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Image stabilizer proves invaluable for demanding HD shoots

Paul Cronin specializes in high-speed, extreme-condition footage for his company, WhiteCap Video.

The shoots for his high-end boat reviews require a keen sense of the elements along with gear that can face the tough conditions of humidity and temperature while capturing steady shots. Cronin relies on the Fujinon ZA17x7.6BE HD ENG lens on his Sony XDCAM HD PMW-500 camcorder and the Fujinon TS-P58A image stabilizer.

When he needs to go wide, Cronin uses the wide-angle adapter. This gives the videographer three lens choices: ZA17x with wide adapter, ZA17x alone, and long and stable shooting with the ZA17x and TS-P58A.

“This covers all of my bases for my current clientele,” Cronin said.

With the stabilizer, the focal length is increased by about 25 percent.

“I push and pull all the time with boats going by at 60mph, and back focus is critical,” he said. “The longer range I get from the TS-P58A image stabilizer helps tremendously.”

A recent shoot in Knoxville, TN, for Bayliner Boats required Cronin to be in a chase boat, keeping pace with the boat being reviewed while traveling at 55mph. He stands up holding the camera and can be anywhere from 30ft to 500ft from the subject.

“That’s where my stabilizer is golden,” he said. “It cuts our time in half because I get the material I need the first time. That saves us a lot of money.”

For Cronin, the TS-P58A is easy to operate.

“Just hit the button, and horizontal and vertical can be switched at the same time,” he said. “Frame the shot, and you get into a floating gyro feel. That’s what I’m used to with the equipment I use when I shoot from a helicopter, and I get a rock-solid shot.”

Requiring just a couple of minutes to up on and take off, the Fujinon TS-P58A image stabilizer is a sandwich-style optical stabilizer for use with most Fujinon 2/3in ENG style lenses. It mounts between the lens and camera and increases magnification by 25 percent.