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Old January 30th, 2014, 05:50 PM   #16
Major Player
Join Date: Feb 2003
Location: Decatur, AL
Posts: 839
Re: Steadicam?

There's no doubt that steadicams and their derivatives can give some great eye candy, especially for wedding videography.

I've heard of the learning curve and of course the cost, associated with them and kind of steered clear.

Doing weddings solo is hard enough, much less trying to figure all that out!

This year, I've made some contacts who have the gear and are good with it, and plan to simply hire them as I need them.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 06:12 PM   #17
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Join Date: Jun 2004
Location: Richmond, VA
Posts: 2,864
Re: Steadicam?

I've been shooting weddings, bands, comercial, artsy stuff for 10 years. I won't even shoot a reception without my Steadicam. The curve is steep, and courses were a no go for me because there are none in my area. But over the past 7 years of use, I've modified my steadicam, added a zoom and focus controller, modified the vest with quick release buckles, a bubble level which is very helpful.

So during a typical reception, I have one camera on a tripod/dolly, and I'm on my steadicam for 3 to 6 hours or so.

The steadicam is one of the best investments you'll ever make. Once you get enough hours into it, it becomes and extension of you.
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Old January 30th, 2014, 07:05 PM   #18
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Crookston, MN
Posts: 1,342
Re: Steadicam?

I'm tempted to buy the new Glide Gear DNA 5050 Vest And Arm Stabilization System Pro; it was featured in Videomaker magazine this month and comes in under $700 for a vest, stabilizing arm, and steadicam.
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Old February 8th, 2014, 01:40 PM   #19
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Location: Cleveland, OH
Posts: 242
Re: Steadicam?

Wow, Glide Gear completely ripped everything from Glidecam right down to the logo. I know there is more than one company that makes everything but you might want to be weary of stuff like that. You generally get what you pay for.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 12:01 PM   #20
Join Date: Oct 2002
Location: Phoenix, AZ
Posts: 1,484
Re: Steadicam?


It is almost unfair for Noa to show you that reel because he is so damn good at everything he does ;) And to do it without a vest makes it that much more impressive. I bought a Blackbird last year. It lives in a case and rarely sees daylight. I shoot with a Sony EA50 for my camera of choice most of the time. I am an old school shooter so I am pretty good with it shoulder rested. It is too heavy for me to fly on the blackbird unassisted by a vest. So I am debating between getting a cheap used VG30 just for flying shots or a vest. You will not have that delema with a T2I if you are reasonably fit and strong. But you will be faced with tons of practice and training. The magic does not just happen. That is why it is a specialty in the broadcast world. And the $120,000 Charles mentioned.

I agree with Don, almost always. You are just beginning in a complex world of equipment and talents. There is probably much more you need to own or learn before you make a Steadicam a priority.

Steven Digges
Still learning twenty years later.
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Old February 10th, 2014, 03:22 PM   #21
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Location: Belgium
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Re: Steadicam?

I have seen a lot better then what I can do now, also handheld and especially at longer focal lengths which I find very difficult to get right, I prefer shooting with a wide 12mm lens on my pana g6. It's not something you just pick up and just do, though I must say that with my blackbird I was up and running quite quickly when I first got it. I was afraid it would be a nightmare to start with after reading so many negative user reports about the steadicam merlin and how difficult it seemed to get it to balance right. I do think many issues with steadicams come down to a wrong way of using it, a fellow Belgian videographer who got the blackbird as well does have issues getting steady footage but also here I"m sure he is using it wrong.

Also I"d stay well clear of any cheap "rip offs", usually from India, unless you can find several footages showing very steady moves, I"ve got one laying around here that I got second hand before I got the blackbird. That's the type of stabilizer that will only get you frustrated and make you buy a slider instead. :)
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Old February 11th, 2014, 03:33 AM   #22
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Join Date: Mar 2007
Location: Winnipeg Canada
Posts: 532
Re: Steadicam?

Xa10 with a wide angle lens is pretty great on a Merlin, but can be tiring. The focus on auto works much more often than not.
I tried a 70d with a 24-105 but couldn't quite get it to balance well... I have an older Merlin, and I know the plate is different now with DSLRs in mind, so that may help. The auto focus, while revolutionary for a DSLR, has three different modes that each work better for certain situations, so not a set it and forget it auto focus like a video camera... Yet...
It takes a lot of practice to get it right, and any breeze can be a challenge, but it sure can look great!
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Old February 12th, 2014, 12:58 PM   #23
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Washington, DC
Posts: 75
Re: Steadicam?

There are a million ways to stabilize shots, but not many DIY solutions address the three important issues: pitch, yaw and roll (these are aircraft terms, but it works the same way). This video shows a cheap way to convert a ball-head type monopod into a very simple steadicam. You can also use it as a jib if you want to get fancy. Here it is:
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