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Canon Optura Junior Watchdog
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Old January 11th, 2005, 09:57 AM   #1
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Optura Xi and Steadicam JR

Just ordered an Optura XI and I have a Steadicam JR. I haven't got the Optura yet, but it only weighs 1.6 pounds. Do you think I could get it within the 2-4 pounds needed for the Steadicam JR by adding a BP-535 and wide angle lens?

Does anyone have an Optura XI and Steadicam JR? If so let me know what it's like to balance it...
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Old January 14th, 2005, 05:07 PM   #2
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I just got a Glidecam 2000 (similar to a steadicam jr). I'm doing "technical feasability" testing all week in prep for my short film being shot with the XI at the end of January, so I'll let you know how the steadicam footage turns out from my test.
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Old January 14th, 2005, 11:26 PM   #3
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My optura came this morning and at first it was a little too light even with the wide angle lens and big battery. After I added a quick release plate, it balanced well though.

The Steadicam JR seems so out of date. I really wish they would update the design to include:
a built in quick release (not sliding so you don't loose your balance)
a better design to accomodate camcorders outside of the 2-4 pound area (I think most camcorders weigh more than 4 pounds or less than 2). How about modifying it to work with cameras between 1-5 pounds?
it should come with a 3 or 4 inch composite to RCA cable for all modern camcorders
it should have LANC controls.
a bigger and better monitor
an optional rechargable battery

I love my Steadicam JR, but I don't think they've really updated the design in the last 10 years have they? I bought mine used on Ebay, so I got a good deal, but I sure as hell wouldn't pay $700 for one. If they would give it an update with the above mentioned things, it would be the best... hands down.
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Old January 15th, 2005, 01:46 AM   #4
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Tony:

I believe I heard that a redesign of the JR is on the way, and it will probably address all of these issues.

However, regarding the weight issues...I think that a camera under 2 lbs is too squirrelly, and over 4 lbs is too heavy to operate for any length of time. A modular system that can be used handheld for a light camera or with an arm and vest (such as Terry's Indicam) for heavier cameras such as the DVX, PD and XL series would be great.

You're quite right; the basic design hasn't changed significantly for 14 years now...! The monitor has been changed a couple of times, but the basic unit is still the same. It's probably worth mentioning that the DV Steadicam came out as the successor to the JR, but had serious design problems and is no longer manufactured.
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Old January 15th, 2005, 09:16 AM   #5
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I actually have the vest and arm made for the DV Steadicam. The JR is easier to use without it, but I've found other uses for the vest.

I would probably buy the upgraded version right away.

One way for them to make the JR work with lighter cameras is to sell weight plates to mount on the stage or something like that. That way the overall weight could stay above 2 pounds.

I thought it was funny the other day I saw the JR in a Markertek catelog and they had a Canon ZR series camcorder mounted to it. Now there's no way that a ZR would balance.
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Old February 19th, 2005, 02:59 PM   #6
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Does the Glidecam 2000 have a lower weight limit? I'm thinking about buying one for an Optura 40. Is this too light to be feasible? Probably will be doing a lot of walking outdoors. I know that the Glidecam itself weighs twice as much.
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Old February 20th, 2005, 04:38 AM   #7
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I would recommend all those considering a handheld stabilizer to wait just a little bit longer, if at all possible...
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Old February 20th, 2005, 11:18 AM   #8
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How's the Optura XI ?

I noticed that you purchased a video camera that I am strongly considering. How do you like it so far? would you care to mention its strong and weaker points. thanks, steve
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Old February 20th, 2005, 11:34 AM   #9
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I know you're hinting at something Charles, but I don't visit these boards enough to know exactly what you mean...
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Old February 20th, 2005, 04:17 PM   #10
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Just that some new goods are on their way--haven't seen them, can't comment on what or how good it will be--but I'm just sayin...!
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