September 19, 2018 at 3:32PM

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Handheld camera look, do I need a stabilizer / faster Lens speed

Hello NoFilmSchool.

I'm planning out a run-n-gun shoot in the next month. I'm planning on using a Sony FS7. I'm looking into a Fujinon XK20-120mm to help me keep any sort of lens changing to a minimum.

The shoot itself will range from shooting on a beach during golden hour, shooting a couple in a dining room, closeups in their room and last shooting some shots of traffic over a highway and a cityscape.

I wanted to have a cinematic and subtle handheld feel to the film, similar to this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-kyjHqtcZo0

My question is about stabilization. I plan on having sticks if I need a lockdown but is it recommended to have some sort of stabilization (glidecam, gimbal) if I'm moving the camera around?

My next question is about lens, should I go with a faster lens than that for any low light situations. I'm hoping to have a lighting kit in case it's needed but I was hoping the Fs7's low light capabilities would help here so I could get my shots and move through my shotlist faster.

2 Comments

It sounds like you've got a good plan already. As far as lens and lighting, I recently saw a video with the new sony a7 and the low light capabilities were incredible. I'm not sure how it compares to the fs7, but I would assume the fs7 is a lot better, as far as low noise at high iso setting. Even at incredibly high iso setting the image still looked great n the a7. So I would think you'll be fine with that lens being at T3.5

September 21, 2018 at 10:42AM

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Josh Molen
Music Composer for TV and Film
76

About stabilization, I would make sure to have some sort of shoulder rig to give the FS7 some stability throughout your shots, being able to brace against yourself will smooth it a little bit. It's a bigger body and to hand hold it will be difficult over a longer period of time.

In your example video attached, they shot the b-roll in slow motion, which is a must if that is what you're going for so the handheld look doesn't get to be too shaky and sickening. With no lens or in-camera stabilization you will probably also have to do some post-production stabilization, so make sure to film in 4K if possible. Filming as wide as you can will also help not make your footage too shaky during those sequences. Anything above 50mm I would lock-down personally, as longer focal ranges accentuate camera shake.

The main issue will be shooting in a high frame rate while also in a low light situation, it's very tricky and completely depends on environmental light. At golden hour you should be ok, but you'll find as soon as the sun sets you'll be fighting ISO and aperture to keep enough light in the scene. The indoors shoot, depends on time of day you're filming and what other lighting is in the room. I would utilize any available light fixtures and place them around the scene to help with the scene being too dark. If I had to guess, this will be the most challenging scene in what you described. T3.5 is decent, but ideally you'll want as low as you can go to be able to work in all these scenes cohesively and at the correct camera settings.

Make sure to practice in advance to as close as the lighting situations you mentioned above will be when shoot day comes. It'll help you know what to focus on and what you may need to approach differently.

Good luck, please update when you complete the final project!

September 28, 2018 at 3:01PM

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Jonathan Knepper
Creative Team Lead
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