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Old July 29th, 2011, 04:06 PM   #1
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Glidecam good?

Anybody use the Glidecam 4000 HD with SONY EX1R with good results? Any issues? Good to use by itself without buying extra vest and arm?
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Old July 29th, 2011, 05:03 PM   #2
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Re: Glidecam good?

I use the EX1 with Glidecam 4000 HD, vest & arm. There is no way you are going to be able to fly the EX1 handheld unless you have huge biceps, it's a heavy setup you also won't get decent results even with the forearm support. You can get away with it on a DSLR but a vest & arm really makes a world of difference.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 05:22 PM   #3
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Re: Glidecam good?

I use a 4000hd with a vest/arm with my xf300 which is about the same size and weight. Agree with the vest and arm being necessary for extended shooting with that size camera.
As for the quality, I can find very little difference in my rig vs my buddy's Pilot. they are both well built, easy to adjust and get great results....with practice!! :)
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Old July 29th, 2011, 09:04 PM   #4
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Re: Glidecam good?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Robert Turchick View Post
As for the quality, I can find very little difference in my rig vs my buddy's Pilot. they are both well built, easy to adjust and get great results....with practice!! :)
Robert, glad you are happy with your Glidecam but there's quite few differences in design between that and the Pilot, notably the inclusion of a stock monitor with the latter. Some feel they are covered with the flip-out screen on the camera, but this forces you into a non-standard operating stance with the camera in front of you, and you can't easily do gimbal pans that pan the camera right (such as walking alongside a subject with the lens is aimed 90 degrees to the right).

The screw-on weight system included with the Pilot is very handy to increase inertia in the system, both at the top and bottom of the rig.

The X10 arm has improved somewhat but is still nowhere near as linear and smooth as the Pilot arm, it tends to bounce quite a bit. And overall, the Steadicam gimbals deliver better performance than the Glidecams, which often require shimming to achieve linear performance.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 09:31 PM   #5
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Re: Glidecam good?

Design differences noted and Charles, I simply can't argue with you as you are the expert. For the record, I'm actually using my sled setup with the monitor in a similar position to the pilot's. My wireless receivers balance the other side along with some weights. And I am actually using a Magiqcam vest and arm I picked up. It's arm is similar to the X10 and whoever owned it before me dialed it in right. Getting great results (though I'm sure you could help me improve!) And the best part is the whole rig (not including monitor) cost me $800! And on that note...gonna go practice on my kids!
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Old July 29th, 2011, 09:40 PM   #6
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Re: Glidecam good?

As I said Robert, as long as you are happy (sounds like you are!) that's the important thing for you.

I mention those factors so that others may not make up their minds too quickly--certainly the GC 4000 has a more attractive price point than the Pilot, but one has to factor in apples to apples (supplied monitor with anti-reflective coating for one).
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Old July 29th, 2011, 09:58 PM   #7
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Re: Glidecam good?

One thing that really should be stressed no matter the system is that it takes regular practice to become proficient. Charles, you really helped my friend who flies the pilot rig and when he saw me making the same mistakes he made when he started, those tips got passed on to me. Im only into it a couple of weeks (though ive already done a client shoot with it!) so a little more practice is required before i post something for the world to comment on. :-)
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Old July 29th, 2011, 10:08 PM   #8
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Re: Glidecam good?

That is a good point to stress, Robert. These days many people are, shall we say, a little impatient when it comes to learning production skills and some things just can't be rushed--Steadicam operating is very much one of them. When asked how long it takes to get good, I always respond that good is a relative term based on one's expectations (many are happy just having their subject stay somewhere in the frame)! Probably the simplest answer is: good takes months, great takes years.
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Old July 29th, 2011, 10:33 PM   #9
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Re: Glidecam good?

I just did a shoot on Sunday with a Glidecam rig. This was the first time using the Glidecam an I've only used a Steadicam Pilot a couple times but I actually found the opposite from Robert. I felt like I was fighting the Glidecam a little more. It could been that it wasn't adjusted perfectly but I found the Steadicam easier to operate overall. So now I'm contemplating looking for a Pilot or even maybe a used Flyer LE.

Again, I don't have extensive experience with either the Glidecam or the Steadicam.

-Garrett
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Old July 29th, 2011, 11:04 PM   #10
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Re: Glidecam good?

I think there's a lot more to the dialing in than most realize too. Took me a lot of reading then trying, then reading some more, then calling my friend, then trying...etc. The one odd advantage I may have is I was a marching band geek through college. Playing trumpet in a marching band forces you to walk and balance your body in a certain way. Once I started thinking of the Glidecam in a similar way, it got a lot easier!

Garret, you mention fighting it which made me chuckle cause the first time I put the whole rig on it nearly knocked out my front teeth! I let go of the sled and it swung back into my face. Luckily I got out of the scuffle with a mildly bruised lip!
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Old July 30th, 2011, 12:34 AM   #11
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Re: Glidecam good?

Hey Robert. I know what you mean about that arm attacking you. I almost took me out too. I was a marching band "geek" too. Played the sax. I also study and have taught martial arts for about 20 yrs so that really comes in handy. I just found that with the Glidecam I felt like I had to have my weight more forward than I'd like to be smooth with it. Like I said, I didn't have it for very long before having to use it so I only had 1 day to balance and practice with it before the shoot. The thing that I found very hard was getting the dynamic balance right. I also think that my rig was right at the weight limit so that could have made the overall balance a little harder to achieve.

Love doing Steadicam/Glidecam shoots though.

-Garrett
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Last edited by Garrett Low; July 30th, 2011 at 08:12 AM.
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Old July 30th, 2011, 02:53 AM   #12
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Re: Glidecam good?

I have a monitor for my Glidecam but I actually prefer not to use one, I usually take off my Glidecam and literally throw it on the ground then mount my camera on a tripod and switch between the two, the way I handle my Glidecam I'd destroy my monitor in a day, the GC is built like a tank, mine has survived years of abuse.
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