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Old August 11th, 2008, 09:29 PM   #1
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I just bought a Glidecam 2000

Anyone here have one of these things?

I have just wasted two hours of my life putting this thing together and attempting to "balance" it with my Canon XH G1. I for the life of me cannot "balance" it, it's impossible. It's all over the place and I cannot see how this thing would work even when balanced.

My question is, when you want to use this, do you have to go through the "balancing act" every time you hook it up? I don't know why I thought this was just something I could hook up like a tripod, I had no idea it was this difficult.
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Old August 11th, 2008, 10:58 PM   #2
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Hello David. Welcome to DVI.

If you search the forum, as we recommend, you will see that many people have Glidecam 2000 and 4000's (functionally the same), and quite a few with Canon A1's (again, functionally the same as the G1). There are quite a few threads about managing balance. We do encourage folks to search, read and then post in an established thread if appropriate rather than start a new one.

Understandable that you are frustrated. Stabilizers are not particularly intuitive pieces of gear at first. Were you following the included directions?

If someone wants to delve into the basics of assembling and balancing a Glidecam in this thread, have at it. In the meantime, I will say that many folks purchase the Bogen QR (quick release) for use with their Glidecams which lets you slide the camera on and off without having to go through the balancing regime every time. That said, stabilizers do require "trimming" (minor adjustments to balance) throughout the course of a shoot.

Once you have the balance worked out, however, the real work lies ahead of you. It will require quite a few hours of practice to achieve dolly-like results, if that is your goal.

Not to dissuade you but using a stabilizer is indeed far more difficult than using a tripod.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 12:15 AM   #3
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Glidecam Balancing

Hi David!

Just to let you know, i went through the same frustrations - I bougth a GC 2000 and thought to myself "Self, it can't be THAT difficult - it's just a balancing thingamajiggy"

Famous last words

My shooting partner gave me 'the look' when i dared to voice that particular thought outloud. You know the look.. the one that says 'snicker... right.. sure.. '

So the day of the shoot, i woke up an hour earlier.. thinking.. hey, i'll just put this thing together and BAM, it would magically balance. 90 mins, 2 gallons of sweat and 1 pissed off videographer later, i can safely say, it takes truly a man of utmost patience to balance this SOB!

There are several balancing 'points' that i can think of from the top of my head. And each time to make an adjustment to these points, it tends to be extremely minute.

Don't forget, when you balance, balance it Cam ready i.e tape in, battery in, lcd out.

Dont' get discouraged - I had the luxury of my shooting partner helping me balance and teaching me the intricacies of it but with enough diligence, the satisfaction of balancing a GC properly is pretty awesome.

Balancing is also only half the battle - the other half is knowing how and when to use your GC, and that will only come with experience.

The footage obtained from a properly balanced GC is worth it, trust me!
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Old August 12th, 2008, 11:05 AM   #4
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Glidecam

So will I have to go through the whole balancing thing everytime I want to use it? In other words, if I'm in the field and I want to use the glidecam, will I have to spend an hour balancing it?

Thanks for all of your assistance, it's appreciated.
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Old August 12th, 2008, 11:57 AM   #5
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If you use the same camera setup (with same accessories) every time, you can mark the stage to make remounting and balancing quicker, should be able to get it down to 5-8 minutes including re-mounting the camera to the stage. If you get the Bogen QR, that can further go down to 1 minute or so.

The more you use it, the faster you work with it. But again--balancing is NOT where the real hard work comes in. I'll modify Vishal's thoughts on this--balancing is possibly 10% of the battle, the rest is learning how to operate the rig.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 03:35 PM   #6
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A good place to start is here Nick's posts should give you a good starting place.

I also have some of my experiences with the GC 2000 here. As said above, it does take some practice! Once you get everything down mark the positions with a pen or something and next time you will be in the right area and only have to make minor adjustments.
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Old August 13th, 2008, 09:59 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert View Post
If you get the Bogen QR, that can further go down to 1 minute or so.

The more you use it, the faster you work with it. But again--balancing is NOT where the real hard work comes in. I'll modify Vishal's thoughts on this--balancing is possibly 10% of the battle, the rest is learning how to operate the rig.
Get the Bogen QR. It will make things THAT much more smoother/quicker/easier
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