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Old April 15th, 2005, 11:52 PM   #1
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Exclusive! New Camera Stabilizer from Manfrotto

Click on the link below to find out about the new camera stabilizer we are launching on Monday at NAB.

www.manfrotto.com/figrig/

DVINFO is the first place we have announced this product. See it, use it and play with it at the Bogen Imaging Booth #C6726 at NAB.

Look forward to seeing you there.

Marc Schotland
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Old April 16th, 2005, 01:19 AM   #2
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Re: Exclusive! New Camera Stabilizer from Manfrotto

Hi Marc,

Thanks for the post.

Any demo video shot by device if the cameraman walking like all normal steadicam demo video footage?

Regards
Leigh
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Old April 16th, 2005, 03:30 AM   #3
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An astonishingly simple and clever idea! Sign me up, I want to steer my camera through the shots like a car.
What's the weight and price?

Thanks for the info
Ursula
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Old April 16th, 2005, 04:00 AM   #4
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Reminds me of the hoola hoop in Hudsucker Proxy..."Y'know, for kids."

http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0110074/
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Old April 16th, 2005, 06:47 AM   #5
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I've been using a Stratos Bracket ($40) and I've experimented with an extra handle off the other side for the same effect. I look like a tail-gunner...

Hmm... I guess somebody saw me...

Seriously I wonder if this guy has ever tried a Stratos Bracket or a Mighty Wonder Cam? I would have to see some really convincing footage to buy into the concept... there's a link to a movie about Mike and his invention... and that movie didn't sell the concept all that well... plus there was a lot of filler where Mike explained that cams have LCDs now in addition to viewfinders... stuff like that. I'm certain this guy's an artist, but I need some practical footage to decide whether or not he's a good designer.
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Old April 16th, 2005, 07:21 AM   #6
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also bene noticed over at dvxuser... http://www.dvxuser.com/V3/showthread.php?t=24841


- Mikko.
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Old April 17th, 2005, 03:58 AM   #7
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A really interesting concept, Marc. I'd like to see more details on how it actually works, as there seems to be no attachment to the body. It may work well on a tripod to give you plenty of options for extra items connected to the bar, but I can't see how it actually works as a stabilizer, especially one where both your hands are free to work not only the camera controls, but also be able to MF with one hand on the lens.
Do you have more shots of the Manfrotto stabilizer in actual use? Or at least some decriptions of how it works? Do you have an approx price for this new item yet?
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Old April 17th, 2005, 08:45 AM   #8
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I would have to say that this seems like it would be tiring on the arms, since you can't brace them against your body. Attaching components to the perimeter is a clever idea, but you would likely want to make sure that they balanced out each other or the rig will tend to want to fall to one side or the other, requiring more effort to maintain a level horizon.

Anything that expands the inertia of the little DV cameras is good, but I suspect that the fatigue factor of holding all this in front of you might counteract the gains.

Interesting idea, I like the "thinking outside the box" approach. This wouldn't be a replacement for a gimballed stabilizer, though--more of an "organizer" for all the extra components.
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Old April 17th, 2005, 06:45 PM   #9
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How does this work?

I cant seem to see a gimble or anything and cant figure out how on earth this thing works. Without a clip in action its hard to tell how well it works, if it does im sure i could make my own farily easily, just like mike.
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Old April 17th, 2005, 07:35 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Brendan Sundry
I cant seem to see a gimble or anything and cant figure out how on earth this thing works. Without a clip in action its hard to tell how well it works, if it does im sure i could make my own farily easily, just like mike.
I found the video by following post from Mikko.

Here is the video link.
http://www.benwilsondesign.co.uk/movie5.html
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Old April 19th, 2005, 04:56 AM   #11
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Hmm. it would have been nice to se some longer full screen shots with teh rig in that video. Those short quad shots don't do jack for showing what the rig can do.

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Old April 19th, 2005, 05:22 AM   #12
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I can see it maybe being OK for the very tiny and lightweight Sony cam that he is using in the film clip, but trying to hold my complete XL1s setup (manual lens, long shotgun mics, XLR adapter, Mk2 mount, dual battery holder, etc) it would probably break off my arms at the elbow joints after holding it for more than two minutes! I think that my extra-wide padded pro shoulder support is a better option for long periods of handheld shooting with heavier camera setups.
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Old April 19th, 2005, 06:52 AM   #13
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If you have a really lightweight cam... i.e. pdx10 or lighter... a weighted monopod does wonders for stability. Plus it allows you to get shots from a POV of much higher then you can reach.

The very first goal of any stabilizer is to get the center of gravity off the cam... connecting your camera to anything will do that... then it's just a matter of what ELSE that connected object does for you.

Also, regarding the video... I was frustrated at the quad-look and really short clips of anything that would let me make a judgement on the rig's effectiveness. The net video window is already small and the editor's choice to let "non-example" shots run long, while giving an "80's MTV style" composition to everything else. I watched the clip a couple times and tried to focus on the cam and study it's motion... and also the footage taken when walking... all I could think of is the statement from my opening paragraph above.
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Old April 25th, 2005, 12:15 PM   #14
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Some answers

Hello all:

For those who were not able to attend NAB and try the FigRig, you pose some worthwhile questions. Allow me to explain the intentions of the FigRig.

The FigRig is a camera stabilizer, not a support, so it's true that your body is doing the work to support the camera and all the accessories. The two-handed approach provides much less fatigue than those stabilizers requiring one hand to operate. In addition, using two hands to support the Rig enables your body to absorb all the shock and motion while moving the camera handheld. We intentionally do not offer the FigRig with a body attachment as having no brace allows you the flexibility to smoothly shoot low-angle and high-angle in the same shot. It's hard to believe (and this may seem like a cop-out in my description) but you really have to try the FigRig out to see that your body really does smooth out the shots if you bend your legs and arms while walking.

The second important feature of the FigRig is its frame. Most DV cameras have only one hot shoe to mount an accessory. With the FigRig now you can mount your monitor, mic, lights, battery, etc... At NAB we had a Sony FX1 with a Anton Bauer battery mounted at the base with a light, a mic shock-mount, two zoom controllers and our new 521SB splitter box (to connect the two zoom controllers so you can operate focus with one thumb and zoom with the other). In this scenario, the FigRig is a true mobile production unit. Of course, the more you add to the Rig, the more you have to support wth your arms -and granted - it can get tiring. But with the modularity of the Rig and the use of the accessory clamps (595CLA), you can attach a quick release plate to mount to a video head on a tripod or a light stand adapter, to mount to a turtle-base c-stand between shots.

On the website (www.manfrotto.com/figrig) is a 5 minite video which Mike Figgis shot and directed to demonstrate the use of the FigRig. The entire video was shot using the FigRig, so hopefully this gives you some idea of the results. Again, the best test is your own. The next place to see the FigRig at a show will be on April 26-28 at IOV (Institute of Videography) in the UK at Stoneleigh Park. And you can also expect to see the Rig in stores in about 2 weeks.

Pricing for the FigRig will come in at $299.00 in the USA.

Marc Schotland
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Old April 25th, 2005, 05:58 PM   #15
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Hello all,

Marc was gracious enough to allow us to conduct a short interview with him showing off the fig rig. You can watch the video here http://dvestore.com/theatre
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