06-09-2021 09:31 AM
Long time Canon User. I have a fleet of XA-10's (10 of them total), have used multiple SLR's (currently using the R6... awesome) and I recently purchased a couple Canon XA-50's.
Overall, I love the XA-50 and it's features. The abilty to film in 4k will help me on some shoots, and I prefer the versatility of camcorders for live events (weddings, corporate speaking events, etc.) vs. SLR's, which I striclty use for photography.
Anyway, one area of concern I do have with the XA-50 is the image stabilization. I've tried setting it in Standard and Dynamic mode, with the same results. Those results? Shakiness. Check out this footage:
This is shot using a monopod, the videographer (me) standing as still as possible. But you'll still notice a bit of jitteryness in the footage. When I use our XA-10's for the same purpose, we don't get any of that jitteryness. The footage is smooth as silk (I also love the LCD on the XA-10... I'm perplexed why Canon would use inferior LCD's on upgraded equipment to the XA line... but that's relatively minor to me at least).
Why would the XA-10's image stabilization be so much better than the XA-50's?
Is there something I can do to rectifiy this image stabilization issue with the XA-50? If it had the same image stabilization capability as the XA-10 (and maybe the same LCD... haha), it would be my dream camera!
Any advice or expertise here, pertaining to the image stabilization, would be appreciated.
06-09-2021 11:42 AM
I don't think the footage was too bad, but agreed that it does contain some jitters.
For any critical videography events such as this, I would use a tripod instead of a monpod (and then turn off any IS). Digital IS crops in on the sensor and that can lead to some degraded video quality (typically slight, but a degrade nonetheless).
Speaking of turning off IS, it's possible that with the monopod, the IS was actually causing the issues. Did you try not having IS turned on in such cases?
When hand-holding, even on a monopod, due to these cams being so light, it's too easy to introduce unintended movement. So again, a tripod would ultimately be best.
06-09-2021 09:47 PM
Thanks for your input! I had a gig today and tried your suggestion about turning off the IS... that was a no go. I could see the jitters were worse right off the bat.
I did however do some research on the 'Powered IS' feature. Apparently I can toggle that on or off. And, for this shoot (another wedding... yes, on a Wednesday), we left that function 'ON' the entire time. Once I get to editing that footage, I'll report back with my findings.
Finally, I do agree a tripod will make anything better. But how we film, and where we film, it's not an option (with our B-Cam at least). We always have one camera on a tripod centrally located somewhere for our 'main' footage, and move around the entire ceremony site for supplemental footage on foot. Can't lug around a tripod that way, discreetly at least.
I just find it odd that the XA-10... the precurser to the entire XA line... and now discontinued... is a FAR superior camera to the XA-50 in the stabilization department. Mind-boggling, honestly. We have no problem with jittery shots with that camera on a monopod. Maybe the Powered-IS feature will prove me wrong.
Honestly, if the XA-10 had 4k functionality, it would be the perfect event camera as far as I'm concerned. Lol.
06-09-2021 11:14 PM - edited 06-09-2021 11:17 PM
Bear in mind also that the XA50 is a good deal heavier than the XA10, so it's going to be less stable and harder to control atop a monopod:
'Fully loaded' with grip belt, top handle with microphone holder, lens hood, battery pack, SD card:
XA10 - 0.82 Kg
XA50 - 1.435 Kg
Is it a video monopod, with feet, that you are using ? If so, what model and with what head?
06-09-2021 11:32 PM - edited 06-09-2021 11:47 PM
Thank for your input!
I don't think the weight makes that much of a differnce, honestly. Remember the Canon GL2? We used those before the XA-10, and some even heavier production cameras in the 13-14 pound range doing contract work, using the same monopods. And all of those cameras with thier IS were more than adequate, and better, than what I've experienced so far with the XA50.
We keep it simple... regular old Bogen-Monfrotto and/or Oben graphite (metal) tripods. No heads, no feet. Again, they've worked well paired with a number of different cameras for us dating all the way back to the year 2000.
This is the first time I've seen this kind of jittery footage in a camera while paired with a monopod.
This is the current model monopod I really love... heavy duty, thick... supports up to 26lbs.
A steal really for the price.
A good heavy duty monopod with feet though has always intrigued me. Do you recommend any particular model? If it can help make our jobs easier, I'm always open to new ideas!
06-10-2021 12:33 AM - edited 06-10-2021 12:56 AM
I'm no expert but I know the Sirui P424S is, or was, very popular for wedding/event videography.
There are several YouTube videos produced by Wedding Film School that reviewed and compared Sirui and Manfrotto models 'in-use' at weddings. Can't post links as they will probably get deleted, but a search for 'Best Video Monopod for Weddings' will pull them up.
If you are happier using a conventional monopod I would recommend investing in a Manfrotto 361 Shoulder Brace. Relatively inexpensive and definitely helps to achieve steadier 'held' shots, in my experience anyway. Even use one with my Sirui SR 204S video monopod. Only drawback is that with the brace held against your shoulder or chest it is not short enough (fully retracted) to bring your eye to the EVF.
06-10-2021 12:46 AM
You're not going to believe this... but I was on B&H looking at an Sirui monopod! Checked out those videos on Youtube just now, too. I think I'm sold on the Sirui. It seems plenty strong, versatile and much larger feet for more balance (able to hold a camera by itself in a pinch). Gonna do more research, but I appreciate your tip! It put me on the right track.
06-10-2021 01:18 AM
I think you might be right about the Powered IS being activated the whole time, that would defintiely make the camera believe there is more stabilization necessary than the steadiness of your hand and monopod was allowing, so that IS system would have been extra skiddish. As was said earlier the added weight and larger sensor size of the XA50 will be a factor, but your plan to turn off the Powered IS and update to a heavier duty monopod should do the trick. It may also be worth it to try out that powered IS without a monopod just to get a feel for what you can expect unsupported, but really only for peace of mind.
06-10-2021 03:37 PM - edited 06-10-2021 10:29 PM
Yeah, I don't think having Powered IS turned on all the time is a good idea - it's really intended for handheld, static shots at full telephoto and I'd imagine that most of your wedding video is shot at the wide end.
I can't speak for the XA50/HFG60, but wth my HF-G40 on a monopod I almost always use Standard IS. Very occasionally I'll turn it off for static shots on the Sirui P-204SR indoors or under perfectly still conditions outdoors when I can confidently let go of the monopod (fully locked down at the base) and record hands-free using the IR wireless controller or a LANC remote, but it takes a good 5 seconds to settle down after letting go and the slightest touch, wind or vibration can cause it to wobble.
If you do go for a Sirui video monopod you'd be best investing in one of the high end carbon fiber models that are more stable, by virtue of the wider diameter tube sections and larger feet.