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Old September 16th, 2005, 05:42 PM   #1
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Tip for balancing a lighter camera?

Maybe Charles and others can help. I have a Hollywood Lite GTX stabilizer (Same as the Varizoom Flocam GT) that works really well. I have always used it with an XL1 or XL2 but I have decided to fly it with a DVX in 2 camera situations because it is lighter and is wider. The problem I am having is that at a 2 second drop time, it seems unstable and sways a lot more than the XL cams. Any tips? Should I lower the drop time? Change body position? I would like to not have to add weight... thanks!



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Old September 16th, 2005, 06:58 PM   #2
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I can never remember the particulars with each DV rig, but yes, the idea is to lower the gimbal relative to the top and bottom weight i.e. extend the drop time back to 2 seconds, and trim out the arm as needed to accomodate the lighter load.

Conversely, if you were to do a lot with that camera and you didn't like the compromise in operating stability, you could fashion a weight plate that would bring it up to the mass of an XL2. A simple steel plate that goes between the camera and mounting plate with the mounting hole drilled out might do it.
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Old September 17th, 2005, 04:19 AM   #3
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The weight plate sugestion is a good one.
It may be that beacuse the DVX is MUCH lighter than the XL1/2 that you are noticing the difference in lack of inertia from a lighter camera!
As always, adding mass (or spreading it out) will increase inertia.

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Old September 18th, 2005, 07:18 PM   #4
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I also need to practice more with the lighter camera. I guess in the long run it will be smarter to have the plate made. I think most people fail to realize that the lighter the camera, the HARDER it is to fly steadily. Better on the back... worse for the shots... i ran across some back excercises for steadicam operators but I cant find them now... Charles, you know of such a thing?


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Old September 18th, 2005, 08:02 PM   #5
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The back extension machine at the gym is good, this is the one that you grab the handles and crunch forward from a seating position against resistance. I used to do the Roman chair which is a non-mechanical device, using your body as resistance (and you can grab a weight and hold it behind your neck for increased resistance).

In a lot of ways though, just doing Steadicam will build up "those" muscles and you'll get better at operating in the meantime.

I have to be nice and not make any comments about an XL2 being a "heavy" load vs a DVX...(aka: I"LL show you a heavy load!) But most importantly--make sure your rig is flying at the proper attitude from your body, i.e. it's not trying to fly away from you and you have to hold it in place, because that will multiply the fatigue factor considerably. I know the Hollywood Lite doesn't have a provision to adjust the arm angle but if it is a problem, you might want to have something machined while you are having the weight plate made (I'm thinking a pin that could drop into the vest socket in place of the arm with an attached offset holder that duplicates the socket, but at the correct angle for your body).
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Old September 18th, 2005, 11:32 PM   #6
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That CAN be a problem, I might look into it... And I guess I should shut up about my 9 pound camera, I know the 35mm cams can crazy heavy. If anyone hasnt done it they should check out CP's work in Mr. 3000, great stuff...


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