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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:47 AM   #16
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To be honest, after testing different kind of solutions, I find the stedicam and the glidecam without vest and arm far too heavy. You will be able to film only very shortly because after that you start to get pain and your arm start to tremble.
So, think twice before you buy only a stabilizator because IT IS HEAVY! Only if you are Superman you won't have problems...
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 08:57 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edouard Saba View Post
To be honest, after testing different kind of solutions, I find the stedicam and the glidecam without vest and arm far too heavy. You will be able to film only very shortly because after that you start to get pain and your arm start to tremble.
So, think twice before you buy only a stabilizator because IT IS HEAVY! Only if you are Superman you won't have problems...
I gave away my Glidescam years ago just because of that, it's useless for anyting more for a casual test shot for Youtube or Vimeo. This sort of stabilizing product (without an arm and a vest) by far is the most useless production tool I've owned.
Try to hold the camera with let's say 2.8 70-200mm lens (just for weight reference) in front of you with one hand and count the seconds before your hand starts to shake - now you know how usable is a glidescam in the real world.

In the other hand a tool like this shouldn't be used for every shot so maybe it is usable for some - at least it works better for walking/tracking than a shoulder mounted option.

T
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 11:34 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by Edouard Saba View Post
To be honest, after testing different kind of solutions, I find the stedicam and the glidecam without vest and arm far too heavy. You will be able to film only very shortly because after that you start to get pain and your arm start to tremble.
So, think twice before you buy only a stabilizator because IT IS HEAVY! Only if you are Superman you won't have problems...
With the 17-40mm and the 35mm 1.4L I had no problem with the weight at all. I must admit I mostly shot casual clips with it, not 20 minutes continuously. I'm by no means superman btw.
Next days I'll try the 85mm 1.2L II to see if that's a problem but wide lenses are pretty much the standard on most steadicam shots I've seen. Longer focal lengths require more strength but also much more skill.

Steadicam's are a specialty tool by nature, so normally you don't shoot a lot with it. But there are a lot of situations where the stabilizer is very useful and give a real different look. If you need to shoot for hours at a row an arm and vest are mandatory but I assume you're not having the considerations we're having at this post then.

To boil it down: Weight isn't that much of a problem imo, unless you want to shoot with the big lenses and/or at a long time in a row. That said: The Merlin is definitely lighter compared to most other solutions I've seen....
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 11:56 AM   #19
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Steadicam posts the weight limit of the Merlin as 7.5 lbs (with the new all-metal gimbal). The Merlin Arm can adjust to a payload of 15lbs. I don't know whether that includes the weight of the arm or not. But the arm itself weighs 5.1 lbs. It seems that the arm could handle a bit more than 7.5lbs on the Merlin, but would there not be enough counterweights to balance that? Or would the gimbal just not work properly with more weight than 7.5lbs?

I'm worried that 7.5lbs might be cutting it too close for me. I'll be shooting a Canon 5dmk2, ideally with the vertical grip and fast L lenses. The body weighs 3lbs with the grip, and lenses would be in the 1-1.5 lb range. I plan on using a follow focus mounted to minimal carbon fiber rails. Manufacturer says this should be under 3 lbs. So, I am up to 7.5lbs. I'd rather be somewhere in the middle of a range, rather than at the top. I plan on shooting pretty wide open, so i think the FF is a must. I could lose the extra battery and grip and remove 1 lb from the setup.

It sounds like the Merlin is a really nice piece of equipment and I would upgrade to a large model, but the jump is from $2500, for the Merlin and Arm, to $10,000-$15,000 it seems. The other option is to get the Indian Glidecam knockoff that Edouard Saba bought, The Flycam 6000 with its articulated arm. I realize the build quality may not be as high, but this isn't going to be handled by anyone but me or my asst and it can hold nearly 30lbs. I could have monitor options, Hocus Focus, etc.

Does anyone know another solution?

Thanks,

greg
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 01:00 PM   #20
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I spent 1500 including shipping for the Proaim 7000 that includes a wonderful vest, a robust double arm, the flycam 6000 that is better than the glidecam if you are enough lucky to get a smooth gimbal, a universal camera base plate a tripod and so on... I assure that the built quality is really ok (at least mine, I didn't have any problem). The quality of the flycam is better than the glidecam, that IMO looks pretty cheap. The Flycam 6000 has a better design and it took me few minutes to balance the Canon.
But without the arm and the vest I would say: forget it! Glidecam or Flycam are too heavy and you won't use it more than twice...

If you want an equivalent system (arm, vest and stabilizator with the same possibilities) but made in USA you will spend 150% more than the indian rig.

Last edited by Edouard Saba; March 4th, 2009 at 02:39 AM.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 04:22 AM   #21
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PS: I just found out that there is a new mini arm, lighter than the Proaim 7000.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 06:55 AM   #22
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I've compared all of these rigs and the steadicam brand is far superior in both build and design.If you can swing it....buy a steadicam.Sure all of these other companies can fly your camera but will they last? I'm a true believer in "you get what you pay for".

Ryan
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Old March 4th, 2009, 07:47 AM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Greg Scheidemann View Post
Steadicam posts the weight limit of the Merlin as 7.5 lbs (with the new all-metal gimbal). The Merlin Arm can adjust to a payload of 15lbs. I don't know whether that includes the weight of the arm or not. But the arm itself weighs 5.1 lbs. It seems that the arm could handle a bit more than 7.5lbs on the Merlin, but would there not be enough counterweights to balance that? Or would the gimbal just not work properly with more weight than 7.5lbs?

I'm worried that 7.5lbs might be cutting it too close for me. I'll be shooting a Canon 5dmk2, ideally with the vertical grip and fast L lenses. The body weighs 3lbs with the grip, and lenses would be in the 1-1.5 lb range. I plan on using a follow focus mounted to minimal carbon fiber rails. Manufacturer says this should be under 3 lbs. So, I am up to 7.5lbs. I'd rather be somewhere in the middle of a range, rather than at the top. I plan on shooting pretty wide open, so i think the FF is a must. I could lose the extra battery and grip and remove 1 lb from the setup.

It sounds like the Merlin is a really nice piece of equipment and I would upgrade to a large model, but the jump is from $2500, for the Merlin and Arm, to $10,000-$15,000 it seems. The other option is to get the Indian Glidecam knockoff that Edouard Saba bought, The Flycam 6000 with its articulated arm. I realize the build quality may not be as high, but this isn't going to be handled by anyone but me or my asst and it can hold nearly 30lbs. I could have monitor options, Hocus Focus, etc.

Does anyone know another solution?

Thanks,

greg
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Old March 4th, 2009, 09:40 AM   #24
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Originally Posted by Ryan Morey View Post
I've compared all of these rigs and the steadicam brand is far superior in both build and design.If you can swing it....buy a steadicam.Sure all of these other companies can fly your camera but will they last? I'm a true believer in "you get what you pay for".

Ryan
Do you mean you had the chance to see with your eyes the Proaim 7000? And how can you say it won't last? Only because it is cheaper?
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Old March 4th, 2009, 11:51 AM   #25
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Originally Posted by Barlow Elton View Post
Believe it or not, I get great results from the super simple SteadyTracker. It kind of doubles as pseudo monopod too.
do you have the ultralite version?
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Old March 4th, 2009, 12:54 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Mark Hahn View Post
Are LensRentals planning on covering video? Looking through their site I mostly saw still stuff. For example I couldn't find a fluid head (or even a glidecam).
Yep, Lens Rentals is starting to stock video stuff. They've got full Z7 and EX1 kits, and Letus Elite Setups, as well as other video and audio gear.

LensRentals.com - Rent Video Lenses and Cameras
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Old March 4th, 2009, 12:56 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Toenis Liivamaegi View Post
I gave away my Glidescam years ago just because of that, it's useless for anyting more for a casual test shot for Youtube or Vimeo. This sort of stabilizing product (without an arm and a vest) by far is the most useless production tool I've owned.
Try to hold the camera with let's say 2.8 70-200mm lens (just for weight reference) in front of you with one hand and count the seconds before your hand starts to shake - now you know how usable is a glidescam in the real world.

In the other hand a tool like this shouldn't be used for every shot so maybe it is usable for some - at least it works better for walking/tracking than a shoulder mounted option.

T
The Glidecam with the 5D is a GREAT combo, but with the right lens. A 5D + 16-35 or even a 24-70 is still far lighter than a video rig. Its flyable with a longer lens like the 70-200, but you'll need the vest. The real challenge becomes holding a frame at that focal range though, which is difficult regardless of what you are flying. Even on the long end of the 24-70, its tough to hold a frame.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 12:58 PM   #28
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I'm not familiar with all the cheaper Steady/Smoother Tracker units, but the general rule is no gimbal= no good. The steadicam gear is obviously higher quality, but for the price/portability/throw around factor, it's hard to beat the Glidecam series.
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Old March 4th, 2009, 01:46 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Jordan Oplinger View Post
The Glidecam with the 5D is a GREAT combo, but with the right lens. A 5D + 16-35 or even a 24-70 is still far lighter than a video rig. Its flyable with a longer lens like the 70-200, but you'll need the vest. The real challenge becomes holding a frame at that focal range though, which is difficult regardless of what you are flying. Even on the long end of the 24-70, its tough to hold a frame.
Yes, this is the biggest problem.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 10:17 PM   #30
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Steadycam

I have constructed a light weight rod mount for the 5D.

Chroziel Matte Box, Red Rock Follow Focus, support mount for the camera body and an Anton Bauer Dionic/Hytron gold mount all supported on carbon fibre 15mm rods.

The base which supports the camera body will mount to the Steadycam Pilot mouning plate as well as standard tripod mountig plates.

The only thing I had to change was the monitor that comes with the Pilot. In it's place I chose a nine inch 1080p HiDef monitor. (My personal preference; the 7 inch monitor which comes standard works, it's just not as pretty!

If anyone would like more information on my rig, please feel free to email me at lexicon.demon@gmail.com or by cell phone at (323) 649-6079

I hope others find this helpful.

Regards
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