Damn you, monopod!!!

Sebaz wrote on 9/30/2010, 8:56 AM
I recently bought a nice monopod thinking that it might be better than the tripod in many situations, such as when you have to move around often but you still want to avoid the shakiness of the hand held camera. The problem is that I noticed, sadly after filming my best friend's wedding, that the monopod causes a bit of a horizontal shakiness, so now I have some of the footage that I have to correct.

What is a good motion compensation standalone software or plugin for Vegas, preferably one that is free or very inexpensive?


musicvid10 wrote on 9/30/2010, 9:12 AM
It is nearly impossible to maintain horizontal level or stability with a monopod, something I discovered as a still photographer. My expensive stick brought $4 at a yard sale.

Rather than start with third-party solutions (Mercalli and New Blue come to mind), why not download the Vegas Movie Studio 10 trial (or wait for the VP 10 trial) and see if its built-in stabilizer does the trick? In the thirty days I had to play with it, I was quite impressed.
baysidebas wrote on 9/30/2010, 10:19 AM
It's all a matter of technique and discipline to stick to it. The monopod is but one leg of a tripod, the videographer supplies the other two legs. Got it?
TeetimeNC wrote on 9/30/2010, 10:27 AM
Sebaz, is it possible that the "shakiness" was caused by the image stabilizer being enabled on your cam? If you are doing a pan with the stabilizer on, it will try to stabilize the shot until you move far enough that it will jerk to the next position. This is why camera manufacturers specify to turn the image stabilizer off if shooting from a tripod. I think it would be possible to get the same effect if you panning with a monopod.

Sebaz wrote on 9/30/2010, 2:32 PM
Jerry, you might have a point there, but I think it's mostly that it's a very difficult thing to use. It seems it requires a lot of practice, but even if I got that practice, I found it annoying in other ways. For example, I kept kicking it when I walked even a little bit. Then, even though I bought a head for it to have tilting capabilities, I found that tilting with a monopod is very different to tilting with a tripod, and I just didn't like it.

That same night, at the wedding party, I didn't use the monopod, I only used handheld with a consumer camera (Canon HD100) and the footage was far better than the footage from the wedding. I think the motion stabilizer works much better (and is probably designed that way) when you have the camera on your hand, and the motion stabilizer doesn't work that well when the shaky movement is only horizontal and not in every direction.

Now, monopod aside, I remembered after my original post about Deshaker, so I gave it a try, although it involves loading the footage in Virtual Dub, but I could not believe how good the results were, although just in three minutes that I exported. It's like day and night. All the shakiness is gone. I thought it might be OK, but not so good. So now I'm rendering another chunk to see if it's so good in other type of footage with more motion in the frame.
Earl_J wrote on 9/30/2010, 5:52 PM
Hello Sebaz,
don't overlook the new stabilizer from New Blue ... they have a free trial so you can compare it to others you might try...

I like it ... it's doing just fine for the tettering and jittering I might occasionally create on the tripod shots ... it won't provide much help on footage shot handheld with deliberate blair witch project motion and panning techniques. . . (grin) I'm not sure anything will help that sort of commotion.

I've also used my tripod with the legs folded up as an overhead crane at times ... I often wonder how a monopod might work - since the tripod gets heavy very quickly holding it over my head. . . (sigh)

Give it a try and let us know how it works for you...

Until that time. . . Earl J.
teaktart wrote on 9/30/2010, 10:36 PM
Manfrotto makes a 'Self Standing Monopod"


It takes some getting used to like any monopod but if you fold out the legs on this one it does have a soft fluid panning ability, better than just a plain vanilla monopod.

I like shooting live music concerts with a monopod so I can get a steadier shot than hand holding, and I can keep walking around and keep shooting as the action changes.

If the audience stands up I open the LCD screen and lift the monopod above the heads and keep shooting while bracing the length of the monopod against my body.

Its saved the ending of many a song from getting blocked by folks who stand up at the end which can totally wreck a good video up to that point~

farss wrote on 10/1/2010, 6:22 AM
Tip. Leave your camera on the tripod when you move. A tripod with a mid level speader will collapse very quickly, just pull the spreader up and hoist tripod and camera over shoulder. Having solid legs and big camera helps. Take rubber feet off tripod, those exposed spikes are great for clearing a path through the crowd.
Generally best to do this with rented or network's kit :)

BrianStanding wrote on 10/1/2010, 6:54 AM
Don't throw your monopod away just yet. Try this:
1. Find an old butt pack. Turn it around so the bag hangs in the front, just below your belt.
2. Rig a strap to the top of your monopod, so you can hang it around your neck.
3. Collapse the monopod down and stick the bottom end in the butt pack, so the weight is supported by the pack.
4. Set the tilt head so the camera is level, and the monopod forms a triangle with your arm, the butt pack and your body.

Voila! You now have a very effective Steady-Stick-style mobile stabilizer at a fraction of the cost of a commercial model. You can walk without tripping, and you'll find that if you pull down slightly on your right arm, you can get very stable results.

Just ignore any "phallic" jokes you might get.
Sebaz wrote on 10/1/2010, 7:15 AM
Just ignore any "phallic" jokes you might get.

Ha ha ha ha ha ha !!!!

Joke aside, I will try your suggestion.
BrianStanding wrote on 10/1/2010, 7:37 AM
If you're willing to spend a little more money, this:
is a worthwhile addition.
Dan Sherman wrote on 10/4/2010, 1:39 PM
A monopod is useful as a sort of low angle steadycam.
Shoot with the business end of the monopod and camera upside down.
Flip it right side up in post.
Have also used the monopod fully extended to shoot down,--a kind of poor man's jib arm.
An elastic band is part of that technique, a large and very strong one.
Also, at my age, the monopod makes a heck of a walking stick a the end of a long shoot!
MTuggy wrote on 10/5/2010, 9:53 PM
I used my monopod once then stuck in on the shelf as a glorified hiking stick. Sad.

BUT, the Joby Gorilla Pods are great for hand held camcorders - especially if you invest in the swivel head. I used it like crazy on safari last summer and captured some great video quickly just plopping the tripod on the roof of the safari vehicle. Much better footage and very quick to maneuver such a small but sturdy tripod around. Also used the tripod as a pseudo steadicam with some effect as well. The most versatile thing I have found in outdoor (backcountry settings).