Does the Glidecam 4000 pro work, or is it me? at DVinfo.net

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Old July 8th, 2003, 12:36 PM   #1
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Does the Glidecam 4000 pro work, or is it me?

I recently bought a Glidecam Pro 4000 for my XL1s and I am having difficulties.

I wasn't surprised by the weight, but the almost impossbile balancing is killing me. I have spent over 8 hours trying to get my Xl1s balanced and I am having little to no success.

My Steadicam JR. was hard to balance, but not impossible, and once it was balanced, it was a piece of cake to fine tune when I needed. On the other hand, the 4000 is so touchy and impossible to balance, I am pulling my hair out.

Does anybody have any suggestions?

Please advise, as I have a shoot coming up and this just isn't working.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 01:42 PM   #2
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Well the Glidecam guy called me back and seemed to clear up a few things. I really think it might be just me, but the manual could use some work.

It appears to be balanced fairly good, and I am going out to buy a quick release plate so that I can keep the micro fine adjustments I made.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 01:47 PM   #3
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I, also, have the glidecam 4000 and use it with my DVX100. I can get it balanced "well" in roughly 10 minutes- however I think I've only ever truly balanced the rig "perfectly" once.
My main problem is sliding the top plate around- the camera will be leaning forward so I slide the plate forward a hair and it starts leaning backwarwds. You really have to adjust it in hairline incriments, which is actually really hard to do. It's hard to slide the plate a mm at a time!

What pointers did the tech from Glidecam give you?
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Old July 8th, 2003, 04:54 PM   #4
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He sat with me on speakerphone and walked me through the finer points of claibration. The manual makes it seem like you do it one step at a time, but in reality, you need to keep fideling with all the knobs.

The tiny increments are hard to do. Sometimes you barely move it a hair and it goes way out of whack. I ended up extending the pole a bit to give it less sensitivity. This decreased the swing from 3 secs to 2.5 secs, but made it easier to adjust.

I just went out and bought a quick release sled so once I nail it, it will be easier to set up.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 06:46 PM   #5
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Which quick release plate did you buy- how much- and how well does it work?
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Old July 8th, 2003, 08:35 PM   #6
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I ended up getting the Manfrotto 577 quick release plate. This works with my tripod, so it was the only choice for me. I spent about $50 and had to re-balance everything. I also ended up with an extra sled, but that isn't a bad thing.

I think this will work much better. I tried mounting and removing it several times and the balance held. I'm sure I will probably have to adjust in the fields, but only slightly.

Just got the UPS with the Arm brace and will try the whole thing tomorrow.

By the way, my quick-mount didn't come with any mounting screws, but extras in the 4000 pro bag worked like a charm.
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Old July 8th, 2003, 09:00 PM   #7
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Hmm I might have to go the same route. I do wedding videography and love to do shots with the glidecam. However in the field, especially in the fast paced environment of a wedding shoot, it's hard to take the time to balance it!
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Old July 8th, 2003, 09:54 PM   #8
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How do any of you with XL1s-es use this thing? I borrowed my friend's for a few days, couldn't get it balanced, and then when we did, my arm almost fell off after using it for about 20 seconds!
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Old July 8th, 2003, 10:11 PM   #9
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I had basically the same experience, too heavy a load, too hard to balance. I went with the V-8.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 12:57 AM   #10
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Yeah! I mean, I felt like a badass walking around with the thing, but with the camera (with 16x manual lens), 5.6" LCD monitor, and all the extra weight needed to counterbalance the cam, I literally could not keep my wrist up for more than a few seconds at a time. . .it would just collapse and I'd have to support the rig with my other hand.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 10:15 AM   #11
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I'm slowly getting my new V16 rig balanced properly, so I understand your frustration :)
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Old July 9th, 2003, 10:35 AM   #12
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Good idea ! A quick release plate is just the thing I need to get.

I have the same problem where it takes forever to balance so I don't use it as much as I should.

I use the Vreeze camera stabilizer which is a little different than the Glidecam.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 03:56 PM   #13
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Oh the pain!

Well to whomever is interested, I am sending my Glidecam 4000 pro back.

Even with the arm brace, it is next to impossible to use. I work out, and have pretty good arms, but I couldn't hold it up. After about 3 minutes of using it, my forearm was so sore, it went numb. And this was just the camera, no monitor or mic.

This system might work all right for a tiny camcorder, but if you have an XL1s, I recommend not even going here. I am very disappointed. I really can't afford thousands for a V-8. I will say that the people at Glidecam were very nice and helpful.

Also, the great folks at BH Photo, were completely cool about the return.
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Old July 9th, 2003, 07:35 PM   #14
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"After about 3 minutes of using it, my forearm was so sore, it went numb. And this was just the camera, no monitor or mic."

Sorry to hear it didn't work out. But I figured the weight would be a problem. Just holding the camera by itself in that position is hard enough.

With the way I have the V-16 set up, the sled with camera, Gel Cel battery, monitor and top plate weights, it comes to just over 30 pounds.

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Old July 9th, 2003, 10:11 PM   #15
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Really? Even with the arm brace? That sucks. When you have a V16, though, the weight's distributed over your entire body, right?
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