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Old September 25th, 2005, 08:14 PM   #1
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Shoulder and Handheld stablizers.

Hey guys, I was wondering what you would recommond by way of Shoulder or handheld stablizers for the XL2. I was looking at Steadicam systems but I don't have $7,000 to spend on this at the moment. Is there anything which is a little less costly and can produce similar results?

Oh and, would you recommend this one?

Thanks ahead of time,
Mike
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Old September 25th, 2005, 09:15 PM   #2
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That won't produce Steadicam-like results. However, there are a number of systems that are less expensive than the Tiffen Flyer (Steadicam) that use the same principles, such as the Glidecam 4000/Smooth Shooter, the Magiqcam and the Varizoom Hollywood Lite.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 09:21 PM   #3
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I suggest you check out the FigRig from Manfrotto. It's a very hot item right now and is certainly worthy of the attention it is getting.
Dave M.
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Old September 25th, 2005, 09:53 PM   #4
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The FigRig may be a great idea for smaller camcorders, but definitely not for larger cameras like the XL2.
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Old September 26th, 2005, 08:45 PM   #5
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Hi Chris,
As I have not used it, but have only read about it I'll take your word on that.
Thanks,
Dave M.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 08:35 AM   #6
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thanks alot everyone, this will steer me in the right direction for sure.
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Old September 27th, 2005, 11:53 AM   #7
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Ho-hoo! My DV Rig Pro XL is arriving from B&H any minute now. I'm going to go shave and shower before I put it on!
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Old September 29th, 2005, 07:13 AM   #8
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Spider Brace. Simple and inexpensive. Moves the weight nicely to the shoulder. Uses your arms to float. Trivial to put down when not shooting.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 07:44 AM   #9
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"Ho-hoo! My DV Rig Pro XL is arriving from B&H any minute now. I'm going to go shave and shower before I put it on!"

Jack you will love it. I have the DVRig PRO as I shoot with Sony VX cameras, and the build of Danny's units are fantastic. Danny from DVTech, the builder is also a frequent visitor to these forums, so if you have any questions or suggestions, feel free to ask him, as he is very helpful and prompt with his replies.

Michael
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Old September 29th, 2005, 08:18 AM   #10
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It certainly looks sturdy, however the warning,
"CAUTION! READ THIS FIRST!
The support pod is spring loaded! Handle with care.
To avoid possible physical or property damage to your body..."
etc., etc., has kinda put me off for the moment. I put it back in the box.

Also, a little disappointed that there is no case at all - not even a cheap one. I eventually saw that it is an optional accessory, but couldn't find it at their web site or at the B&H site. Emailed them and they said they didn't make one and referred me to the Porta Brace site. No biggie, though.

I'm looking forward to using it in the real world. I think I'm going to need someone to hold me by the belt for guidance when I do. I've been know to walk into things and fall down the stairs and I sure don't want to do it wearing 20 lbs of cam and gear!
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Old September 29th, 2005, 05:04 PM   #11
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Disappointed

Well I tried it out for about half an hour and my right arm feels like it's gonna fall off. Over at DVXUser.com, they did a review with pix and really liked it, which is one of the reasons I bought it. Toward the end of the review, they said something like, "...after you've tweaked a few knobs and shifted the brace around a little, the camera should balance on it's own with your hands off." Well, that would be wonderful if it could be that balanced, but they were writing about the DVRig Pro (2 handles), not the DVRig XL (1 handle), so maybe it's not to be. Truth be told, I'm a little disappointed, 'specially for $550.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 07:19 PM   #12
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Balance shouldn't have anything to do with the number of handles, it's all about weight distribution of the components. A properly balanced shoulder stabilizer should result in the camera sitting in place such that you don't have any weight to speak of in your hands. Unless I am misunderstanding the dilemma.
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Old September 29th, 2005, 10:07 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Charles Papert
Balance shouldn't have anything to do with the number of handles, it's all about weight distribution of the components. A properly balanced shoulder stabilizer should result in the camera sitting in place such that you don't have any weight to speak of in your hands. Unless I am misunderstanding the dilemma.
Misunderstanding? Well, yes and no. I do have a problem balancing the thing as I described. The 1-handle/2-handle thing was simply to describe the difference between the reviewed DVRig and my own.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 12:16 AM   #14
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A professional Steadicam and a $14 DIY one can get you the exact same results if you know how to use them. It's simply a matter of getting comfortable with the equipment. Don't let the first use discourage you from using it again because it's not as easy as advertised. Just keep using it and it'll feel natural in no time.
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Old September 30th, 2005, 12:38 AM   #15
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The rig Jack is talking about isn't a Steadicam-style stabilizer but a shoulder mounted rig. Since I haven't used one these (played with it at a trade show a few years back but don't remember it well enough), Jack, does it use a weight at the rear that is intended to counter-balance the camera, or does it simply rely on the front spring-loaded pole to support the weight?

Regarding your thoughts, Mark, if by $14 DYI you might be referring to that popular set of plans that has a pipe sticking out the side, I'm afraid I can't agree that it can ever be as subtle a device as a true gimballed stabilizer. For a snappy walking shot where the subject is large in the frame, shots done on both styles of rig may be comparable, but under more challenging circumstances the "camera on a stick" DYI stabilizer will show its limitations, no matter how good the operator. .

Outside of that, your advice is mighty fine!
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