July 13, 2016 at 3:20AM, Edited July 13, 3:22AM


Gear to kill shakiness


I'm shooting a live music event this weekend and I'd like some help from you guys.

I use an a7s with C/Y zeiss lenses (no IS), and my main concern is shaky footage. I own a shoulder rig, a ronin M and a tripod. Of course, I won't use the tripod (i want to quickly react to changes in the stage) nor the ronin (it's a pain to be constantly re-calibrating the system with each new focal lens change). I'm 190cm tall, so shoulder rig is not that useful or comfortable, as I like to vary mi camera height a lot during the event.

So I've just got handheld. It's okay for wide lenses. The problem, of course, is using my tele lenses wich doesn't have IS.

That's it. What would you do? What's the most versatile combination of stuff that allows me to be fast, reactive, and able to capture all kinds of focal lengths with no shakiness? Of course I'll be using warp stabilizer in post, but I want to be as clean as possible from the beginning.



I just shot on stage last week and had this same internal conflict hahaha. My solution was the Came-TV steadicam. Only because it was big enough for my camera but you might find it useful as well if you can rig up your a7s a little bit or use a glidecam. It makes it nice and easy to get great longer shots as well! One of the photographers actually snagged this pic of me using it haha http://imgur.com/L6Ujwd3 not the best steadicam user here but I was satisfied with the footage.

I don't think you'll want to use a shoulder rig without some kind of IS lens, otherwise for your camera that would be the way to go, still would be my second choice after the steadicam.

July 13, 2016 at 5:57AM, Edited July 13, 5:58AM

Clark McCauley

Check out this ASC Master Class video from last year: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IHcYjKpJb-I

Skip ahead to the 24 minute mark, where Sean Bobbitt starts talking about physical prep for shooting. Special shout out at 37 minutes for Martial Arts training, which teach balance and movement, stability and fluidity, proper breathing, etc.

July 13, 2016 at 8:02AM


Personally, I'd either go on Amazon right this second and 2-day a video monopod (it's possible that you can use the head from your tripod and just purchase the leg of the monopod), or rent some lenses with IS.

July 13, 2016 at 9:31AM


Video mono-pods are great for this type of shooting, and you can use them as "ballast" to help steady your shots when you have to walk and shoot at the same time.

Benro Series 4 Monopod with S4 Video Head

Sure a gimbal / Stedicam with a vest and arm are probably the best solution, but your budget has to be big enough to cover the cost of renting this gear.

July 13, 2016 at 9:50AM, Edited July 13, 9:51AM

Guy McLoughlin
Video Producer

For recording live music I would strongly recommend to rent a few cameras (3-5) and put them on tripods in various strategic positions and one mobile camera for closeups with a medium to wide angle lens. That way you have enough coverage to make interesting edits and can guarantee continuity. Obviously sound should always be recorded separately.

July 13, 2016 at 5:29PM, Edited July 13, 5:30PM

Cary Knoop

get a video monopod. the manfrotto one is good.

July 15, 2016 at 3:01AM


What I personnaly use for my A6300 is a 15mm rod clamp that I screw on the top or bottom of my cage. Then, I use a 18mm rod and two 8" 15mm rod handle and attach them to the rod. This way I can handle freely my camera and be very stable since I keep my two elbow agaisnt my body for stability. I can either put the handle going up or down very rapidly depending if I wanna go really high or low.




July 15, 2016 at 7:52AM

Danny T

Maybe find a rig that's comfortable for you? Unfortunately the thing your trying to do is at odds with the other thing your trying to do. My personal pet hate is handled footage with micro jitters so I feel your pain.

A monopod will help to some degree otherwise this is some variation of the old fast, cheap, quick adage. You can have smooth shots with a rig or ronin but takes time to set up or switch out lenses as you mention. Or you can be fast and reactive handheld but without IS of some kind footage is shakey.

If you can figure out secret option 3 DSLR shooters the world over will love you!

July 16, 2016 at 12:12AM, Edited July 16, 12:13AM

Cole Black

I would go for a Manfrotto or Benro Monopod with fluid head. Both can be easily changed to different heights, and have legs to improve stability.

July 17, 2016 at 5:05AM

Mark K.

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