Love Communications bought an OSMO 2 recently for a BBC World documentary examining the Hawaiian Homelessness crisis. The 10 minutes I’d spent, playing with a colleague’s in the corridors of SBS had me hooked.
When the steady cam rig, with its upper body harness and robot arm was introduced in 1975 it revolutionised the tracking shot. That heavy framework is now miniaturised to a gimbal head the size of a lemon. Wifi your smartphone for viewfinder/remote control which attaches to your battery/hand grip and now any shot can be a tracking shot.
Creating a little movement helps viewer engagement. The most useful tool to enable a single person crew to add a smooth move has been the slider. A small track that can be set up across the top of your tripod to give a smooth glide of several feet. The Osmo can put that smooth glide into any shot, anytime and deliver slo mo and time lapse without effort.
But the greatest benefit for me in Hawaii was the ability to do a walk-through. With the camera at arms length, it was effortless to walk among the residents of the homeless camps of Wai’anae Harbour and engage in conversations and interactions, confident that everything in frame would be sharp and smooth. We easily captured the size, life and light of the encampment with continuous tracking shots.
Using a 4k camera and an sd card, it is essentially a similar camera to many smartphones, sharp and bright in most conditions. You only have one lens, but it is very versatile. A bit tricky to set up and establish the link but then quite instinctive to operate. A spare battery and SD card would be very useful.