David – I have to say that


David – I have to say that the results are exactly as I expected. Fine for amateur interest, but simply not stable, and in the music video at some points your horizona had slipped so much that the singer was about 30 degrees off vertical!

I'm not criticising your enthusiast approach but it is extremely different from how a broadcast version of the same event would look. There are rules that professional cameramen follow for these things and realistically, if hand held was acceptable, stability wise, why would they spend $60,000 on a head for a set of tripod legs? If you also need to follow play, as in a football game, your eye has to track the ball, which is moving within the frame, so hand held makes the ball difficult to see. The OP has a job doing this, and the standards for work are different from the standards of home movie style shooting. He says he has already got problems with stabilsation, so wishes to improve. To do this you need a properly balanced system that is stable enough so you can take your hands off the pan bar and it doesn't move, yet will move withe very little pressure. Wobbles, jerky starts and stops really won't do for work purposes. The other issue with water is the horizon – it MUST be horizontal as sloping lakes are very rare! With any kind of long lens, you lose sharpness when you hand hold – every movement is ten time more exagerated when you are zoomed in, as you show in the video – having to zoom back out to settle it down. I quickly dug out this old video showing the difference a proper controlled camera makes – rubbish football, but most of the time the camera is at the long end – it's a full sized football pitch. 

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