation. Too many weight on top, you still hold all weight mostly only by hands, hand gets tired quickly, camera tilt a lot when you rotate focus ring. Also it scares people because you look like gun shooter with it

            All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

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            • #7
              But I stiill like a setup like this. Because it is maller than a shoulder rig.
              And a "chest support rig" in combination with an easyrig is a pretty good combination.

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              • #8
                Hi Shihan! I love my BMMCC. I shoot documentary with it. But I'm faced with this situation where when I want to use my BMMCC shoulder, with a big zoom & mattebox, all the weight of the rig leans forward. After a few minutes, it becomes unbearable. To be able to balance the camera, I would need an articulated arm that puts the electronic viewfinder (mine is Kinotehnik but I hope to buy soon Portkeys one) very forward, as in your drawing. I have not yet managed to find the solution but I am working on it. So, after trying out several configurations with Smallrig accessories, I will buy the SMALLRIG EVF Mount / Extension Arm base and the SMALLRIG Shoulder Support / Shoulder Pad for Sony VCT-14. By placing the camera and battery on it, I hope that the camera will be far behind my head and that the weight of my zoom and the matebox will be on my shoulder.

                Otherwise, during shooting of my documentary, while I planned to work with my tripod and a Ronin, I changed everything to work on the shoulder. For the question of weight but also and especially because we work with a small team and we must follow children with disabilities. They move all the time and in all directions. Impossible to follow correctly the protagonists with a tripod. so I installed instead of my super 16 zoom of 2kg a small Angenieux 17,5-70 and I did very light configuration. This vintage zoom does the job, waiting for better.

                By the way, I would have to order some stuff, unfortunately, your battery solution came out too late for me, I was already shooting!)

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                • #9
                  I see few problems with SmallRig NATO EVF parts i use in earlier drawings - they are too heavy, too overcomplicated, and too expensive.
                  https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-sa...lamp-1856.html
                  https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-du...ount-2141.html
                  https://www.smallrig.com/smallrig-si...itor-1899.html

                  So i done some research and found these:

                  15mm Rod Clamp Attaching Mount (spacing: 100mm)
                  https://www.ebay.com/itm/15mm-Rod-Cl...B/173897729503

                  5cm 2" Inch Long M12 Thread Micro Rod
                  https://www.ebay.com/itm/2-Inch-Long...a/171079550409

                  To mount the monitor i use modified CAMVATE 15mm micro Rod Mount.
                  https://www.camvate.com/camvate-15mm...nut_p1543.html
                  CAMVATE 15mm micro Rod Mount is not perfect. It is impossible to tight it enough, so it always unscrews when monitor body became warm. So i disassemble this mount and replace that tiny thumb screw with normal hex key screw. It seems also this mount is not manufactured anymore.
                  Currently i try to contact some factories and ask to manufacture this part in the way i like. It may be really useful rod mount.

                  Looks very simple and lightweight. It also folds very well.



                  Last edited by shijan; 06-03-2019, 09:51 AM.
                  All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by shijan View Post
                    Here is attempt to fit all that ergonomics theory to BMMCC shoulder rig. It still looks like tiny toy camera when placed on the shoulder

                    Nice. Now we need to wait until BMD update the Fairchild sensor for the BMMCC4K

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                    • #11
                      Another shoulder pad that that may fit to this concept is MOVCAM shoulder pad. It is low profile and reasonable priced:
                      https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/produ...r.html/reviews
                      http://www.16x9inc.com/shop/shoulder...-sony-fs5.html
                      This shoulder pad probably require some cheese plate and rail block in front. MOVCAM also design a very interesting system around it. See this video:
                      https://vimeo.com/80040349

                      Wonder how metal plate connected to the foam pad. Maybe foam pad have some metal core plate inside? Or maybe it is made of hard plastic? Anyone use this shoulder pad before?
                      All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

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                      • #12
                        Here are also some thoughts about Pocket4K and 6K ergonomics. That camera form factor is not designed for modification or rigging. It is designed in Photo Camera form factor aka all-in-one solution to quick grab camera and quickly shoot something from hands or from tripod. It is ergonomically very limited and any further rigging or modification for this camera makes it look like monster without any respect to 100 years of cinema camera ergonomics evolution. Especially when you you start to add cage, external SSD, monitor, external battery and mess of cables sticking out around.





                        For normal rigging camera should be designed in simple modular form factor, like enhanced BMMCC:
                        - cage-friendly brick-like body
                        - Sony NP-F battery slot or tiny sized V-lock at back side
                        - main connectors at the back side or somehow directed backwards with angle adapters
                        - HDMI port directed to front to allow normal cable flow to on-camera monitor
                        - buttons located on the left side for easy access
                        - separate optional removable side handle with buttons connected with LANC (or similar) interface
                        - lightweight specially designed monitor with proper HDMI port placement at the back side











                        Last edited by shijan; 09-21-2019, 10:23 AM.
                        All my custom made accessories for BMMCC/BMMSC now available here https://lavky.com/radioproektor/

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