Canon T2i (550D)

This is not the most exciting shot in the world to watch, but it was for me the most successful of my increasingly steady pairing of a Steadicam Merlin with Canon Digital REBEL T2i and Rode Videomic.

In order to stop down the kit lens's aperture enough to achieve anything approaching deep focus in the relatively dark location, I had to shoot at the camera's 6400 ISO setting. My next big purchase will probably be a fast superwide zoom, maybe the Tokina 11-16mm f2.8. My Canon 20mm f2.8 is just not wide enough –it's the equivalent of a 36mm field of view on these APS-C sized sensors.

The steadicam was balanced so that it was just barely bottom heavy. About a 4-5 second drop (when the contraption is swiveled so that the camera and the counterweight are both level in front of me, it takes the camera about 5 seconds to float back upright). I enjoyed working with it so balanced.

The terrain was a little tricky. I had to weave around furniture, adults, and running little kids. It's not the smoothest path I could have carved through the space, but I'm pleased with the improvisation. Around 45 seconds the camera tilted a bit, probably after I ran into something. I tried to tip it back.

The Rode Videomic is just directional enough to isolate bits of conversation in front of the camera. I can clearly hear my cousin Bruce explaining the intricacies of the game "Risk" and my Uncle Bob talking about a play he'd seen called "The Whipping Man" as the camera passes each of them.

I applied a very temporary color correction with Final Cut Pro's 3-way color corrector filter, and applied very sophisticated titles and transitions, and exported to 1080p H264 using Compressor before uploading. Yay.

If it looks stuttery, try toggling "HD" to "off".


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