professionals Never Use stabilizer?

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    • #49462

      A friend told me professional videographers NEVER use a built in stabilizer. I used one on the Canon XL2 and it was great. Now that I use the the Canon XH-A1s, I still use it if I have to handhold a shot. I know a tripod is best, especially for HD. My friend says the when the stabilizer is on it creates a jumpy shot because the camera is constantly trying to grab an image, and then holds it briefly and then jumps again. Does anyone agree?

    • #202483

      Professionals use whatever tools are available to get the job done, and that INCLUDES in-camera stabilization where warranted, IMHO. I consider myself a professional … at least I’m getting paid for 99% of the video I produce πŸ˜‰

    • #202484

      Perhaps they mean when using a tripod. I use ProDad’s Mercalli 2 and NewBlue’s Stabilizer Pro on the post side but when doing hand held shots, I need the optical image stabilization my camera offers.

    • #202485

      I’m old school. I do not use stabilizers a lot because I do use tripods a lot.

      as Earl said though..where appropriate.

      Some people think using stabilization on a tripod mounted camera MIGHT induce image blur due tot he camera trying to stabilize the image that is already stabil… can’t say I remember if true or not, one way or the other for sure… because I just avoid the issue.

    • #202486

      Videorocks – is the friend that told you that a professional videographer or photographer? I am with EarlC – as a professional I use whatever tools I have in the toolbox that gets the job done and causescosts me the least amount of work in the end. If I need to use a video stabilizer to get the best shot and cost me the least amount of work afterwards I am going to use the stabilizer. Also, which type of stabilizer was your friend referring to? My video Canon XF100’s have the stabilizer built in to the camera and my 7D’s use the stabilizers built into the lens which I leave on all the time regardless of photo or video and have never seen any ill effects.

      So not too sure what your friend is referring to but as they say – to each their own. I guess professionals don’t use Sears shop lights for supplemental lighting either (I do).

    • #202487

      That’s a ‘non-statement’. I’ve used stabilizers from built-in one’s on my XL series lenses to full-on gyro-stabilizers. I’ve also used steady rigs and homemade bungee supports. When you’re shooting in motion and want a stable image, some kind of stabilization is needed. Your friend is obviously not a pro.

    • #202488

      I belive they meant what Birdcat/Bruce said, I have found that using in camera stabilizer while the cam is on a tripod tends to nudge the picture if you make a slow or smallcompensation. As others have said..whatever works.


    • #202489

      In agreement with wedingmaster, on my Canon HV20 using optical image stabalizer with camera mounted on a tripod the image tends to try to compensate for an image that is already stable, and sometimes a small up and down movement of the image can occur. It works really good on hand-held shots, but I wish that camera had a dedicated on/off stabilization button as opposed to going through the menu every time I need it! On the pro side, shooring daily news as an ENG cameraman, thecameras at our station don’t have built in stabalizers so we learn to work around it.. ie tripods, monopods, bracing against lamp posts, shooting wide etc. I think a shaky shot is more acceptable in a news story than in a commercial or corporate video, after all ..a shaky shot is better than no shot!

    • #202490

      “….a shaky shot is better than no shot!”

      Hmmmph, depends on who you’re working for! Yeah, for most ENG outfits you can get away with ‘earthquake cam’ in certain situations. Most Producer/Directors will flip out if all you come back with is shaky footage. That crap is cool for MTV because they initiated it being too cheap to hire real camera people.

      An experienced shooter will do his/her best to keep the rig steady or smooth out the movement. That was another reason why I passed on working for a TV station, I didn’t want my standards to slip. With filmmaking doc’s or narratives, you must have more discipline in your shooting. It also doesn’t hurt to have a group of pros around you who’ll talk major smack about you bringing in less than professional looking work to keep you sharp.

      It won’t kill you to use a tripod, steady rig, stabilization or a steady bag when the need arises. Handheld shooting is an art form which takes years of practice to master. Don’t get in the habit of not using stabilization or support when you have it available.

    • #202491

      I use the Optical Image Stabilization that my camera provides, on most hand-held shots. I never use the feature when shooting on a tripod. I never use it when also using a wide-angle adapter lens. And I sometimes use it along with a steadycam/glidecam. Hope this helps!

      Happy shooting,


    • #202492

      As Composite1 Mentioned…I have turned movies off because of this on purpose camera shake and jerk..Hate it..will never watch it.


    • #202493

      I would put this question in the same box as “Do you turn your computer off at night?” The answer depends on the questionnaire.

      Example 1 My Intense Sports Son: My son uses digital video cameras recording to flash to record his skate board tricks, he will also “tape” it the front of his bike and then jump off a cliff. The stabilizer was on once when he was filming, the quality was unwatchable, looked like waves of water kept washing over the camera. So Since I knew what he was using the camera for when he asked me I told him “Never use the stabilizer”

      Example 2 Me: I used my camera once sat at 24FPS 1920×1080 mts and took off running, I had the stabilizer on, bad idea.

      As EarlC stated depends GREATLY on the circumstances. I do not use it because I forget it is on. But there are some cases when it would come in handy, filming a snow scene and it is cold. Filming a hold up and you are shaking in fear.

      To turn off or not to turn off the computer at night depends on the USER activity and preference, either way is NOT bad to the computer at all.

      To use or not to use the stabilizer, depends on the user.

      When you said that I recalled a very very very very very popular video training book written by a HUGE name cinematographer out of California who in his book laid out two rules, no stabilizer and forget the zoom exist on a camera. I learned from countless people whispering in my ear as I was filming, “I thought you were never to use the zoom” Do what you need to do to get the shot you need to get, use what others teach you as tools for your bag.

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