by Art Polin
PALM HARBOR, FLA. 21st Century Productions has been producing exciting biographies, high-end events and corporate videos for more than 16 years and has established a reputation for excellent quality and exemplary customer service.
We have our own studio and our productions usually are divided between location and studio. I recently purchased a Sony EX-1 HD camera, and while it shoots magnificent imagery, its need for substantial battery power made it imperative to identify a system that could accommodate such bulk and still provide camera balance.
Art Polin In choosing the ideal product, I had to consider many features. The unit had to be lightweight, easy to pack and easy to maneuver in the field. It also had to make the camera rock solid and keep it balanced on my body. Additionally, it needed to provide the power necessary for not only the camera, but also for lighting and a wireless receiver. Because of the front-heavy nature of non-shoulder-mountable cameras, it was important to have a system with a waist support. After looking at a number of units at trade shows, I decided on the Frezzi Stable-Cam System and this turned out to be an excellent decision. The Frezzi unit features fully adjust-able camera support with a convenient DV power and lighting platform. It allows me to make a variety of adjustments with ease, enabling the operator to go from standard shooting to shooting overhead shots to even getting reasonably steady "away from body" shots by holding the Hip-Grip in one hand and the camera in the other.
The Stable-Cam comes wired for a choice of three adapters to fit your battery on the back of the unit. I can use the same power source for both my camera and my Frezzi Mini Fill light, and their dimmer technology allows you to change the light intensity without altering the color temperature. Frezzi also makes a custom power cord to connect the AC power jack of the camera to the battery brick.
Buying one of these units is almost like getting married. You don't know how things are going to work out until you spend some time together. I found that it works like a dream, removing the fatigue from my shooting and allowing me to shoot handheld and get results usually reserved for a tripod. In fact, one client recently commented that he did not remember me using a tripod. (I was actually using the Stable-Cam.)
A RESPONSIVE COMPANY
After working with the unit for a while, I made several requests and recommendations to the Frezzi people. Sales Engineer Kevin Crawford and Sales Manager Ed Kuhn were remarkably responsive to my requests, which is rare for a manufacturing company.
After many years of shooting, it was becoming difficult to do long gigs with all the equipment required. The Frezzi Stable-Cam has changed this. I recently did a four hour shoot and felt great afterward—not exhausted as I might have been. The unit makes shooting in the field comfortable and versatile and, realistically, it has turned my already excellent Sony EX-1 into an outstanding camera and has made the shooting experience a real pleasure.
Art Polin is president of 21st Century Productions in Palm Harbor, Fla. He may be contacted at email@example.com.
For additional information, contact Frezzi at 800-345-1040 or visit firstname.lastname@example.org.