Glidecam vs. Shouldermount at DVinfo.net

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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:05 PM   #1
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Glidecam vs. Shouldermount

Hello all,
I am considering purchasing a Glidecam for my XH A1. My question:

My critical question:
If I purchase a glidecam, will that eliminate the need for a shoulder mount? Obviously the shoulder mount is better for long term coverage as far as fatigue, but isn't it 100% possible to obtain the same footage with a glidecam?


My newb question:
I am also purchasing the Letus 35 adapter. Can I have the adapter attatched while the camera is mounted on a glidecam?

What to yous think?

-JS
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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:15 PM   #2
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2 different animals for 2 different types of shots.
Glidecam = smoother better looking moving shots
Shoulder mount = more stabile footage for lockdown type stuff but where a move to another position is needed.

With a lot of practice you can simulate SOME of the GC moves with a shoulder mount but the shoulder mount doesn't replace a GC where it's needed.
Goes the other way too but frankly I would hate to have to try to hold a GC steady without movement for more than a couple of minutes.

I have found the DVMultirig to be the best comprimise of the 2. With PRACTICE I can achieve some GC style of shooting and coming from full sized camera I can lock down with the multirig for long periods of time. Of course not at the long end of the lens, that's what tripods are for, but for general shooting, widw, thru med close shots the multirig works great.
For moving shots you need to find the best way to do it with the multirig and I tried all kinds of different combos of the rig to achieve smooth moving shots. Again it doesn't replace a GC or Steadicam rig but it can get me the majority of the moving shots I need.

HTHs
Don
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Old October 16th, 2008, 12:24 PM   #3
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I think the two are slightly different beasts. The shouldermount gets you mostly steady but only when relatively still while a stabalizer gives you steady generally both still and on the move.

I can conceive of some limitations of a stabalizer in that it can only boom up and down as far as the arm allows unless going handheld. A shouldermount you could drop to a knee much easier without a arm possibly being in the way. Probably lots of other differences but common sense would give you most of the various scenarios.

As for a Letus on the Glidecam with an XHA1....yep been there done it with a Glidecam 4000/Smooth Shooter arm/vest and a Nikon 35mm lense. The issues there are more complex as then focus becomes more critical and a dedicated focus puller with wireless follow focus and monitor start to be necessary. You could just set the lense for a given distance and keep the subject within that if you block the shot and practice it some, but this method is limiting. All said and done though the 4000 can hold the weight and balance it ok.

My favorite setup with a stabalizer is the XHA1 with the WD-H72 wide angle adapter zoomed all the way out. Focus is almost a non issue and you can get some real close shots. Great for run and gun and I've gotten some incredible live music performances this way.

All the best.
James Hooey
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Old October 18th, 2008, 01:26 PM   #4
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the MultiRig is looking quite appealing, and the cost is very close to the glidecam. Very cool. I understand what you mean about the two different worlds, thanks for clearing that up Don.

And James, thanks for letting me know about the Letus/Glidecam combo. You also confirmed that I will be using the Nikon lens as this seems to be the most popular combo, so thanks for that too!

It seems like down the road I will end up with a glidecam and a shouldermount after all. I must admit the MultiRig looks a bit awkward to handle, but I suppose I would have to "try it out" to know for sure. One thing I noticed is you can't seem to find many of them used...i guess that is a good thing!?

Was it awkward getting used to your MultiRig, Don?
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Old October 18th, 2008, 02:45 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John Stakes View Post
the MultiRig is looking quite appealing, and the cost is very close to the glidecam. Very cool. I understand what you mean about the two different worlds, thanks for clearing that up Don.

And James, thanks for letting me know about the Letus/Glidecam combo. You also confirmed that I will be using the Nikon lens as this seems to be the most popular combo, so thanks for that too!

It seems like down the road I will end up with a glidecam and a shouldermount after all. I must admit the MultiRig looks a bit awkward to handle, but I suppose I would have to "try it out" to know for sure. One thing I noticed is you can't seem to find many of them used...i guess that is a good thing!?

Was it awkward getting used to your MultiRig, Don?

Actually getting used to the multirig is quite easy. At least it was for me. I like 2 hands on cameras and 2 hands on the multirig just worked out. I actually use a LANC controller on the right handle which is quite natural for me since that's where it is on my tripod handle. My wireless receiver is mounted on the back of the unit as it's supposed to be and helps balance it out. A bit of practice and shooting took on a whole new meaning. Since I do a lot of weddings and events I get to stand in place for (sometimes) fairly long periods of time. Introductions, toasts especially. Some slight movement but nothing bad. Wouldn't use it for the ceremony unless I KNEW I could work strictly on the short end of the lens like you would do with any full sized camera.
I had to play around a bit but certainly not 4 or 5 hours a day for 2 weeks ;-) a hour here and there to get used to the rig and learn some basics of moving with it and keeping a fairly steady shot.
BTW I use a Bogen QR577 mount which matches up with all my tripods and monopod for fast attachment. It really makes a difference.

Don
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Old October 22nd, 2008, 08:27 PM   #6
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I get your hint Don ;-), and thanks for gracing this thread! I ended up finding a used Glidecam 4000 for about $300 so I didn't want to pass it up. However you have made me develop a sort of "look how cool" feeling about the MultiRig. I am going to try out the Glidecam for a while and see how it works out. I have a feeling when the funds are back up, I will also own a MultiRig for it's versatility...and "look how cool" factor.

Thank you both for the detailed responses! These decisions can be tough!

-JS
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Old October 23rd, 2008, 05:35 AM   #7
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for the money you paid for the GC I wouldn't have passed it up either. Let me clear 1 thing up though. I don't use the Multirig for the cool look. Generally the looks I get say "when are you blasting off" and other unprintable things along those lines. Coming from fullsized cameras for many many years the Multirig gives me the best of borth worlds. Shoulder stability, steadicam type movement (up to a limited point) and the opportunity to ditch the tripod and dolly wheels in 99% of the cases. I also have and use a monopod, another shoulder support, tripods and wheels and if needed my own arms. I TRY to use the right tool or at least the tool that makes the most sense for the job AND IF I look cool at the same time, that's cool ;-)

Don
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Old October 24th, 2008, 11:46 AM   #8
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I use an ENGrig along with a birns and sawyer shoulder pad, functionally identical to a mutlirig. The shoulder/stick combo gives very versatile support and with a quickrelease you can go on/off tripod in 10 seconds.
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