I am a huge fan of using and optimizing stabilizing shots for my video productions. Stabilized shots add so much production value. There are many stabilizers out there on the market, and now you have more to choose from. I tend to like the Glidecam. There is a learning curve to using the Glidecam, but once you get it down, you really have learned a valuable skill. Many of the brushless gimbals out now, allow almost anyone to get smoot shots. By using the brushless gimbals, you can get somewhat smooth shots, without the learning curve of that of the Glidecam or Steadicam. The problem with the brushless gimbals is that it can look very robotic, the shots can have bounce effect when walking, they need to use battery power, and there is a specific weight limit to them.
Glidecam has been my stabilizer of choice and I have used several different lenses for my productions. I have used the Tokina 11-16mm 2.8, the Canon 20mm 2.8 and now recently the Tamron 10-24mm f/3.5-4.5 Di II VC HLD Lens for Canon. I have been flying my Canon 6d with a Canon 20mm for about two years. I like what the end results are, but wanted to experiment with flying my Canon C100.
The Canon C100 is part of Canon’s cinema line. A C100 is heavier than a Canon 6d, so I needed to find a light lens that would be wide enough due to the C100’s 1.6 crop factor. For instance, the Tamron 10-24mm is the equivalent of a 16-38mm lens when placed on a C100. This is wide enough for me, plus I can zoom in a bit for different stabilized shots. However, the tighter the lens the more chance you have for wobbly shots. The wider, the more stable. I have seen some great shots from true professionals who have used 35-50mm lenses with a stabilizer which resulted in great steady footage. (You really need to practice getting the shots as steady as possible). I researched and researched different zoom lens, since I wanted the flexibility to change up my perspective. During my research, I came across the new Tamron 10-24-mm 3.5-4.5 VC lens. Sure, it’s not as fast as the f2.8 lenses I have used in the past, but it had many positives that outweighed the negatives. For one, it is only 15.5 oz. It has a BBAR coating to reduce surface reflections, flare, and ghosting for improved contrast when working in strong lighting conditions. And it is a zoom lens with vibration compensation (VC). This feature helps with hand held shots and allows them to be not too shaky. So, I could fly the camera in one shot, and then zoom in turn on the VC for a hand-held shot. This is something new I will have in my arsenal, since all the other lenses I used with my stabilizer were primes lenses.
Using the Canon C100 on my stabilizer will allow me to get not only great looking footage, but the process in doing it will be easier than before when using a 6d. The Canon C100 has a tilt screen that I can flip up to see my shots. Now in the sun that screen can reflect a lot of glare. I use a sun hood made by Sachtler which allows me to see my screen more clearly and cuts down the glare from the sun. The C100 also has a waveform monitor which allows me to expose my shot more accurately. Finally, the C100 has built in neutral density filters that I can use if the sun is too bright. If I use a 6d out in the sun I have two options when the sun is too bright. I can either screw on a neutral density filter to control the aperture of the camera, or I can raise the shutter speed, which in return gives my shots a stuttering look, like you see in the movie Private Ryan.
After buying the Tamron lens I went out to conduct a quick test with my C100 and Glidecam. I forgot to attach the sun hood to the lens, so in the video below, you will see some glare from the sun. All in all, I believe I have a winner. I can zoom in if I want, I have VC, and because my lens is light, my setup is not too heavy. If there is a draw-back, it would be the fact the lens does not have a constant aperture and that the aperture is f3.5-f4.5. But C100’s ability to perform very well under low light conditions makes up for that. This lens is only $500 and it will serve you very well. I have several Tamron lenses, and they all have been more than great for my productions.
Jeffrey Cook is an award-winning videographer who specializes in non-profit, small business storytelling.
We see them on the streets, caring their belongings and asking for money. The homeless situation here in Fresno has really unfolded. The homeless can be seen everywhere. No longer are they downtown, they have migrated up to the north end of Fresno where we haven’t really seen them before.
The first thing most people do when they see someone down on luck and out on the streets is feel sorry for them. We wonder how they got there, why they are on the streets, and how we could help. Many of us tend to pull out some money from our pockets and kindly give to them while we wait at the traffic light. I have given money to the homeless not knowing where it was going. Do you know where your money is going towards?
I was recently hired to create two promotional type videos regarding the homeless here in Fresno. Leadership Fresno, class 33 hired me and explained what their project was. They wanted a mini-documentary that explored the homeless situation here in Fresno. They wanted questions such as why they are homeless, what type of categories there were when it came to the homeless population, and how we as a society could help them. Does money truly hurt them? We spoke to many of the folks who work with the homeless population, and you will be amazed on what they said. Watch this video I produced for Leadership Fresno, and for more information please visit: www.realchangefresno.org
Shooting this mini-documentary was a real eye opener. As a Christian, you are told to give to others; however this type of giving seems to only make it worse for those who face homelessness.
Here is another great video that I shot and edited. The piece was written by Seth Scott, a member of the Leadership Fresno class of 33. Seth did a great job directing the talent. Very powerful words are spoken here.
Please share this post so others can learn how to help with this homeless situation we face in Fresno.
I have been working in television and media for over 18 years. My experience includes news photojournalist, editor, producer and storyteller. Throughout the years, I have been honored to receive the Edward R. Murrow award, Five Telly Awards, and many more. My motto is “THERE'S AN OPPORTUNITY TO BECOME BETTER AT MY CRAFT EACH TIME I GET BEHIND THE CAMERA."