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Old March 5th, 2009, 10:25 PM   #31
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By The Way...

If my memory served me, the Pilot is under $4,000.00.

I plan to offer the rig and the Steadycam as a complete package.
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Old March 5th, 2009, 11:38 PM   #32
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U-Boat Commander?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Oplinger View Post
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.
I have a Glidecam; it does a good job when walking but I never use it if I'm not - I just use a tripod.

But - I'm interested in the U-Boat Commander. U-Boat Commander: Ship-Shape and Ready for Duty! - iDC Photography
Has anyone tried this? I've built a cheapo hardware store version to test the concept and it works better than I expected. The idea is to use two hands, pushing together a bit, so the two hands stabilize each other; plus the unit is more stable in pitch. This is probably an old idea in the video world, but it seems to work with the 5DII.
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Old March 6th, 2009, 08:01 PM   #33
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Just thought I'd mention that the Canon 5D Mark II with 24-105 "Standard Kit" lens "Recipe" has been added to the Merlin cookbook Welcome to Tiffen - Steadicam Merlin Cookbook Settings
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Old March 16th, 2009, 07:02 PM   #34
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My hats off to you guys if you can fly the 5D AND operate a follow focus at the same time. That's what an AC (assistant camera operator) is for. Grin!
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Old March 16th, 2009, 07:23 PM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Miller View Post
My hats off to you guys if you can fly the 5D AND operate a follow focus at the same time. That's what an AC (assistant camera operator) is for. Grin!
I don't know about everyone else here but I certainly never intended to try to operate the thing without a crew.
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Old March 18th, 2009, 09:02 PM   #36
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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.
I have one of these on the way. Are you still enjoying it? Also, I heard that it takes a lot of practice?
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Old July 3rd, 2009, 11:00 AM   #37
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Comparing Magic Arm 6000 to ProAim 7000

Hi,

Can anyone compare the Magic Arm 6000 to ProAim 7000?
Here is a link to the 6000 system
The CineCity :: Flycam Stabilization systems :: Flycam Stablization Steadicam system :: Magic Arm & vest with Flycam 6000 stabilizer steadycam Steadicam for DV HDV upto 22LBS camera Weight

Here is the link to the 7000 system
The CineCity :: Flycam Stabilization systems :: Flycam Stablization Steadicam system :: PROAIM7000 REVERSE ARM + DV VEST + FLYCAM 6000 Stabilizer Steadicam for camera weighing from 1 to 15 kg

Both systems are using the FlyCam 6000
3 major differences I can point out so far are
1. The type of vest that they're using
2. The amount of weight that they claim to be carrying
3. While 7000 has some adjustment knobs 6000 doesn't

I'm particularly curious about what these knobs do, and how the absence of them would affect operation. It seems like they have something to do with shooting low, could somebody explain this?

Also I'd like to get some feedback on whether one vest type is better than the other.

Thank you very much.
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Old September 2nd, 2010, 11:01 AM   #38
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Glidecam and Merlin used in the field

I own a Merlin and just used a Glidecam 2000 on a commercial job pretty extensively as it turned out and was surprisingly pleased with the results. Killer on the wrist but for short moves it's actually pretty good. Full writeup on the blog at:

Robin Schmidt, Director, Editor and DSLR mentalist – GLIDECAM 2000 vs STEADICAM MERLIN – WHICH ONE TO BUY?

Hope that helps

Robin
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Old September 3rd, 2010, 05:35 AM   #39
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Great, great info, thanks for posting Robin. It's interesting to have it confirmed in your write-up that the Glidecam 2000 is a killer on the hand due to it's design of the pivot point (i.e. not directly above the wrist as with the Merlin).

That's specifically why I opted for the Merlin (for 7D flying) - my scientific/engineering/analytical background coming into play I think! I wanted (and do) hand-held (no vest) for about an hour with no problems - long enough to get a few of those "wow" shots for the edit - corporate stuff in my case - when everything goes right that is! Also, a big factor was that it folded down small and was light (for backpack stowing easily WITH the Canon gear when I go off walking).

I agree also that the Merlin is a bit "twitchy"/difficult to master. I'm getting much better - after lots and lots of practice! My clients LOVE some of the results too but forget about using it in anything more than a very light breeze!
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Old September 4th, 2010, 09:40 AM   #40
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Steadicam Pilot

I bought the Pilot about six weeks ago. I discovered there was no way a Canon 5D with a 16-35mm lens and with a Manfrotto Quick Release is going to mount on the plate. The mounting plate holes on the Pilot don't line up with the Manfrotto Quick Release. Also, it is hard to get the center of gravity on this combination to fit half an inch back from the Pilot's Gimbal. The center of gravity of this camera/lens combination appears to be at the base of the lens. I had the Pilot Plate drilled and tapped, then mounted a half inch piece of wood to the plate with the Quick Release on top. The wood is there so you can tighten down the Quick Release and have full operatability of the tightening lever. Then I mounted the camera. I have two weights on top and two finishing weights. I have the same thing on the bottom. The gimbal is about 4" below the plate. I understand that you don't want to go more than 6" below the plate.

I have had quite a bit of trouble getting use to the vest and when I connect the camera to the arm, it flies all over the place! Guess I am still learning. But the thing that really bothers me is the pain in my back. I actually Google;d pain, back backache, steadicam pilot, but nothing came up!
Anyway, just to let you know that for some people the Pilot may not be the answer....

Tim
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Old September 4th, 2010, 12:17 PM   #41
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Tim:

Disturbing to hear that you are experiencing back pain with such a light setup. That the arm is "flying all over the place" makes me think perhaps that you should focus on dialing in the two-axis adjustment at the socket block so that you can stand normally and have the rig float next to you without stress. If it's misadjusted, this could cause back pain since you have to stand and walk at an angle.

The rig should fly at your side, not in front of you--this could also be stressing your back.

Properly adjusted, a Steadicam should not hurt your back. It's a workout to a degree, so those who have spinal issues should proceed with caution. Again, the amount of mass involved with a Pilot and DSLR is small enough that it shouldn't result in discomfort.

The absolutely best way to go is to invest in the two day Flyer/Pilot workshop that Tiffen sponsors (they had one in Boston not long ago). The instructor can take a look at your flying posture and immediately correct issues. Barring that, if you can get someone to shoot you in the rig and post it, I would be able to do the same. The sooner you take a workshop, the less the possibility of locking into bad habits with the rig.
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Old September 11th, 2010, 10:33 PM   #42
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I would recommend a slider if you want to add movement to your shots. Without a remote follow focus (expensive) it's tricky to use a DSLR on a Steadicam unless you just stay very wide.

http://www.glidetrack.com/
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Old September 11th, 2010, 11:20 PM   #43
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Completely different utility--while it's challenging to replicate the precision of a good slider with a body-mounted stabilizer, it's impossible to replicate any of the OTHER kinds of shots the stabilizer is capable of with the slider! Both have their place.

I personally find the design of the Glidetrack lacking; sliders need precision bearings to truly achieve the best results. The friction inherent in the Glidetrack requires a lot more work from the operator to get a smooth move. I know a lot of people feel it gets the job done, but the price difference between that and a "proper" slider is relatively minimal.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 12:00 AM   #44
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I have just received the Blackbird, and have already set it up with T2i, and I can see how it is improving already over my DIY attempts. Next step is the 5D.
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Old September 12th, 2010, 10:15 AM   #45
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
I personally find the design of the Glidetrack lacking; sliders need precision bearings to truly achieve the best results. The friction inherent in the Glidetrack requires a lot more work from the operator to get a smooth move. I know a lot of people feel it gets the job done, but the price difference between that and a "proper" slider is relatively minimal.
THREAD HIJACK: I'm about to buy a Glidetrack, care to recommend an alternative?
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