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Old March 1st, 2009, 11:52 PM   #1
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Steadicam/Glidecam for the 5DmkII?

Just wondering what size/make/model of camera stabilizer anyone has tried with the 5DmkII?

I just sold my Glidecam V8, which was overkill. I'm considering getting a Merlin, if it isn't too small. Compact and lightweight for travel is what I'm looking for. And avoiding getting noticed while guerilla shooting as well.
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Old March 1st, 2009, 11:55 PM   #2
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Believe it or not, I get great results from the super simple SteadyTracker. It kind of doubles as pseudo monopod too.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 12:56 AM   #3
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the 5D is awesome on the Glidecam 4000HD. The lightweight (compared to video cameras) design of the 5D makes it a real pleasure to fly. Check out our video's we did for LensRentals.com. We did 2 episodes, 1 on glidecam setup, another on balancing.

LensRentals.com - Glidecam Setup

LensRentals.com - Glidecam Balancing
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 01:43 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Oplinger View Post
the 5D is awesome on the Glidecam 4000HD. The lightweight (compared to video cameras) design of the 5D makes it a real pleasure to fly. Check out our video's we did for LensRentals.com. We did 2 episodes, 1 on glidecam setup, another on balancing.

LensRentals.com - Glidecam Setup

LensRentals.com - Glidecam Balancing
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).
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 03:20 AM   #5
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I've got a Glidecam 2000 that I've recently been experimenting with. I've found balancing it to be quite tricky, but from looking at what people have been writing in the stabilisation forum I guess that's par for the course.

I tried it out yesterday in a stiff breeze and it was prone to being blown all over the place. The footage shown in the lens rental video (in the nightclub) is incredibly good - I'm not even close yet.

One thing I have found: I'm using Nikon primes and I find it slightly easier to balance by mounting the camera the "wrong way", so that it's facing 90 degrees away from the proper way to point it
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 03:57 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jordan Oplinger View Post
the 5D is awesome on the Glidecam 4000HD. The lightweight (compared to video cameras) design of the 5D makes it a real pleasure to fly. Check out our video's we did for LensRentals.com. We did 2 episodes, 1 on glidecam setup, another on balancing.

LensRentals.com - Glidecam Setup

LensRentals.com - Glidecam Balancing
Great tutorial.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 05:25 AM   #7
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Tutorials looks good. I have seen ppl using the 5D with the Merlin and Glidecam 2000 so far.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:21 AM   #8
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I bought the indian rig Proaim 7000 with the Flycam 6000. I am really satisfied with it and the price was really cheap. I suggest it to all the people that are looking for an arm /vest/glidecam solution. Besides, I have tried both the glidecam and the flycam: with the last one it took me no more than 5 minutes to get the right balance.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 09:55 AM   #9
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I have a Merlin and the 5D with 17-40 EF balances fine. Unfortunately nerve issues in my neck and arm prevent me from using it for more than a minute. so i'm looking to sell.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 03:53 PM   #10
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That's why I bought the vest with the arm... Before I was not able to use the glidecam more than one minute.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 06:18 PM   #11
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I've used my 5d on my steadicam pilot and it's amazing.Especially with a 15mm fisheye on it.You have to be care when using the 5d on a stabilizer since there is no way to focus with out touch the camera.The wider the better.I really do prefer my flying my A1 compared to the 5d though (more weight...more stable)

Ryan
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 07:07 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ryan Morey View Post
I've used my 5d on my steadicam pilot and it's amazing.Especially with a 15mm fisheye on it.You have to be care when using the 5d on a stabilizer since there is no way to focus with out touch the camera.The wider the better.I really do prefer my flying my A1 compared to the 5d though (more weight...more stable)

Ryan
That's what the focus follower whip was invented for.
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Old March 2nd, 2009, 08:14 PM   #13
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What about the Flowpod: VariZoom FlowPod Camera Stabilizers & Supports, monitors, Zoom controls, Camera Stabilizers & Supports, Batteries, Monitor Kits Phone:512-219-7722
Seems to be an interesting solution (monopod as well as stabilizer) although I never tried it.

Guillaume
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 01:45 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Guillaume Roques View Post
What about the Flowpod: VariZoom FlowPod Camera Stabilizers & Supports, monitors, Zoom controls, Camera Stabilizers & Supports, Batteries, Monitor Kits Phone:512-219-7722
Seems to be an interesting solution (monopod as well as stabilizer) although I never tried it.

Guillaume
If I only had a dollar for every stabilizer made, I'd be rich. I guess they figure you just bolt some pieces of metal together and you are done.
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Old March 3rd, 2009, 03:45 AM   #15
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I'm a total videonoob and shoot homevideo's of my family and stuff like that. Smoothly following kids at play is just totally impossible handheld and a tripod is way too static for my purpose as well.

Well manufactured stabilizers are terribly expensive (considering my amateur-noob purpose) so I did quite some research before I got mine.
I found roughly 3 solutions:
1) DIY: Tinker a stabilizer yourself: Not for me: I'm not an handyman and most of the DIY stuff is ugly and lack easy calibration. I also doubt the results and the sturdiness. Dropping a 5D mKII with the 85mm 1.2L is a lot of money for an amateur as myself.
2) Go for the 200-500$ range
Thought about this. Problem is that in the Netherlands support etc. is far away. The Glidecam receives good ratings but it's (also) ugly and I read recalibrating is a b**ch
3) Steadicam Merlin (and up)
I've always been drawn to the Merlin. It looks small, compact and high-tech. More importantly it (re)calibrates pretty easy and has good support (online and through Dutch vendors) and the reviews are excellent.

For my personal use the 800 (yes Euro's in the Netherlands) for the Merlin was way over the top but luckily I could lay my hands on an excellent occasion.

I've used the Merlin for one day now. Calibrating and reading the manual took half a day. I shot almost 2-3 hours with it. So far I'm very happy with it....

Calibrating with the 17-40 F4.0 and the 35mm 1.4L wasn't too hard but it really requires some reading and adjusting. They're many variables at work there, don't expect to be ready in 15 minutes if you have no experience with steadicams (like me)

What I like:
+ Re-calibrating is pretty easy and out of the box it takes like 2-5 minutes. That will become even faster with experience I think. I've used the thing 1 day now. With the finetune knobs fine calibration is really easy.
+ The weight of the combination: I shot for three hours without problems. I do work-out at the gym sometimes but I'm by no means an athletic guy :)
+ The results: With not much experience with video and no experience with stabilizers I'm already very happy with the smooth results. I'm even more excited about the future possibilies when my skill improves (let's assume the latter will happen)
+ Compact, build, looks: The design is clearly the result of a lot of experience and quality engineering. The whole package: Case, bag, manual, support etc oozes quality and pride in product. It's clear that steadicam is the inventor of these type of rigs and they're planning to stay ahead. (No I don't have stocks in steadicam, it just looks great)
+ Can expand if need arises. The merlin arm+vest receives excellent review-ratings as well. With the metal gimball the max. weight becomes 3.4kg instead of 2kg. Chances that I'll shoot a family-birthday party with a full vest+arm rig are pretty slim but it's nice to know that you CAN, if you want to :)

What I less like:
- The dovetailplate looks a bit flimsy but I trust it. I've read no reports of that thing falling apart :) The construction is smarter than the Glidecam (i've read that, I've no hands-on experience with the glidecam)
- The screw that comes with the dovetailplate is totally inadequate. It's short, is easily lost and you damage it if you screw it tightly. I'll have to replace that as soon as I got the time.
- The strap of the camera is really in the way. Unfortunately temoving/re-attaching the straps is a royal pain in the ****, I also need a smarter solution for this. I wind the strap around the lens. Needless to say that's less than ideal. I can't zoom and need to recalibrate the whole time due to weightshift. This isn't a Merlin problem of course, but a general stabilizer/canon problem.
- Operation: Looks easy but it's pretty tricky to operate the rig smoothly. This is something I knew, and practicing with it is great fun but it's not something you learn in 1 day, week or even year.
- Price price price: I'm really happy with the product, the looks, the results (so far) but for an amateur it's really a big investment. You're paying for a piece of not-too-complex mechanics more than the average amateur videocamera, that's steep.

All in all: If you can afford it I can recomment the Merlin for the 5D....
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