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Old June 21st, 2003, 06:32 PM   #1
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Glidecam - You were right, I was wrong, now what?

OK, so I decided to try the Glidecam with my VX2K. Got it yesterday, put it together and got a close balance on it and realized there is no way I am going to be able to hold that weight with my arm. Not enough muskles for sure, no matter how much spinach I eat.

So, now what? I can return the Glidecam but still would like to have something besides my arm to support the VX2K. I will be using this mostly for vacation videos, this year we're going back to Kenya for the migration. Most of the video will be from inside or on top of the Land Rover although there will be some walking. I took the camera to South Africa last year and although the video was great the movement/vibration of the camera is still noticeable. There probably won't be enough room to set up a tripod although a monopod might work (my hubbie stole mine for his 35mm camera last trip).

Any input would be appreciated.

On a different subject, has anyone bought the Hosatech XVM-101 cable lately? I would be using this to run between my K6/ME66 and camera but haven't had any luck finding it. B&H is out of stock and I called the 3 local music stores that are Hosatech distributors, they didn't have it either. They had the 105, a 5 foot version, but that will be way too long.

Thanks for everyones posts, I have been lurking out here for a few months and learn something new every day.
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 01:10 AM   #2
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The 1 ft cable is really too short. Buy the 5 ft and cut it to 16 - 18". If you can't solder, someone at your local music store will do it for a few bucks. I think the 5 ft was about $1 more than the 1 ft.
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 10:26 AM   #3
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Thanks Bryan. My husband was suggesting something similar if we couldn't find the cable soon. I've got this fancy new mic and I don't even know what it sounds like.
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 10:32 AM   #4
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Hi neighbor! I have seen a stedi cam that might do the trick for you, but I forget who made it. It involves a harness like vest and a sort of boom/cable suspension device that hangs over your shoulder. It actually looked like the best method to me.

Varizoom also has something called the flow pod. It is a combo monopod and steadi cam. Although, Charles Papert said the one he tried was oly so-so.
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 11:25 AM   #5
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Hello Jacki,
Have you tried using the arm brace for your Glidecam 2000/4000? It doesn't make the device effortless but it does move the load off of your wrist and up to the larger muscle groups in your bicep and shoulder. It's far more comfortable for longer periods.

You can try using Glidecam's "Body Pod" for the 2000/4000 but, frankly, I think it's worthless.

If a handheld stabilizer is just too much strain to use, your only alternative is a harness-based unit (at least for hand-held work). But you're looking at several thousand dollars of expense.

You could always just get a shoulder brace for your VX2K. It's not stabilization but it might be all that you need.
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 11:32 AM   #6
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Yeah, I second Keith's suggestion of that thing, i'm pretty sure it's called a marzpak, but I forget how much it goes for though. It looks really goofy, and you probably wouldn't catch me with that thing anyday (because i'm too cool for that, :D JK) but it seems to work.

http://www.marztech.com/
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 11:34 AM   #7
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ken...in this situation i agree, the body pod is only good if you need to park the stabilizer when not in use or to do very slow moves...anything more than this translates the operators movements into the camera. so for tracking shots with a 2000/4000 the arm brace is the only way to go.
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 12:17 PM   #8
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The question becomes how much difference will the arm brace make. Let's not think "Young,muscular, professional dvcam operator" lets think "Short, middle aged woman who doesn't go to the gym as much as she should". Do you think the arm brace will work for me?

Alex, I have to agree, the Marztech is extremely goofy looking. Not sure if I would wear that either. I looked at the Varizoom web site, the Flow Pod looked like an expensive monopole. I an can tell that I would probably just use it as a monopole anyway.

Thanks for all your feedback.
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Old June 22nd, 2003, 11:17 PM   #9
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Jacki,
(Still chortling at your self-description.) In my experience, the GC 2000/4000 is best used for short, planned shots. Not for shooting continuous, random footage as you might normally find on a vacation. Even with the arm brace I doubt that the GC 2000/4000 will be a practical solution for your needs. Using it from inside a car, even a Land Rover, might be a challenge since you need to have clear arm space.

As Casey notes, the Body Pod is fine for parking the GC while not in use. And you could conceivably shoot relatively stationary shots from it. But chasing wildlife across the plains of Africa...naw.

Your most practical solution for better shots while on the move may well be to just practice, practice, practice.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 01:02 AM   #10
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How about a balding, chubby, arthritic old fart with bad knees and CHF. I have a VX2K (3 lb) with a Optex.65 Wide Angle (12oz), ME66 mic.

I had spent the week in Vancouver and visited cavision. Bottom line is I arrived home with another 2 lbs of gear.

As luck would have it my brand spanking new "Gomer gear" was waiting. (My wife is a patient and understanding woman).

Bottom line is , in just a few hours of playing around I've found the MarzPak to be an amazing piece of gear. Goofy be damned! When my wife and daughter stop peeing themselves from laughing so hard they too will have to admit how really cool this rig is.

You can shoot with almost no stress on your arms or shoulder. I was able to hold a fully loaded camera and pan smoothly.

You can shoiot your video and carry your stuff in comfort. the marzpak is an extremely versitile packboard as well.

The quality and build of this device is amazing. It's really rare to see this kind of quality for this price.

Call the 800 number and talk to Christi. As well as being a wildlife videographer she sews and assembles these critters. Smart lady, she's exremely helpful and a really concientious business person. I'm a tough sell and I'm happy.

I bought the fanny pack assembly and plan on adding another equipment bag. I could even carry my tripod on the back of this thing if'n i so desired.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 07:44 PM   #11
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Jacki, it may be worth noting for your purposes that the Marzpak is best thought of as a way to transfer the weight of a handheld camera onto your body, allowing one to shoot handheld with much less fatigue. It is not, strictly speaking, a stabilizer. If the problems you are experiencing with your photography are caused by muscle fatigue (shaking hands etc), this may help considerably; but in the situation you described that involves driving in a Land Rover (not the cushiest suspension!) don't expect it to eliminate the bumps in a Steadicam fashion.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 08:48 PM   #12
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There's not nuch that'll take the bumps out of shooting from a land rover unless of course we're talking big bucks. The marzpak beats the snot out of a shoulder brace and is something that helps you shoot steadily for hours (on your feet) without cramping or getting the shakes.

The bungy when tensioned will smooth motion somewhat. I just thought that Jacki, like me didn't want to arm wrestle a camera with weights on it.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 09:55 PM   #13
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The other thing to note about the Marzpak is that it is technically a workout device far superior to anything Nordic-trak (tm) ever made.

After a 3 hour long session of frantically mastering the Marzpak I found myself exhausted and fell asleep on the couch to rest... Marzpak still mounted.

Well, as I slept my girlfriend unhooked my cam and in it's place she mounted a freshly unwrapped Ding-Dong (tm)... the gist of the story is that I lost 15lbs running around the neighborhood trying to "catch" it.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 10:02 PM   #14
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I'm sorry guys. Please don't kick me out of this board... but I also have to admit that I sometimes wear my Marzpak to the dance club with a disco ball mounted... I've got a Bescor video light superclamped to the Marzpak arm and it aims perfectly at the disco ball so that brilliant sparks of light spin across my every move... and the moves of the fine lady I'm dancing with.

The only bummer is that it's hard for me to get off the bus because every passenger is dancing in front of me all the way to the doors.
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Old June 23rd, 2003, 10:29 PM   #15
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Matt
In this line your going to look like a knob 90% of the time anyway so why worry. . Have you ever tried the device???

I'm 58, with severe arthritis and congestive heart failure, this item helps, so be funny if that floats your boat. My wife has already stained the carpet so go for it.

It certainly is well contructed and does'nt resemble some of the home brew devices some people admit to using in public.
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