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Which camera is better for a newbie

Canon XF300 Canon EOS 7D Steadicam Pilot AA

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#1 Madhava Krishna Meduri

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 05:38 PM

I am very new to the Steadicam Pilot AA. I have a Canon 7D and Canon XF300. If I were to cover an event for 3-4 hours, I know XF300 will be a heavy-weight. If I were to go with the 7D, will I be looking professional with my client? I found many people using a merlin or similar for a DSLR. Please suggest.

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#2 Carl Wiedemann

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Posted 02 July 2014 - 10:15 PM



Your bigger concern should probably be which camera is most appropriate for the job, rather than your projection of what your client may or may not perceive as professional. Your professionalism will be conveyed by the quality of the footage you deliver. If your client has plenty of useful and engaging footage for their edit session they won't be too concerned with the size and shape of the imaging device used to gather it.



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#3 Emmanuel Dinh

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 01:22 AM

As Carl said, the most important thing is which camera you want to do the job, they are so different ; for example, if you want continuous, long shootings from far to close to your characters while keeping them in focus, then you should be interested in the brilliant XF300 Autofocus mode. That could be a strong reason to go for the XF300, which is NOT a heavy camera. Actually, XF300 & Pilot are working very well together (you may only check if your AA-bottom is not too light). In an other hand, if you want the 7D' look for very short cuts such as travellings, slow moves, or even play with focus, then of course the 7D is yours, and it will be far more easier to fly it with a Pilot rather than with a Merlin, if asked to work for 3 to 4 hours long.

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#4 Lars Erik

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Posted 03 July 2014 - 02:10 AM

As mentioned before, you need to meet up with your client, and ask what they are looking for in the end product. Explain to them the cons and pros for each camera. As Emmanuel said, using a 7D will greatly limit you when it comes to focusing.


Don't know your skills, but you say you're new to the Pilot. Perhaps I'm jumping to conclusions here, but I'm guessing you're still very new to operating a rig in general? If so, you'll have enough worrying just to get a movement you and your client will be happy with. So perhaps choosing the camera with less focusing issues would be a wise move? 


Good luck with the project. Fly safe.



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#5 Madhava Krishna Meduri

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Posted 06 July 2014 - 05:16 PM

You guys have actually found me out and my skills well! I liked it.


I am new to the Pilot. Yes! I am decently experienced (3 years) with both my XF300 and 7D. But when I was trying to balance the XF300, I thought I cannot handle it for the entire 3-4 hours with the weight it has. Here is my shoot scenario.


I am all by myself on the shoot. I have 2 cameras (Canon 7D and Canon XF300) , 2 tripods, a Steadicam pilot (AA model) and other stands for audio capture on location. The event is a Indian classical dance with only one person on the dais throughout to focus. First I though I can fix a tripod with XF300 with entire dais covered and move with the 7D flying with me.


Anyway since 7D is not good for a continuous shoot (I have a 256 GB card and a 128 GB and 3-4 of 32GB), I thought it needs manual intervention. On lenses, I have Canon prime 50mm/f1.8, Canon Kit 18-135mm f3.5-f5.6, Canon 100mm-400mm (L series telephoto). I am planning to use the Canon prime since the performance would be with limited fixed light. Example is here:  (check around 34th minute in the video). Since this is the way the student of Indian classical dance is graduated with her Guru's blessings. Of course, I may not be allowed to step on the dais, but I can go close from the first row (space thereof).


My client (In fact a friendly family) has no knowledge on the technical reasons or techniques I follow. Just they are resting on my own capacity.  I had recorded several times in the past without a steadicam. Now I am either blessed with or cursed for this confusion. Though this is not a paid event, but since the performance is once in a life time for the performer, I do not want to take any chance.


Please take your valuable time and some trouble, to visualize and guide.


Thanks a ton in advance.

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