Gear Review: Hague Mini Motion Cam Stabilizer

This is the budget friendly Steady Cam made by Hague Camera Supports out of the United Kingdom. Holding my Panasonic GF1 to record video just ended up being to shaky especially when I would try to do a tracking shot. I didn’t have access to a tri-pod when I filmed most of my videos and had to settle for the result of hand held shots. Well once I got home from traveling I looked into budget friendly camera stabilizers and the Hague MMC continued to pop up. After watching some test videos of the Hague online and reading a bit more about it I finally decided to make the purchase. I am one of those people that needs to carefully think out any purchase and look over countless reviews until I finally decided to buy it. There were a few other products that were similar to the Hague, but with my budget and the GF1 I decided the Hague was the best choice.

I ordered it online through the UK site and I believe the final price with shipping and currency exchange came to $150 (Canadian). The package arrived quickly and everything I needed to have smoother tracking shots was right there in the box. It is a nice small sleak black design that comes with a set of weights. I had a little trouble setting up the correct balance at first but I blame myself for not doing well at Physics in school. I ended up putting a bunch of weights on the bottom and that totally put the balance out of whack with my small GF1. I finally figured out that I only needed 2 large sized weights on the bottom and to center my camera so it wasn’t too far forward or back. If you have the camera too far forward you will notice it will start to tilt downwards and if it is too far back it will start to look upwards I also had to position the weights a bit off-center because my camera is heavier on one side due to the battery.

First tests with the Hague MMC have looked very good for a budget friendly camera stabilizer. The test shots aren’t perfect but that is only because I am still learning how to use it correctly. You need to have one hand on the grip and the other on a little knob to control the direction. I have very large hands and it can be a bit tricky for me to control the direction without bumping the rest of the stabilizer and knocking it out of control but I have managed to do alright. Don’t expect to go sprinting with it in one hand or pan quickly and still have a steady shot. It is meant for nice easy movements and that is what I was looking to get out of this affordable camera stabilizer.

Check out the cheesy video I made showcasing the Hague MMC, how to set it up, and some test shots along with awesome sales pitch music. Enjoy.

The Go Pro HD Hero 2

I can’t wait to get my hands on a Go Pro HD Hero 2, or at least attach one somewhere on my body. I am normally not one to impulse buy a product based on some flashy advertising, but after watching the Go Pro HD Hero 2 video on Youtube I have been sold. The video itself is approaching 3 million views (15 of which I think were me), so clearly I couldn’t be the only person dying to get my hands on one as well after watching this video. You can attach this camera almost anywhere you want, but it can also shoot at 120 fps allowing users to get some excellent Slow Motion shots (With the help of some editing software). Another feature making this camera all the more cooler is that it can be used to take still pictures as well and you can set it to capture some really sweet time lapses (Watch the beginning of the video you will see). The camera doesn’t just have to be a point of view strapped to the person, it can just as easily be used as a camera getting close ups while being held by someone else. I think the best example is at the 1:47 mark when the camera guy goes off the jump with the skiier and he is next to him in mid air filming his 720 or 900 or however many roatations he did. Try filming something like that with a larger camera, I am sure it would be much trickier. Also my props goes out to the video editor(s) for this job because the way they mixed the video to go with the music was what really got me into this video. The guys clapping, the shark chomping on the camera, the shot of the motorbikes in slow motion and you hear “we can make the world stop”. If I ever get goosebumps when I watch a video it probably means it was put together really well.

*Completely unrelated but I swear the red bull stunt pilot at the 1:10 mark looks exactly like the actor that plays Dan on the TV show One Tree Hill. I promise I don’t watch that show anymore, seriously.

It is amazing how these cameras just keep getting smaller and more powerful. Go Pro seems to be advertising towards the adventurous sports enthusiast but I am sure these things will be used for all types of POV shots. In one of my recent video production classes we were talking about how these types of cameras are more than likely going to be attached to some animal and we will see “A day in the Life” of a Polar Bear or a Giraffe. The Go Pro HD Hero is definitely not limited to just sports, check out this video of a couple guys spending a weekend in Stockholm from their point of view. Although you can see who they’re, the camera shots create the look that it could be you looking at this tasty meal or on this boat tour or shopping in this store. If someone is going on vacation but doesn’t want to worry about carrying around their video camera they can just strap one of these to their head press record and capture the moments of their trip and a whole bunch of people pointing and laughing at them.

*This video is of Stockholm but there is also one on Gothenburg, another city in Sweden. Perhaps someone watched their Stockholm video and thought their was potential in drawing tourism by creating a video like this.

I am looking forward to seeing more new and creative ways that people are going to use this type of camera. All I know is that the snow is slowly starting to pile up on the mountains around Vancouver and I want to get out and do some snowboarding with one of these cameras strapped on. Now if only Go Pro could come up with a new feature to help my snowboarding look less amateur and more Pro.