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Old March 8th, 2002, 07:18 PM   #1
ellett62
 
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Steady Tracker VS Glidecam VS Steadicam

Hi everyone

I want to buy a camera stabilizer for my Canon XL-1. Which of the numerous products out there would you suggest for a novice like me? I'm considering the following.

Steady Tracker Extreme

Glidecam 4000

Steadicam DV

Issues to consider include ease of use, effectiveness, ability for low shots (near ground level), price, durability with XL-1.

At the moment, I'm leaning towards the Steady Tracker Extreme (www.promax.com), but I don't read alot about it in these posts. Is it a quality product??

Thanks in advance for your advice.

Phillip
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Old March 9th, 2002, 12:41 AM   #2
Wrangler
 
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Hi Phillip,

You may want to peek in a topic called "Steadicam JR" in this same section. I sort of addressed the three types of stabilizers you mentioned in my post that starts "Sounds like a fairly typical experience"...

The SteadiTracker falls into the first category I described, the Glidecam 4000 into the second, and the Steadicam DV (which is no longer in production, incidentally) into the third.

Hopefully this may answer some of your questions.

Specific to the XL1--being a somewhat heavier camera to begin with, it is a real physical burden to use with any of the units you mentioned. The most effective units require an arm and vest, and I'm guessing may be out of your price range (several thousand +)
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Old March 9th, 2002, 01:24 AM   #3
ellett62
 
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Thanks Charles

I've read your other thread and found it very useful. It sounds like the Steady Tracker Extreme might not be as effective as I would want (and end up gathering dust on my shelf). Actually, I have a Steadicam JR that I bought on Ebay last year, but I thought the XL-1 would be too heavy for it. What do you think?

Also, what is the difference between the Steadicam JR and the Steadicam DV?

Finally, I'd like to ask what is the best quality but affordable dolly / tracking system out there. I've been looking at a couple:

--the ProMax tracking dolly (www.promax.com) which has skateboard-wheels that run along plastic pipe for $399.

AND

--the Bogen 3067 Heavy Duty Cine/Video Dolly (www.bhphotovideo.com) which has wheels for using on a flat hard surface for $235.

I'm looking at purchasing both of these, the 1st for using where the surface is not smooth or hard, the latter for floors, etc. Any advice on better options, or anyone with experience using either of these?

Thanks.
Phillip
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Old March 9th, 2002, 07:03 AM   #4
Wrangler
 
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Philip:

Yes, the XL1 is going to be too heavy for the JR.

The DV was a later generation of the JR (both manufactured by Cinema Products, now the JR is built by Tiffen), streamlined and designed to accomodate heavier weight cameras, although only up to 6 lbs I believe. Unfortunately, even though it looked sexy, the DV was not a design success and the model was scrapped. I have heard enough negative things about it to recommend against purchasing one used.

I took a look at both of those dollies out of curiousity. The Bogen unit reminds of setups I used to use years ago, the main problem being preventing it from rotating when trying to dolly in a straight line, which will cause the camera to pan. The Promax system is pretty clever and will likely return extremely smooth shots on any kind of floor--although I am unclear if it is possible to extend the pipe any more than 15' without an external coupling joint preventing passage of the dolly (it should use internal couplers).

It really depends on what kind of shots you are looking to do!
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Old March 9th, 2002, 07:49 AM   #5
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Although I haven't used it, or even seen it other than in a brochure, I've been interested in trying out the Flextrak system. A dolly with a rubber-type flexible track that can be laid out anyway you want.

Anyone have experience with that? If I remember correctly, it was fairly affordable.

http://www.porta-jib.com/flex-trak.htm
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