Canon XH A1 AND GLIDECAM 4000 at DVinfo.net

Go Back   DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders
Canon XH G1S / G1 (with SDI), Canon XH A1S / A1 (without SDI).


Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old April 1st, 2008, 06:12 PM   #1
Tourist
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Baltimore (MD)
Posts: 4
Canon XH A1 AND GLIDECAM 4000

I am thinking about getting the Glidecam 4000 to use with my A1. Has anybody used glidecam with the A1? If so what are the pros and cons. And is that the best stabilizer in the $400 range?
J.A. Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 1st, 2008, 11:05 PM   #2
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NY, NYC
Posts: 367
You'll need/WANT the smooth shooter (arm&vest) -- otherwise your arm will get very tired -- very quickly...
James Binder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2008, 12:16 AM   #3
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 157
I bought the gc 4000 for my a1 and found that it was too hard to balance and too heavy to be useful for my purposes and had to buy the smooth shooter. The problem is that with enough weight on the sled you will be able to achieve a decent static balance, but as of yet i have not been able to achieve any sort of dynamic balance. Also, you have to make the sled so heavy as to make it very difficult to finesse - let alone hold it up for more than a few minutes. If you just want it for shooting short films and stuff it will still be very useful for follow shots where you're basically just moving forward or backward but if you want to have any kind of panning/turning/tilting/raising/lowering of the camera during the shot, unless you're REALLY strong, you'll need a smooth shooter to achieve these kinds of things with any regularity and steadiness. If you can afford the smooth shooter it really works well - but if you don't want to spend that much and just want something to play with while shooting short films etc i think it can really provide you with an extra dynamic with which to play around -- just be prepared for some serious physical exertion if you want really smooth shots and don't plan on anything too intricate. It's like any other tool - you can use it creatively, just be aware of its limitations.
Cal Bickford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2008, 10:52 AM   #4
Tourist
 
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Baltimore (MD)
Posts: 4
Would the body pod or the forearm brace help to make it less exhausting? I am trying to stay under $550 for the entire system
J.A. Thomas is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 2nd, 2008, 10:45 PM   #5
Major Player
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Location: Bruce Pennisula, Canada
Posts: 316
I shoot with the XHA1 and use the Glidecam 4000/Smooth Shooter. You can see a pic of the rig at this thread....

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/showthread.php?t=109313

Since that photo I have also added a temporary monitor (ie:cheap SD) to assist with framing to the baseplate of the sled. I had a great night working with this rig shooting a concert and the footage was excellent and the monitor was very helpful in framing and keeping from tripping.

I completely agree with everyones comments about how the weight of the camera and sled is very difficult to use for any but the shortest of shots. The arm brace may help for adding a little bit of support and extend your shooting time a bit but I think it will still be a lot to support by your arm alone.

As for balancing I have attached a bullseye bubble level to the baseplate of the sled and use a mic stand to hold the rig while balancing. The bubble level helps to quickly dial in your static balance. A bit of fiddleing back and forth with the camera in forward and reverse directions then helps to achieve a pretty good dynamic balance. In all it takes about 8 minutes to balance up the rig and get it dynamically balanced.

There is certainly something to say about the way the smooth shooter arm works. Let's put it this way....it does a good job at holding the weight so you can focus on your level and control of the sled. It certainly helps to dampen movements even more than the 4000 sled would handheld. How it compares to something like the Steadicam pilot is that it is not iso-elastic. You have to control the smooth shooter a bit more to make sure it's springs do not bounce the rig while moving. As well more input is needed to move the height of the arm through it's entire range as the springs will resist more the further away from it's resting height you are.

All said, I really like the 4000/smooth shooter. It's cost effective, it can take some really good footage and for me especially it holds up to 18lbs of weight. For me that was the deciding factor as I will be shooting with the Letus Extreme soon as well and will be close to maxing out the system at that weight range.

Note....the rig also certainly works smoother the more weight that you are carrying so I have seen an increase in the performance of the system as my gear has added on.

My 2 cents, :)

James
James Hooey is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2008, 01:38 AM   #6
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 157
I wouldn't waste any money on the forearm brace - basically that takes weight off the wrist, but it isn't the wrist that exhausts first, its the brachialis - which is the muscle that lies just underneath the bicep between it and the bone. If you simply don't have the money for the smooth shooter I would start doing some hammer curls to develop this muscle. Basically, do a regular curl with a dumbbell but hold the dumbbell vertically instead of horizontally. I don''t know much about the body pod.
Cal Bickford is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:06 AM   #7
Major Player
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Tampa Florida
Posts: 347
You better get the vest and arm with the glidecam 4000. I think that not just the weight is an issue also let you to concetrate more in the shooting.
I was one of the first to add the second arm (update x-10) when it was not available for regular costumer on stores.My shooting improved a lot with this second arm. Also you will received less camera weight to your body since the dual arm is absobing mote tension.

Now I can work with this set up for hours. I think that if you want to make your footage look good is going to cost you some money any how.

These systems are expensive but I would say that is a good investment.

PS
be patient takes time to get use to the glidecam.

Jose
Jose Ortiz is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2008, 09:54 PM   #8
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: NY, NYC
Posts: 367
I agree 100% - forget the arm brace. I started with one and it made my hand go numb. I quickly sprung for the smooth shooter.
James Binder is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 3rd, 2008, 10:46 PM   #9
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Portland, OR
Posts: 64
Quote:
Originally Posted by James Binder View Post
I quickly sprung for the smooth shooter.
And if you don't have $1,300 immediately for a smooth shooter, take up bowling because you wouldn't believe what hooking a 16lb ball several games a week can do for you. :)
__________________
Canon XH-A1 | Rode NTG-2 | Intel QuadCore | 3.0TB RAID5 + 2xRaptor 150's RAID 0 | Adobe Production CS3
Luke Ross is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 06:23 AM   #10
Major Player
 
Join Date: Jan 2006
Location: Birmingham, AL USA
Posts: 722
I agree with everything said... although I use a Glidecam 2000 + smoother shooter and not the 4000, the vest is still a must! Even the smaller lighter 2000 will tire you very quickly. I actually notice more pull in my lower back and pain in my wrist rather than my arm when I use it handheld.

My Glidecam has that offset bearing problem where it goes out of balance when turned 180° but it still works great. I've been told that some of my shots make the glidecam 'worth its weight in gold'... not sure about gold, but it does make some great shots!

Can't get any sort of dynamic balance with this thing whatsoever... it takes forever to even static balance and mount the camera. I recently added a bogen quick release plate to the sled, and although that helps because now I can add/remove the cam and keep the thing in balance, its still a pain to balance if I have to change the weight of the cam (add wireless, shotgun, wide angle lens, etc)

I've worn the smoother shooter vest for hours at a time, and its very comfortable... once you get the right posture and have the vest adjusted correctly; well worth the $1600 or whatever it costs now. I think those other things... body pod, arm brace, whatever are completely useless. Although I've never used them I can't see how you're going to be able to use it for more than maybe 20-30 min max no matter how many steroids you're on ;)

The smoother shooter + Glidecam is most definately a great start to learn the whole stabilizer world. You could start getting just the handheld, but you'll quickly want the vest! I'll be upgrading to the new Steadicam Pilot probably in the next year or so because it has a much better sled/gimbal assembly than any Glidecam, but its also at least 2x the price
Nick Weeks is offline   Reply With Quote
Old April 4th, 2008, 02:31 PM   #11
Regular Crew
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 157
FYI - I got my smooth shooter for $200 off list from an online dealer. I know they're pretty strict around here about deleting posts that mention retailers other than DVinfo sponsors so my advice would be to check out all the dealers listed as "authorized dealers" on the glidecam site and find the best price : )
Cal Bickford is offline   Reply
Reply

DV Info Net refers all where-to-buy and where-to-rent questions exclusively to these trusted full line dealers and rental houses...

Professional Video
(800) 833-4801
Portland, OR

B&H Photo Video
(866) 521-7381
New York, NY

Z.G.C.
(973) 335-4460
Mountain Lakes, NJ

Abel Cine Tech
(888) 700-4416
N.Y. NY & L.A. CA

Precision Camera
(800) 677-1023
Austin, TX

DV Info Net also encourages you to support local businesses and buy from an authorized dealer in your neighborhood.
  You are here: DV Info Net > Canon EOS / MXF / AVCHD / HDV / DV Camera Systems > Canon HDV and DV Camera Systems > Canon XH Series HDV Camcorders

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

 



Google
 

All times are GMT -6. The time now is 06:33 AM.


DV Info Net -- Real Names, Real People, Real Info!
1998-2017 The Digital Video Information Network