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Old February 27th, 2002, 05:02 PM   #1
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Just one more Steadi-device

I saw this product briefly mentioned in a thread somewhere (still trying to track it down) so I checked out it's website and phoned the 800 number to squeeze out some more info...

This Q-Technologies company makes a contraption called a Steadipod: http://www.qtechnologies.com/

Their salesman at the other end said it was Korean-made, costs $599 (shipping around $15) and that their inventory got cleaned out just based on the few pictures on their website. He admitted they didn't even have instructions yet.

I asked about it's load capacity and was told its limit was a PD-150... a relief to those GL-1 users among us.

Although it looks like someone evicerated the Johnny5 Robot from Short Circuit 2, the website photos do seem to suggest it's fairly versatile. $599 is quite steep tho', IMO. Maybe Chris can score an evaluation version (time permitting) so we can get the skinny on it.

In a slightly different tangent, anyone happen to tinker with RC Helicopters as a hobby? I'm figuring if someone were to attempt crafting their own Steadicam knockoff, the machined swashplate from an RC Helicopter might serve as a useful gimbal. I can't think of another readily-available alternative out there. On one site, I saw a picture of a homemade wooden steadicam knockoff that used a DOOR HINGE.

A swashplate wouldn't be as useful or useable in a Glidecam clone.
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Old February 27th, 2002, 08:46 PM   #2
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Just for comparison, what is the going rate for a Steadicam DV?
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Old February 27th, 2002, 09:55 PM   #3
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The last fuzzy figure I remember for the Steadicam DV was somewhere in the $1100 range. A significant jump up from the original Steadicam Jr at around $450(street). The Steadicam DV featured a color LCD monitor, the Steadicam Jr had a monochrome, and the Korean SteadiPod has no display.

I thought there had been an announcement that these consumer-level Steadicams (DV & Jr) were going to be discontinued, but after checking Tiffen's (presumably revamped) steadicam.com site, the Jr is still listed, but the DV version is nowhere to be found.

Also having checked their PDF file on the Steadicam Jr, it's noteworthy that they are now listing it with a COLOR LCD monitor and MSRP'd at $899. It's still limited to carrying a 4lb camera, so that puts the XL-1 out of range.
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Old February 27th, 2002, 10:24 PM   #4
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The Steadicam DV can carry an XL1. I thought it was $4000. They must not be selling very many at all if they are thinking about discontinuing them.
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Old February 27th, 2002, 10:33 PM   #5
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Your $4000 figure might be more accurate than my $1100... I never did price out the Steadicam DV seriously.

...however if it really DID cost that much, the Steadicam MINI would REALLY be something worth considering. It's listed on the site at around $5000 and includes vest and arm. The MINI can support cameras up to 15lbs.
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Old February 27th, 2002, 10:56 PM   #6
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The Steadicam "Mini" system is the one sized for 5-15 lb cams such as the XL1. Its base price is $5,500.

The "Steady Stick" is, well, just a stick with a slight weight at the end. You'd probably get more use from a good monopod.
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Old February 27th, 2002, 11:13 PM   #7
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The Steadicam DV used to sell for around $1200 as I recall. Despite being positioned as a slick successor to the JR, it suffered from design flaws and was discontinued.

The most important component in any handheld stabilizer of this type is the gimbal. If there is friction or play present, it will immediately translate into the footage. The Steadipod has an interesting design concept in terms of it's flexibility (although one wonders just how many of those positions are likely to be used during the course of shooting, it's like the Kuma Sutra of stabilizers!) but it all comes down to the integrity of the gimbal.

And otherwise, using an XL1 on a DV or any handheld system is a serious handful (literally). To achieve good results a light, delicate touch is required from the operating hand which is difficult to achieve if the other hand is shaking violently under the load, two minutes into the shot. The Mini or similar units that use an arm and vest make a tremendous difference in this regard, one can wear the XL1 on such getups for hours if necessary!

Incidentally, the inter-gimballed handle design is patented, which is why Glidecam and other domestic manufacturers use offset gimbals. If anyone is interested in this Steadipod, they should probably buy it as soon as possible before Tiffen's legal department descends on the distributors.
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