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I suppose there is no wrong way to hold a camera, but there are definitely better ways. Proper camera handling will allow you to shoot more stable footage, it will keep you from getting tired, and sore, and it will help ensure that you don't drop your expensive camera here. The 5D is very comfortable to hold. It's got this wonderful molded hand grip. There's a nice ridge right here under the shutter button that you can hook your middle finger under, and with that wedged in there, I've got a really good grip on the camera. There is this nice non-skid material around it. As heavy as this camera is, particularly with a big lens on it, if I'm holding it like that, I really am never that worried about dropping it.
I've got another grip back here, another molding back here, that my thumb fits along. This is a really nicely designed hand grip here. So good camera holding starts with good posture. I'm standing up straight, my feet are about shoulder width apart, and I am going to start here with my left hand. With my elbow at my side, I just drop the camera here into my hand. So I've got two fingers around the lens, I've bunched up my other fingers here, so the camera is just resting on them. The reason I'm specifying such a very particular way of holding is I'm going for stability.
With my elbow up against my side, and the camera just resting here, I'm a really stable platform for holding the camera. Now my right hand can be over here holding the camera, and manipulating all of its controls. One thing I really like about the Mark III's layout is I can do most of what I need to do in so far as changing settings just with my right hand. So with my hand here where it's supposed to be, I am not only stabilizing the camera, I am getting access to all of the stuff that I need. So notice that not only is this elbow up against my body; this elbow over here is also up against my body.
I'm holding everything really tightly together. It makes the camera feel very sturdy, and I feel like I am getting little hug; it's a really nice warm feeling while I am shooting. So the next bit is, remember that your hands actually can go all the way to your face. Not a lot of people realize this. They bring the camera up to here, and then they jut their neck forward to look through the camera. This does a couple things; it makes you much less stable, and it also really makes your neck hurt. If you are already carrying a heavy bag on your shoulder all day along, you don't want to be walking around like a Neanderthal also.
So remember, I have got my elbows at my side, and I can move my camera all the way to here. Now I'm really, really stable, and I can be shooting away, with a camera that I am not going to going drop, that's going to be stable enough that I can shoot at pretty slow shutter speeds, especially since this lens is stabilized. So let's say I want to switch to a different orientation; I now want to shoot a vertical shot. Well, the temptation is to go like this, and you look real cool when you are doing this; you really look like you are, like, that war photographer kind of look. The problem is, my right elbow, I am not sure if you have noticed what happened to it; it's way up here.
I have lost all that great stability I had. So instead, keep your elbows at your side, and just rotate the camera this way. Now I've still got all of that great stability I had before, I still get the feeling of being hugged all the time, and I have got a really stable platform. Something has to happen to my right hand when I do that though. I'm actually, if you notice, rotating my hand up here, and picking the camera up, and turning it like this, and now my hand goes over here. I'm not really doing much camera holding with my right hand; it's all happening with my left hand, but still, I am getting a really, really stable camera platform here no matter what orientation I'm in.
And I stay like this even on uneven ground. If you are having to perch against a boulder or something, you still work to keep your neck upright, keep the camera all the way up here, and keep your elbows at the side. So, actually I was wrong; it turns out there is a wrong way to hold the camera. It's any way other than the way that I just showed you. There are going to be times, obviously, when you have to give up on some of that, just to get into the position that you need, you can't keep your elbows at your side, but if you have control over your situation, if you can get yourself into a position, it's a really stable way to shoot. Stability is going to be the biggest thing that -- after autofocus, and knowing how to use your autofocus system -- stability is going to be the thing that really guarantees that you're coming home with sharp images.
So give a little care, and a little thought to how you're holding your camera, because it can go a long way to helping ensure that you get home with tack sharp images.
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