In the last couple of years the number of waterproof video gadgets and more importantly they're price has resulted in a dinghy sailing videos boom. Most of them are shit. Mine included. I'm getting better. Here's what I've learned. With examples (mine and others).
Watch the Rescue boat and the heads bob in and out of shot. This was shot with a digital camera held at arms length standing on a 4.7m rib in the open sea. pretty steady (see if you can spot where I was zoomed)
Third Person shots
There is absolutely no point in using digital zoom, and even physical zoom is pretty much useless. The problem is unsteady cam. Sitting on the beach your too far away even with a (decent) zoom. If your on the water the zoom just exaggerates the camera shake.
Almost all the problem will be camera shake. Here's how I minimize it:
- Don't use the viewfinder, even if you've not got a screen (just practice pointing it), as soon as its attached to your eye its impossible for you to balance and your head can't damp the motion like your arm can.
- Stand up (where safe) if you can stand up do. If you've balance and the camera preferably in one hand so you can hold on with the other you'll be much steady as the boat rocks around.
- Position your camera boat. I've seen many video's of fast dinghy's blasting along with the rescue boat in pursuit. Normally you can't stand up as the boat jumps and slams around all you get in the video is sea, sky, blur, sea, sky. Park the boat near the path of an oncoming boat stand up and pan them smoothly as they blast past.
- Strap to your palm camcorders, I can't hold these steady, I hold them in my hands at arms length, like an ordinary camera. Cutting off the messy on off bits later. Probably a good idea to attach a lanyard if you like your camera.
Try and Shoot from windward of the passing boats. Bully the OOD into setting a beam reach or just broad enough to set an asymmetric and sit just to windward of the rum line or near a mark (preferably a non gybe tack one for nice fask mark roundings).
Spit gob Flem etc. Divers always spit on their masks,
then smear it around. Helps keep camera lenses clear too.--
Some good on board shots and tiller bar mounted Hero Cam By Toby
On board camera's Pt1 Hand Held.
the on board shot is usually pretty poor. Even the wide angle Hero/action cam style cameras can't get much in shot from you hands I've tried a few shots like this, "Bugger Bognor" and "Tom's trapeze tips". In the case of Bugger Bognor most of what was got was atmosphere shots, bow clipping through the water grinning crew members wake. These work well but really need some external shots as well to put them in perspective. The main reason they worked at all was the combination of size speed and 3 up nature of the Hobie 18 trying to video hand held on a mono hull didn't work so well.
The really wide angle lenses help. See Toby's video right:
On board cameras Pt2 Mounted.
"the "Lipstick" cam style herocam/actioncam's strap to bits of boat very easily. The early Brighton SC attempts stuck them on the easiest places. The tiller bar of a a Hobie 16, alright but like the hand held on board hand held shot it doesn't give any perspective of the outside world. Does look cool during a capsize mind.
Later Modification have included strapping to the Bridle wires of a Hobie 16, which produced some quality footage:
Bridle wire mounting on a Hobie cat, the cameras are identical
one spat on one not!
On a mono some kind of bow fitting would be needed, dunno how this guy did it but its awesome. I'm intending to try a diagonal tiller ext from shroud to forestay and extended soon.
This was writern a while ago, where neither MY PC nor camera could do full HD, with the added detail of HD or full HD you can afford to loose some detail - and still have a good vid.This makes the anti shake post production method pretty effective. What (the one I have at any rate) does is Zoom in then tracks the boat and MOVES the frames around so the boat stays still. Since the frames are zoomed the joggling edges happen OFF screen. The zoom is the vital bit to understand in anti shake, if you leave the boat not too zoomed in when you shoot it works well as the post production zoom brings it in and you can throw the edges away to compensate for shake. I've used this with stunning results in After Effects. the Vid below was shot with a mobile phone, while I was drunk and doing 10-15kns on a cat!