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Sony XDCAM EX Pro Handhelds
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Old December 26th, 2008, 09:46 AM   #1
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EX3 Steadicam recommendations

I'm looking for recommendations for steadicams for use with the EX3. My EX3 when loaded weighs in at about 11 pounds. a monitor will add to this weight. What do you recommend that I consider?

I was considering the Flyer F-24, but had no idea it ran nearly $13K! Are there any products that perform similarly but cost less?
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Old December 26th, 2008, 10:24 AM   #2
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Check out the article by Charles Papert

Check out the excellent article by my pal Charles Papert -

Steadicam Pilot Review Part One by Charles Papert, S.O.C.
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Old December 26th, 2008, 11:17 AM   #3
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Hi Ted,

I was looking at the Flyer LE for 5 minutes but decided against any Steadicam/Glidecam. Not so much because of the $10K+ price, but after watching a few DVDs and youtube videos I thought about the long learning time, with some operators never getting the hang of it.

Nonetheless, if I had invested in one, I'm sure that I would have practiced with it to become proficient enough to work its magic.

I may look at the LE in the future but not just now.

Hope you find what you are looking for.
Best wishes
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Old December 26th, 2008, 04:59 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Bittner View Post
Check out the excellent article by my pal Charles Papert -

Steadicam Pilot Review Part One by Charles Papert, S.O.C.
On their website, they specify that the pilot is designed for a lighter cam - maybe an EX1 with stock battery...
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Old December 26th, 2008, 05:50 PM   #5
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Ted, your question is a big one on my mind as well. There is a comment here in another thread that the Flyer LE may be in for a sizable improvement come this spring including some of the advantages of the Pilot with the weight system and so on. Here is the Steadicam forum page on DVinfo for those that haven't found it yet.

EDIT:

This thread is particularly useful as well.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 12:39 AM   #6
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I have the Flyer-LE for the EX3, and I'm very happy with it. The Flyer had a major upgrade only this year, so I'm not sure you could expect another upgrade so soon. Steadicam product life seems to be longer usually.

With the excess capacity over the weight of the EX3 you have options for the inevitable feature creep with accessories, transmitters, receivers, j-box, rails, matte box, 35mm adaptors, follow focus, etc.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 01:39 PM   #7
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I have the Flyer-LE for the EX3, and I'm very happy with it. The Flyer had a major upgrade only this year, so I'm not sure you could expect another upgrade...
David, curious what config you got of the Flyer-LE. I would assume that you went through a process similar to what any EX3 owner would go through.

I am at a point where I am contemplating an external monitor above and beyond the Steadicam one. So I am not sure if I should hold out on the monitor purchase and simply use the one that you can get with the Flyer or is it cheaper and better to buy it without the monitor and pick up a Marshall with the full array of inputs and outputs. As well did you pick up the Anton Bauer mount along with the compact vest?

The full retail price difference between the basic Flyer-LE to the fully kitted out one is $8,000 to $14 to $15,000
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Old December 27th, 2008, 02:01 PM   #8
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Hi Andy:

You could pick up a used Flyer that would serve your purposes nicely for quite a bit less than the Flyer 24 (you likely wouldn't need the 24v aspect anyway unless you plan to shoot film--so far the digital camera world has held to 12v). I myself picked up a used late model Flyer in quite nice condition for $5K this year.

What are the accessories you are running on your EX3 out of curiousity? and FYI--since that camera is a 12v camera (unlike many of its class that are 7.2v), you can power it directly off the rig, eliminating the onboard battery for weight purposes. This would be the case with either Pilot or Flyer. At that point you would be at the upper weight limit of the Pilot but probably still quite workable.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 06:48 PM   #9
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I have the base model, F24LEVLNN SD monitor, v-mount, low-mode, softcase, four Swit 88ah, dual charger. I ummmd and ahhh over the HD-SDI version, but decided the extra cost wasn't worth it for me. The SD monitor is pretty good for framing, and rarely gets obscured enough to force some neck craning. I take the view finder off, so you can use the on camera LCD in a pinch.
I run everything from the v-mounts, through a Remote Audio BDSv2 j-box. I use an Ebay special AV transmitter to keep the director happy, and whatever else is needed, matte box, audio receiver, etc, on Cinevate Proteus rails. Light and very strong. I have the capacity for a 35mm adapter and follow focus, but never used one yet.
For the cost, the quality of the images you can obtain is pretty impressive. It's a very flexable setup. I have a DM base plate and Sachtler quick releases coming to speed up moving to tripod.
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Old December 27th, 2008, 09:18 PM   #10
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What are the accessories you are running on your EX3 out of curiousity?
Century .75 wide angle (alone almost 2 lbs), mattebox, on camera Sennheiser mic with shockmount (not heavy) and Proteus Rails. Less frequently: Sennheiser wireless transceiver & Frezzi light (both are not that heavy either). I also have a Letus Extreme but on a Steadicam it may simply be wishful thinking. Picking up the angled baseplate in a few weeks to deal with the tripod mount problem (again probably not that heavy).

Thanks for your time Charles.
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Old December 28th, 2008, 12:18 AM   #11
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Gotcha, that's a lot of stuff (and amazing that it only stacks up to 11 lbs)! Glad to see you are not wasting precious payload on things like a follow focus--seems sort of obvious that one wouldn't fly with that but I have seen pix of people's rigs with the knob on board while they are struggling to minimize the load--hmm!

Within the next year it is certain that one or another manufacturer will be introducing a sub-$1000 wireless focus system, which will make 35mm adaptor rigs much more stabilizer-friendly, so it's worth leaving some real estate and payload available for that (between receiver and motor, figure 1lb to be safe).
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Old December 28th, 2008, 01:24 PM   #12
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I'm seeing a lot of Glidecam X10 systems on ebay for only a couple thousand [EDIT - about the same price as on their site] - how do these measure up? Some would require upgrading the 2000pro stabilzer to a 4000pro one for another $500 or so. This pricing is more in my range. Am I missing something?

I'm sure I'm tipping the scala slightly with an EX3 package, but I could lighting things by a pound or so if necessary.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 07:02 AM   #13
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No one has asked you what for and how often you expect to use it. State your intentions ;-)

I believe the Glidecams use an old (gimbal) design.

The disadvantage of the Pilot rig is that you're starting out at the max load and you can't use it to fly other heavier setups if you are asked to (or want to rent for projects).

An advantage is that it is probably easier to sell should you want to upgrade or if you decide that it's not for you after all...

As I said I don't know how (often) you expect to (need to) fly the EX. If you need to all the time and/or want to get hired as an operator, invest in versatility and go for a "bigger than essentially needed rig", like an Actioncam. This also goes if you see yourself renting bigger gear for productions or flying anything but your own stuff.

Then again, if it is just something you will use some of the time and only to "fly your own" and/or you're not sure it's for you at all, then go with a Pilot or something less costly.

George/
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Old December 29th, 2008, 08:18 AM   #14
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Thanks, George.

I am thinking of being hired as an operator, and am wanting to get something to begin practicing with. I'll keep your suggestions in mind as I shop and choose.

Thanks.
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Old December 29th, 2008, 08:47 AM   #15
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Boy, those Actioncam systems look nice, but too pricey for me.
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