Gyro Operating Issues
I have stressed learning to shoot
with both eyes open so that a head-mounted monitor/viewfinder is possible. If
this skill is not learned, head mounted monitors/viewfinders are disorienting
and not usable by the operator.
There is need for zooming changes
in different applications of a moving camera. If the camera is handheld or mounted
to your body, you will probably stay wide angle and make most of your framing
adjustments by walking about. If you are shooting from a moving vehicle, you
will need to zoom, pan and tilt to keep objects in frame. This will effect your
viewfinder position especially if sitting and you need the zoom control to be
attached in a convenient position. The zoom control should be in line with the
CG of the system with the other hand opposite and symmetrical.
There is a limit to the speed which you can pan or tilt a gyrostabilizer. You
will find this limited speed is usually okay. If you are panning and tilting
faster than this limit, you might not need to use gyros anyway.
When zoomed in all the way from a
vehicle, the stabilizer will keep a properly designed gyro camera system image
stable, but the operator will have a problem keeping objects well framed because
of the relative speed of the camera vehicle to the object being photographed.
If the vehicle stays in a straight line at a constant speed it helps, because
the pan correction is constant.
Wide shots are of course easier.
When you zoom in tight, operating gets trickier. This is true even with a camera
on a tripod on solid ground. An indicator in the eyepiece or on the lens showing
zoom focal length position can warn you to feather the zoom to a smooth stop
and warn you when you are getting too tight for good control of the frame. The
VX 1000 has such an indicator. Old 16-mm news cameras had expanded zoom and
focus scales that you could read from behind the camera. This would necessitate
keeping both eyes open and shifting attention from one to the other.
How firmly you hold the camera system
at the guidance points is relevant. You need to isolate your body's motions
from the camera system. The operator's body should be comfortable and prevented
from sliding around. If your body is bouncing around your arms may not be able
to isolate the motion of your body from the camera. It will also be difficult
to judge the stability of the shot.
Out of the side door of the van we found wind not to be a factor, but the operator's
arms guiding the camera got tired. You can prevent fatigue by supporting the
arms and / or elbows from below on very soft foam rubber or from above with
slings and bungee or rubber tubing. Don't support the arm too close to the hand.
It will effect the camera. We found that just in front of the elbow best.
The rig must always be held while
the vehicle is moving. We also provide a slack safety cord attached to the support
above in case anything fails. (The operator should also have a safety belt.)
Put all your accessories and batteries in a box so they can't fall out the open
Barbells are great for practicing
walking and learning to walk smoothly. Shoes with arch support but low heals
help. Moccasins help but they do not have arch support for heavier systems.
For more information read Gyro
Safety and Moving Rigs.
© Copyright 1999-2004 Ron Dexter.
All Rights Reserved.