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Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Lesson 22 of 39

Handheld Stabilization with Q&A

Victor Ha

Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking

Victor Ha

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Lesson Info

22. Handheld Stabilization with Q&A

Lesson Info

Handheld Stabilization with Q&A

There's a lot of tools out there these day, guys, there's a lot of tools out there these days, and this is just one of them, okay. Last year, if you guys ever paid attention to what was happening during NAB, which is the National Association of Broadcasters. They have a trade show every year, and not this past year, but the year before, there was a company called Movi, M-O-V-I, that released like a Gimble stabilization. I would encourage you to Google it, M-O-V-I, and it was an awesome tool, because it's like this revolutionary thing that cost's 15,000 dollars, okay. Now since then, there's other companies out there that try to do the same thing. And I'm not saying that this rig is trying to do the same thing, it's just doing this thing a little bit differently that's inspired by that. So you know this, Movi and all of its competitors have motors and batteries, right. This guy doesn't have anything. It's just self-balance, okay. And the way the that it works, is I like to say that it's...

not a Movi, it's not a steadicam, it's not a glide cam, it's an Orbit. It's its own thing. So for some people, who are going run and gun, who are doing like popup interviews, who kind of want that natural rock to their image, this isn't behave in the same way that most handheld stabilization does. It's gonna behave in a really neat way cause it's gonna allow you to kind of tilt, hold it, and actually move around and keep that tilt, okay. And then it's gonna allow you to tilt up, hold it, move around and keep that tilt. Where it's really neat, is you can kind of come down, and come up, and it just maintains its space, maintains its state, okay. And the things is, it's pretty to balance. So when you start to get into certain types of handheld Stabilization, you've got steadicams, which we'll talk about. You've got glide cams, which we'll talk about. And both of them require weights and a good amount of time when you're first starting to balance. And Movis are really expensive and they require batteries and they have motors, and you gotta have experience with that too, so for photographers, when it comes to like a unique production tool. Now you notice here I've got a Canon 70D on this thing. What did we learn yesterday about a Canon 70D? It has auto-focus. So I put this camera on this rig, and then I walk around with it, I can focus on keeping the rig steady and stable, and let the camera do the work of auto-focusing it. And that's what's so neat about this. So it's kind of an affordable, more affordable solution when you kind of look at rigs that are like this. And in all honestly it's a fun thing to play with. So here's an example of what some of the stuff kind of looks like and more videos are kind of popping up online as people use this more. (video playing) So, I'm actually gonna have someone come up here and help me out with this. So you wanna come up? Okay, so the reason I kind of like this, alright, so you've never used this before have you? Uh-uh. Okay, so I'm gonna pass this off to you, and it's got two handles, and it's really neat. Having never used it before, I want you to grab it here and put your thumb on that, okay. And grab it there and put your thumb like that. Now go ahead and do that with your thumb, and it's actually gonna tilt it, allow you to tilt it up and down. Uh-huh. Okay, now you can lift it up and down. So why don't you tell us what it feels like. It's like super-light, is that what you mean? Yeah, it's super-light. Yeah, it's really easy. Okay, so when you're working with it... It's not heavy Yeah, it's not heavy. But the thing I want to really focus in on is all I did was pass it to you and tell you where to put your thumbs. Do you kind of just feel like you already know what to do with it? Yeah, yeah, you can just easily press it down and up. It's cool. Excellent, cool, you're gonna break your wrists off this way, alright, I'm gonna grab it, and you're gonna turn your wrist in, and we just did a pass off. That's cool. Kay, so now you imagine, she has never used it before, and I just taught her how to do a pass off. So let's make believe I was doing a shot here that I wanted to pass off over my computer, I break it, give her the other handle, and she'd take it back from me. Okay, so that's where this thing starts to shine, is because, again, do we use the tools all the time when they're creative? No, not necessarily. But do we have tools that we can use for certain situation that allow us to get a different type of footage and a different type of perspective? Yes, we do, and this is just one of them, okay. Sorry, so unless you don't have the D70, how do you focus? Okay, if you don't have a D70, you don't don't focus, a lot of the times, you put a wide angle lens on and then you just manage that distance like we talked about yesterday, okay. So the D70, or 70D is an added benefit, but if was gonna use my 5D Mark III, I would put a 17 mm lens on to this thing, stick it at four and then just know where my distance is that I'm in focus, okay. Set it either to infinity or hyperfocal and then I'm good. So we have to be this, you're saying equal distance, but then you went on whatever subject you're filming? Absolutely. You couldn't do the in and out unless you wanted it out of focus? No, you can't do in and out, you can't do in and out. And then that's the same limitations of like glide cams and steadicams too if you don't have a motor to operate the follow focus, okay. And we'll talk about follow focus later, that's a term I just introduced, so hang on if you don't know what that means. Thanks. Okay, so... Now with those sort of rigs, are you ever using additional microphones on there, do you have like, are you recording the audio from that, does that affect the way it balances? So if I'm gonna use a tool like this, I'm gonna try to keep it as light as possible. And if I'm gonna use it in production when recording sound, I'm gonna rely on the reference sound in the camera, and record all double system sound, okay, all double system sound. And then what it does is it allows me just to keep the rig light. Because she said it was light, however, it's only gonna be as heavy or as light as the camera that you place on top of it, okay. So if I stick, it caps out at 11 pounds, so if I put in 11 pounds and it balances fine, then it's okay, great, but I'm still carrying 11 pounds, plus the weight of the rig in my hands, right. So it becomes a really, really kind of like delicate dance because I'm not ripped, okay, I'm like a buck 40, maybe a buck 30, maybe a buck 50 soaking wet, I don't know, okay, so I'm not gonna carry a lot of stuff just cause I'm not a really big dude, I can't really carry a lot of stuff, alright. Can I ask one more question, Victor, about handholding, can we talk about actually handholding your camera, in your actual hands? Sure. What do you think about that? Kay, give me a second. So, when you're handholding, guys, the key to handholding is three points of contact. There's one, there's two. Where's my third? Monopod, camera strap, we see a lot of people do that, viewfinder, okay. If you're gonna handhold, the name of the game is three points of contact. However, you're gonna see that handheld footage like we saw yesterday, varies, varied, it varies completely, it's completely different than like monopod footage or even that type of handheld footage where you're holding on a rig and then you stick this things, like there's things out there like shoulder rigs and that kind of stuff. I'm not a big fan of shoulder rigs, because I just have never been a fan of stacking a lot of stuff on my shoulder, like weight wise. So there are people out there that love shoulder rigs and love like little gun stock rigs and stuff, and I've just haven't got into them. That's my personal choice, but I think like when you use a monopod it helps kind of like mitigate, and get rid of the need for some of that type of rigging because a monopod can really look handheld if you let it, okay. And so again, monopod is like 199 bucks, the RS4. Some rigs can be upwards of like a couple thousand or a few hundred. So are you gonna use a rig that only has one dedicated purpose, or are you gonna get a monopod that has multiple uses and can be used for a variety. Remember what we talked about yesterday, is I want you to focus on production, I want you to focus on getting your head in the game for video and then when it comes to purchasing tools, I want you to get tools that can be duplicitous. Not duplicitous, but dual-purpose in nature, okay. Because a monopod can work for so much more in production than let's say a handheld rig could. Do I want you to pick up an Orbit for some stuff? Yeah, of course, but I'm sure you can rent it, you know. If you're gonna start doing a lot of stuff like that, sure, pick one up, but there's certain tools that you absolutely need. Tripods, monopods, view finders. Those are things you invest in. These creative production tools, you're production will not live or die based on the production tool, but based on those creative production tools. But there are certain things that your production will live or die on and those are the things you wanna focus on. You see the difference?

Class Description

Short on time? This class is available HERE as a Fast Class, exclusively for Creator Pass subscribers.

If you own a DSLR camera, you already own a powerful filmmaking tool. Ready to learn how to use it? Join CreativeLive and Victor Ha for a course that will cover the core principles of capturing video with your DSLR.

Through hands-on demos - including how to create compelling video interviews - Victor will guide you through the core techniques of DSLR filmmaking. You’ll learn how to apply the compositional skills of still photography to taking video. You’ll also learn about how to navigate the video-capturing features of your DSLR, choose the right gear for your filmmaking needs, and incorporate audio into your shoots. From framing shots to producing simple projects to spatial relationships, the skills you gain in this course will leave you ready and inspired to create high-quality, engaging film projects.

Class Materials

bonus material with purchase

Victors White Board Notes - High Resolution

Pre-Production Planner


Gear Guide

Ratings and Reviews

Student Work

Related Classes


Victor van Dijk

This course was quite a treat! I had been learning piecemeal about DSLR Filmmaking but never had the opportunity to follow a course that ties it all together. And my namesake Victor is ex-cel-lent!!! Fundamentals of DSLR Filmmaking is a very very clear (I would almost say, lucid!), carefully, comprehensively tied together course teaching all you need and wanted to know about DSLR Filmmaking. Massive PLUS is that the course is first and before all NOT about the nitty-gritty technical details and numbers, but all about the basics of what filmmaking REALLY is all about. And yes, technique and gear are part of that but not for their own sake. And Victor shares that it's all about fun, and telling your story your way in the way that you like. I truly admire Victor's carefully planned and laid out path, in my opinion he planned the course exactly and meticulously like he would a full-blown movie production. And he is very open and honest and not belittling at all. He is really passionate, compassionate and 'infectious' with his happy happy mood :-)! I HIGHLY recommend this course for anyone wanting to properly and thoroughly learn the ins and outs of filmmaking, with a strong focus on using a DSLR.

Penny Foster

This is a very well constructed course by Victor Ha, who is very easy to watch, and very knowledgeable about using the DSLR for more than just taking pictures. For a Wedding Photographer like me, who wants to add some moving images into a slideshow for my client, this course was perfect. Victor shows us that, with the equipment you already own as a working professional photographer, you can get started into video RIGHT NOW, with baby steps. This is not a course on video editing, so if you need that tuition look elsewhere, BUT, Victor shows us how to set our cameras up for success right from the start, so that when we are at the editing stage, the footage is in the perfect state possible to produce excellently exposed, perfectly colour balanced material. He goes over the use of a light meter for capturing video, and how essential it is to get the exposure right 'in camera', so this is certainly a Fundamental DSLR Filmmaking course, for anyone who is already using their DSLR for stills, but who is interested in adding something else to their skill set. Victor is so enthusiastic in his teaching style, and this is a course I will keep coming back to time after time.

Sara safajar

Excellent overview on how to think as a storyteller with DSLR video. Great breakdown and really accessible examples- fun video on the making of a peanut butter sandwich- which inspire and make it feel like the video beast can be conquered. This course is packed with great ideas on not only figuring out to how to make the switch from still to motion, but also creative inspiration on how to begin thinking cinematically. Well worth the price. Great course!