Handyman 1000C Steadycam for XL1-S at DVinfo.net

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Old June 18th, 2003, 07:57 AM   #1
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ABC Handyman 1000C Steadycam for XL1-S

Hi all,

Have any of you tried using this model with the XL1-S?

If so, what was your opinion of it?

Apparently it has been configured specifically for the XL1-S.

I am considering buying one, and having tried a similar demonstration model weighted for a lighter Sony camcorder (and without the LCD display), I found it's overall design to be quite solidly put together and smooth, though a couple of minutes in a small booth using the wrong model of camera with no external monitor doesn't qualify me to make any judgements.

So please let me know what you think if you are using this model, or indeed if you can recommend any other model that is suitable for the XL1-S and under 600 ($1000).

Many thanks,

Luke
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Old June 18th, 2003, 06:27 PM   #2
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Do you have a link (preferrably with a picture) of this product?
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Old June 18th, 2003, 06:31 PM   #3
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Here is the only link to a picture I am aware of...

http://www.cke-distribution.sageweb....ogue/pr741.htm
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Old June 19th, 2003, 03:42 AM   #4
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I have not used one, but it looks a bit tiring on the arms for long periods. Your best bet is to try and get a demo with one, or buy and if you don't like it, send it back.

Nice to see another guy from GB on the board.

Cheers,

Ed Smith
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Old June 19th, 2003, 05:00 AM   #5
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I wonder if it is possible to use something like the Glidecam Arm brace or Body Pod with it. They seem to attach via a tube that slides into the hollow handle.

http://www.glidecam.com/bodypod.html

If the Handycam also has a hollow handle, it might just be doable.

I don't believe ABC have made such accessories available for the Handycam yet.

I agree!! Nice to have some UK representation on this fine site!!

cheers,

Luke
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Old June 20th, 2003, 07:33 AM   #6
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Well, I went ahead and bought it anyways (quick decision as limited numbers were available at a substantially lower than usual sale price and I had to make the call as they were selling out fast!!!).

It seems to me that this bit of kit is largely unheard of in these circles, which is a shame because from what I understand (which at the moment is admittedly very little!!) this stabilizer is a step up from the more well-known Glidecam 4000 (it includes LCD monitor and is smaller and more wieldly). I believe it is 'comparible' with the Steadycam Jr, but of course balanced for bigger cameras such as the XL1S. For it's price it is the best stabilizer I have come across before you come to the 'Pro' equipment with the vest and arm and the four-figure $$$$, which blows my current budget. I'll let you guys know how it shapes up

I'm not too concerned about the lack of additional support for the weight (yet!!) as long as it can deliver the fluid movement I am expecting it to.

I cannot overemphasize my anticipation!!! I've been itching to break free of the usual static shots, but without resorting to 'gritty, handheld, documentary-style photography' (no offence intended to those who advocate this style, it's just not the kind of atmosphere I want to create for my current projects).

Wish me luck!!
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Old June 20th, 2003, 10:25 AM   #7
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Not to throw this subject out of topic (looking at that pic of the woman holding the handyman) but don't you hate it when manufactures have a beautiful looking model smiling while holding on to a piece of contraption that says - Hey! look at me. I'm holding this for you to buy. It's so easy, even I can use it without getting tired...bla bla bla.
Really, if I'm not interested in something do they think that a beautiful model will get me to buy thier product? Just hate it when they use sex to sell something that has nothing to do with the product. But I guess there are people out there... :)
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Old June 20th, 2003, 10:50 AM   #8
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Glad you went for it Luke.

Let us know how you get on with it, I was looking for a cheaper alternative to the Steadicam/ Glidecam.

What was the price you got it for? (If you don't mind me asking).

What sort of application were you planning on using this for?

Charles,
Maybe they were aiming it at the porn industry, then it would be related!!!

Best regrads,

Ed
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Old June 21st, 2003, 01:38 AM   #9
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 09:02 AM   #10
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The Handyman cost me a total of 580 (inc VAT), as opposed to the usual 762.58. This reduced price was part of a Summer Sale at CKE Distribution (at that website link I posted previously).

I have had a chance to test out the Handyman (to a limited capacity so far). It seems well put together, and I had it configured correctly for my XL1-S within 10 minutes. It is very smooth, though I must admit the weight is quite significant and over a prolonged period would start to affect the quality of my camerawork (though it might put some muscle on my arms and shoulders!!!)

The unit comes in a plastic case along with a Manual and Instructional video. One part of the video that looked promising was the ability to alter the configuration of the Handyman (effectively turning it upside down) to achieve very low to the ground shots.

I've tried the Steadicam Jr, and I'd say this unit is on par with that model, but of course with a larger camera.

I'd be interested to see what options are available for taking some of the weight off my arm, but other than that I am very happy with my purchase!!!

I might post a sample bit of footage when I get more time to experiment!

cheers,

Luke
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Old June 24th, 2003, 03:26 AM   #11
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Thanks Luke,

Keep us posted, and it would be great to see some footage.

All the best,

Ed
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Old June 25th, 2003, 02:22 PM   #12
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How much is that in US dollars?
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Old June 25th, 2003, 03:56 PM   #13
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Old June 25th, 2003, 04:12 PM   #14
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It's still pretty expensive in US dollars.

If that little symbol means Euro, then it's $668 or so US.

Too much for my blood. The glidecam is cheaper. I've seen excellent footage from the Glidecam.
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Old June 26th, 2003, 04:36 AM   #15
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In truth the Glidecam was originally my first choice due to the value for money, the Handyman became an option because the sale price was so much reduced.

The Handyman is quite expensive (aren't all prosumer camcorder accessories!!), but at 405.38 (in the UK) the Glidecam costs only about 175 less than the Handyman (that I paid in the summer sale), it includes the LCD monitor (which costs about 100 on it's own) that is not supplied as standard on a Glidecam.

I imagine that a similar quality of footage can be achieved from either model, however...

The Handyman is a bit smaller than the Glidecam which I imagine makes it a bit more wieldly, and it uses the monitor as part of the counter-weight, keeping the overall weight down to essentials.

Also, the 'gimbal'? / handle sits directly beneath the camera (Like the Steadicam Jr) as opposed to slightly behind, which I should think (perhaps incorrectly) gives the handle more room to manuver and is possibly a factor with a camcorder as front-heavy as the XL1-S. I assume it means more counterweight would be required to compensate, though my knowledge is very limited on this.

I would still love to try a Glidecam 4000 as they do seem to be very well regarded in general.
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