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Old February 4th, 2008, 08:39 AM   #16
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I guess I'm one of those users that had (have) problems with the Glidecam 4000. As I complete newbie, I was terribly frustrated - it seemed as though the sled was balanced one minute and not the next. After a lot of experimentation, I learned the camera was balanced in one direction, but then when I turned the camera 180 degrees, it was not. So that's how I learned about non-linear gimbals, first hand. I'm now very wary of any gimbals that use bent metal.

So when it came time to buy a full rig (on a small budget), I researched and went with Indicam. Their gimbal is machined out of a solid piece of aluminum. I found the Indicam sled much easier to balance than the Glidecam and it remained balanced regardless of the direction the camera faced. Also, the two wing screws on the bottom (a very simply design) were much easier for me than the eight thumb screws on the Glidecam. I also really like that you can move the gimbal up and down on the Indicam where you can't on the Glidecam - very flexible. A clear winner for me.

Normally I run a sled that's about 20lbs, so I'm carrying around about 35lbs total. My back was soar at first, but it gets easier as the back grows stronger. I have Terry Thompson's "Stabilizer Basics" training DVD and it was helpful. Through watching the DVD and practicing, I've learned to keep the camera close to my body to reduce back strain (reducing what I call the "lever effect") and I've learned to toss my 20lbs sled over my left should if I need to take all of the weight off of my back for a bit (this one I learned from the DVD). I can do about 4 hours in the rig now before needing a break.

Todd
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Old February 9th, 2008, 10:45 PM   #17
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Thanks for all the advice gang. I'll check out the DVD. For now the exercise of using it twice a day seems to be working too. Also doing "good mornings" at the gym. (http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/exer...l+Good+Morning)

Haven't had time to shoot with it yet. Too busy building out the bluescreen studio and doing post on three gigs. But I will shoot soon.

Jim
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Old February 10th, 2008, 02:13 AM   #18
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Well, this thread managed to pass me by somehow.

I saw a chap with the dual-section Smooth Shooter at a trade show a few months back. While he was wearing the rig, I asked him to run in place so I could see how the arm responded. When he stopped running, the arm kept bouncing for a substantial amount of time. Just like the shocks on a car, this is not desirable. I'm a bleedin' broken record on this one but when it comes to the small stabilizers, the Pilot/Merlin arm (and it's immediate big brother, the Flyer arm) are unequalled by ANYTHING else out there. Whether or not this is important depends on the operator. If one is hoping their stabilizer shots will effectively replace a dolly, they will need the greatest isolation via the arm. This sort of thing rarely shows up if you are following a subject closely or sprinting down a hallway. But if you are walking down a line of inanimate objects for instance, a lesser arm will produce a "pogo" type of vertical movement unless the operator learns how to overcome it, as much one can do so.

Bottom line--technologically speaking the Steadicam brand offers a great deal more than just the famous name when it comes to the small stabilizers. This is coming from a guy who owns 6 figures worth of stabilizer and none of it is Steadicam-brand...! but that's another story.

The training video--sigh. Terry, you'll never let me live that down. It was on my list for this out-of-work-due-to-the-writers-strike period, but other things came first. However if I ever do get to it, it won't be covering basics such as posture and simple operating technique, more likely the art of operating, shot design and advanced concepts (like the workshops I'm currently teaching).
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Old February 10th, 2008, 03:35 AM   #19
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Hi Charles, put me down for one-)
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Old February 10th, 2008, 06:45 AM   #20
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i can't understand which stabilizer is the best for me?
i have the sony hvr-hd1000 that weights about 10lbs with accessories.
i need the rig to be easy to wear about 4 hours...
what do you recommend?
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Old February 10th, 2008, 08:51 AM   #21
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Put me down for one, too, Charles.

I'm off to go film UWOL stuff with a Z1 and Steadicam J R. Second time I've used a steadicam for an actual project (the first was a 4 hour marathon, 2 days in a row, but that's another story)

I still feel like I'm stumbling through it. Definitely would love to lose that feeling. :)

C
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Old February 10th, 2008, 01:53 PM   #22
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Asaf Benatia View Post
i can't understand which stabilizer is the best for me?
i have the sony hvr-hd1000 that weights about 10lbs with accessories.
i need the rig to be easy to wear about 4 hours...
what do you recommend?
I believe your best choice is the Steadicam Pilot. It is rated at 4-10 lbs.

The unit itself can't be beat for comfort, quality and the way it operates. People who have done so say it can easily be worn for hours.

I'm not the one to say if 10 lbs. is to heavy for it for sure. The next step up is the Steadicam Flyer, but I believe the Pilot would probably be the choice.

After having seen all the competition, I don't think anything compares or does what you need except the Pilot (or maybe the Flyer), but I still say the Pilot, at its lower weight and slightly smaller size of the Flyer.

Perhaps one of the experts will confirm or dispute my conclusion.

***********Edit**************
Based on the answers after mine, I will amend my recommendation for a 10lb camera to a Flyer, for the reasons stated by Charles. Under 10 lbs, I think the Pilot has a lot going.

When I tried on the Pilot I also tried the Flyer. there is little practical difference in them. (The Pilot arm is a 7/8 scale of the Flyer arm.) The Flyer costs close to twice as much, but it also has some additional features and options on top of the greater weight capacity.

Last edited by Jack Walker; February 10th, 2008 at 08:23 PM.
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Old February 10th, 2008, 02:02 PM   #23
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It's a bit dangerous to buy a stabilizer that can just barely carry your intended load, as you never know what ELSE you might need to add. The Pilot can probably take a lb or two past what it is rated, but it would obviously be a shame to end up with a rig that can't handle the next accessory you buy (or you have to strip off because the rig can't take it).

The Flyer will of course handle 10 lbs room to spare, thus I would recommend it for this stated package. It may be a bit heavier than the Pilot, but with some conditioning there's no reason it can't be used for hours. I've worn both Pilots and Flyers for 45 minutes or so and I tend to forget I'm even wearing them at all, they seem to have literally no effect on my body! But this is because I'm used to flying much heavier loads. Novice operators will need time to build up the appropriate muscles as well as learn how to most efficiently accommodate the rig on their bodies (hint: holding the rig in front of you rather than to the side is more tiring!)
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Old February 10th, 2008, 02:51 PM   #24
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Both Pilot and Flyer can be worn for hours at a time (with most loads) without any trouble after a bit of conditioning.

Once the camera goes under about 10lbs, I don't notice it's there. And I'm not used to the biger big rigs like Charles is.

- Mikko
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Old February 10th, 2008, 02:54 PM   #25
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It's true. I just woke up from a nap and discovered I was wearing a Pilot the whole time. Can't wait to look at the footage.
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