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DV Filmmaking by Ian David Aronson

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Chapter 6. Working with Specialized Camera Mounts

In this chapter

Stabilizing a Moving Camera
Using a Camera Dolly

Having watched years of professionally produced movies and television shows, audiences have high expectations for what they see on screen—they take for granted that all camera movements will be smooth and every shot will be steady. If your camera has the slightest shake, people will notice. In addition to mastering the technical aspects of digital video (frame rate, aspect ratio, color balance), producing a good show requires precise camera control to get the motion effects you want.

For years, this meant using expensive rigs and elaborate setups ranging from specially equipped trucks, to cameras mounted on dollies that rolled along a track, to robotic cranes that moved cameras by remote control. Needless to say, these were not cheap. The affordable options were to shoot handheld, which resulted in shaky images, or to mount the camera on a stationary tripod, which produced smooth pans and tilts but limited mobility. Then came the Steadicam.

Stabilizing a Moving Camera

A Steadicam (http://www.steadicam.com), shown in Figure 6-1, is a camera stabilization system that mounts a camera on a rig, called a sled, and balances the camera using a monitor and battery pack that hang underneath and serve as counterweights. The rig lowers the camera’s center of gravity, and the design of the Steadicam isolates the camera itself from the operator’s movement.

Figure 6-1. A Steadicam and ...

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